A memorandum, more commonly known as a memo, is a short message or record used for internal communication in a business. Once the primary form of internal written communication, memorandums have declined in use since the introduction of email and other forms of electronic messaging; however, being able to write clear memos certainly can serve you well in writing internal business emails, as they often serve the same purpose.
TO: The President of the United States of America
RE: Effects of Social Media on School Children
Due to social media, people no longer need to spend time writing letters or use phone calls to reach friends. They only require a functional account, log in, and within seconds, connect an individual to many friends. While the functionalities of social media are beneficial, I noted that the mental health of school children is deteriorating as the time they spent on the Internet increases. Social media use distracts students from academic work worsening their performance outcomes. To illustrate, Obi et al. (2012) has discovered that the students’ use of grammar has suffered setbacks because they tend to write in a short form even in their academic works: for instance, w8 in place of the wait. The most affected are our girls who tend to log in at night to respond to alerts putting their sleep quality at risk, therefore, raising the chances of anxiety and depression (Ranosa, 2015). As a general solution to the problem, children under 8 years should not interact with computers at all as they need to develop vital brain parts responsible for reasoning (Derbyshire, 2015).
Current Social Media Use and Damages to Teenagers
Technological advancement in the communication sector has presented media utilities, such as Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, and Twitter among others. A study has been recently conducted in Scotland that involved 460 teenagers asked them about their social media habits, particularly the time they spent online at night. The findings evidenced that, while social media use has an overall effect on sleep quality, the individuals who find pleasure logging in to their accounts at night experience harmful consequences. at the same time, it is unknown whether the lack of sleep leads young individuals to use social media at night or vice versa. Children who are as young as 10 years old use multiple devices to access many sites in the morning, such as a smartphone and tablet. Adolescence is a period of vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety. Poor quality of sleep contributes hugely to these conditions. Most recent studies show that social media use affects the number of time students would spend with their books. The two variables have a negative correlation (Kahveci, 2015). Besides, 35% of students use computer-related excuses to justify failure to complete a given assignment (Bloxham, 2010)
The habit of spending long hours on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, at night for children presents a headache to the parents as the children are at the stage when they are emotionally invested. Professionals suggest that controllers must regulate the availability of Internet connectivity so that just as the sun rises and sets after some defined time, ‘digital sunset’ must exist to check and balance the time spent online by teenagers. I agree with the sentiments. Research findings point to the fact that the high levels of depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, and poor sleep quality are related to social media use, particularly at night time. Emotional investment in social media has the same detrimental effect on children. A worrying trend is that when girls are worried and anxious, they tend to seek comfort from internet sources (Ranosa, 2015). They experience stress more frequently than boys or average adults, namely, twice a week. Their mental health is at stake whenever they over-spend time on the Internet.
Social media adds more complexities to the problems our young girls undergo. The digital age is ruining the mental health of teenagers. It is a problem, and we need to deal with it decisively. Social networking, apart from the mental health issue, introduces our teenagers to social negativities. Much obscene and vulgar language implications are present on social platforms. Also, explicit images consumed by the children ruin their morals and interfere with their growth. As our children continuously visit social sites, some hooligans see the opportunities to continue with the fraudulence of hacking and launching virus attacks and spamming. These are the times when our youth fall prey to online scams that look authentically correct; the result is identity theft. A most serious issue is when a substantial amount of data disappears in case the computers that children use are the ones at which parents store vital information.
Neuroscientists warn parents that Internet games that are usually used by children for leisure are just a click away whenever they are on Facebook. Such a circumstance causes changes in the brains of children. Bebo, Twitter, and Facebook significantly reduce their attention span, cause self-centeredness, and promote gratification. The question arises when we expect our children to learn vocabulary and develop speech while they spend most of the day’s time and a significant portion of the night in front of the screens. Constant exposure to the Internet can rewire a child’s brain.
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Today, I know that Facebook has 150 million users, keeping in touch with friends and sharing awkward videos, photographs, and posting numerous updates about their status (Keogh, 2014). Twitter, a micro-blogging service, has more than 6 million clients circulating messages and events about everything. Neuroscientists and psychologists warn that social media are more harmful than the way people perceive them. The chat rooms, online computer games, and instant messaging have an immense effect on our children and may leave them with low attention.
I have noticed with great concern the deteriorating abilities of teenagers to understand others. It is hard to accept how life in this direction won’t result in brains different from the earlier generation. Autistic individuals who found it hard to express themselves effectively used such devices as computers (Derbyshire, 2015). Digital technology is guiding and slowly changing the way students think. Unlike before the digital age, students do not plan their essays before they begin to compose them. Most games on the Internet, whose links right in the social media pages, engage and trigger specific parts of the brain, such as ‘fight or flight’ regions rather than the vital brain sections responsible for reasoning. The result is low reasoning acuity among teenagers.
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Possible Solutions to the Social Media Use Problems
The United State government through the Department of Education should put in place measures and mechanisms that will ensure that social media use will benefit both schools and children as a policy measure engaging teachers, parents, and authorities as implementers.
The Internet is the most educative tool ever invented by humans. Our children can take advantage of learning purposes. Children under some age brackets, for instance, 7 years, do not need to use Internet-enabled devices or even watch fast-paced shows. Their brains at that point require maturity; therefore, they need the right environment to develop and become responsible human beings. Nobody is against technology, but when used irresponsibly by children, their brain development is damaged and they cannot make a real-life relationship with people. The best they could do is to stay behind the screen for long hours. Eliminating the negativities and ensuring proper and responsible social media use would rescue the education standards of young individuals.
Our teachers must ensure that children are not over-exposed to social media. Digital sunset is implementable. At such a time, all Internet connectivity is off. School authorities must ensure student engagement in other activities that stimulate their brains to reason. Such an initiative would significantly reduce the amount of time they spend in front of a screen. Parents must limit the time the children can spend on social media at home. They can enforce it through engaging them in activities, such as games, communication about the issues that they think are important among other options. In this way, it would help them develop the skills necessary to establish a real relationship with people and not with friends via messages, photos, and videos on Facebook or Bebo. There are benefits to teenagers using social sites as they help in the development of self, communication, and access to information. However; the downsides must not outweigh the merits of doing so (Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2012).
The government must act swiftly to rescue the academic performance and the deteriorating mental health of children through such measures as:
- Having in place policies that regulate the number of hours children access the Internet at school.
- Parents should have the responsibility of guiding their children on ways to establish a relationship with people in a bid to reduce the time they spend with Internet-enabled devices. This may include taking physical activities, such as riding a bicycle together.
- The introduction of legislation that would check the age at which children are permitted to own such devices as tablets or phones.
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