Advancement with on technology and the freedom of information has created a very powerful tool that is very useful especially among the youth. The youths are the most active group using the social media. The increase on the use of social media has attracted a growing attention on the type of information shared over these sites. It was therefore necessary to research on the type of information shared on social media sites. Twitter formed the best platform because it is used widely by the majority of the young population online. It is also one of the emerging social media sites that youths are using quite a considerable amount of time online. Twitter involves a more formal communication between the users as compared to face book. It was easy to analyze, as the type of information posted on tweeter is easy to analyze. among the According to the research information conducted on the online behavior, Unfortunately, most of the youth (over 70 %) have admitted on post illegal images or videos over the internet. The Only 30 % of the youth Admitted to never posting something illegal on the internet. The research identified the key reason given by most of the youth who agreed to have posted something illegal on the internet.
Purpose and scope of study
The purpose of study was to analyze the type of the information shared on social media by the youth and if it were legal or illegal. The research also sought to identify the carious reason that contributed to the interviewed to post illegal activities over the internet. The scope of this mainly focused on Tweeter.
The research method involved participant observation as well as offline/online interviews. Youths between the ages of 17-23 years were involved in the study. The youth admitted posting evidence of illegal activity. Other participant admitted they did not post the illegal information themselves but witnessed directly someone who did post evidence of illegal activity.
According to survey, majority of the youth population use online services. This number is significantly higher as compared to the adult population that uses online services. Most of the teens who own Smartphones use it online and majority of the time is spent on the social media sites. The research indicated an increase the teens on using the internet use some kind of the social media sites. Quite a considerable number of the teens use Tweeter coming the second most visited site on the internet by youth after Facebook.
The information shared by the teens on the social media varies widely. However, most of the youth share personal information that included photos of themselves or their friends. This number has significantly increased over as more populations that are youthful increase the use of social sites. On the legality of the messages shared on social media, male users were more likely to share illegal information of twitter as compared to the female users. Research has also indicated that the majority of the social media users’ one instance shared illegal information on tweeter. Despite the social sites discouraging from sharing of illegal information, most of the youthful violated these policies.
The study was conducted on the month of March where i interviewed students from diverse background. The number comprised of for females and six males and formed the ten students who were involved in the interview. the background of the students included on the study were 3 white/Caucasian students, 2 middle eastern students, 1 Asian American student, 1 Indian student , 1 Hispanic/ Latino student and 1 African American student.
The sample questions that I included on the study were as follows:
“Have you ever posted images or videos of yourself while doing illegal activities like underage drinking and smoking weed among others?”
“If so what are the mains reasons as to why you post illicit images/videos while doing illegal activities?”
If otherwise, reasons to justify why not.
The questions were formulated to collected specific information of the users that have posted illegal content online and those who have not. Further, the questions helped identify the reason that contributed to the users to post illegal and the reasons they abstained from posting the illegal content for those who did not.
The study found that over 70 % of the youths have posted illegal content on the internet. These was 7/10 students of those interviewed. The data collected also indicated that the 20% of the student interviewed have never posted any illegal content on the internet. That was 2/10 of the total student that I interviewed. The student s admitted that although they were on several occasions involved in illegal activities in their life, they never posted these illegal activities online. The 10% of the students, 1 student to be particular, the indicated never to engage on any illegal activities online.
There were varied responses and comments from the interviewed students on the causes of them to post or abstained from posting illegal information online. One of the students admitted the posted the information when he/she was drunk and realized to have already shared the information with two of his mutual friends when he woke up. Another student admitted to have posted the illegal activity online so as to intention ally violate family orders. One student indicated that the main cause of posting illegal activities online was the desire to inform his/her friends on what she was doing. Another r student admitted that he was influenced by the type of the music that he listened online influenced his actions. Another student admitted to posting illegal information online because of the influence of her friends. The students who did not post illegal content online also gave varied reasons. One student indicated that she did not post the illegal information online for the fear of it being visible to her employees. One student also did not share the information because she/he never saw the need to share what she did with his/her life. On the students also indicated that she did not post the illegal information online because she never drink or smoke or engage on any other illegal activities.
Observations and analysis
The information-collected form the research presented with a picture of the reason most of the youthful online user’s shared illegal activities online. Most of the reasons result from peer pressure and influence from friends as the main reason why users share illegal content online. Despite the fact that youth were aware of the consequences of of their actions, peer pressure went behold to influence the student interviewed to ignore the consequences. Some of the students were also pushed by their desires to show their students what they were doing.
It is also interesting some students posted their illegal activities online because of family influences. The families of one of the correspondent encouraged one of the students to share the information online and the other student was acting in the defiance of his/her family orders. The results from the research agree with other research finding obtained from other researches carried out elsewhere.
The research finding indicated only a few youth stand to resist friend and family influence on their ability make independent decisions on matters that impact on their own life. Depending on the role of each family, youth like the student interviewed, families have both and negative impact on the behaviors on the youth that the exhibit on social media.
The research findings also demonstrated that some youth share illegal information on over the internet because they want to share to show their friends the activities they are engaging to. This is demonstration of youth could on engaging on these illegal acts as a way of show off to attract attention of their friend. This makes them share their illegal activities on social media because it the sites provide a huge following where this information can be shared to several other people.
Lack of restrictions on the type of social media information that is considered illegal is the biggest challenge in fighting this trend. Social site have introduced new program where people trend on the photos or videos they create online. Such emerging trends have the significant impact on youth who spend quite a considerable amount of time on these social sites. Under the peer influence where majority of the youth are most vulnerable, such trends only make the situation even more badly.
Other significant learnings from the study are that sharing of the illegal activities on the social media may be related to psychological problems. An example is a student who shares such information online in protest of her families’ orders. Although such cases are not many compared to those influence by peer influence, they still play a significant impact and could form the basis on a research on the relationship between social media and psychological issues.
Theory and concepts application
Social norms are one theory and concept that is widely applicable to the research. The social norms define the rules and the behaviors that are defined to be acceptable by the society and are often associated with some kind of consequences. The social medial has several influences on the social norms of the society especially on the youths. When illegal information is widely shared on the social media platform like tweeter, it has negative influence on other youth elsewhere who may consider the trend to be morally upright degrading their social norms. An example is the admission by the student who admitted they share their illegal information online to share with their friends on what they were doing. Coupled with peer influence, such intention may have a disastrous effect on degrading the social norms of others in the society.
Addiction is another concept that strongly relates to social media use. In fact, addiction could be the probable cause that a huge number of youth to spend quite a considerable amount of time online. Addiction is not just applicable to online alone, it extends behold the everyday activities that youth and even adults engage on. Addiction to social media may lead to sharing of illegal information online as one seeks to satisfy the demand of providing content to keep the profile active. Although the study was not based on the investigating addiction on and sharing of illegal information on tweeter, it contains significant influence on the object of study.
The dangers of addiction are well established and there form a priority in ensuring that young generation is not obsessed with the social media sites at the expense of other relevant activities like working and studying. Addiction also creates a generation that is not sober on their decisions because they cannot do without the addiction. In the case of social media, addiction consequences can be disastrous to the productivity of the youth and more also, their behaviors.
Social media use is an interesting broad idea that is hard to analyze completely. However, singling out on sharing of illegal information on the social media, and specifically focusing on twitter, it is possible to understand in-depth the impact social media can have on the life of the youth. Majority of the online uses are the youthful population and the therefore the most affected. I found the very enjoyable to research on such a critical issues that touches on the youth. If there are, behaviors and morals are derailed due to misuse of social media today, what future will there be for tomorrow?
I learned that despite how good and presentable the social media was in sharing information, it could be slowly eating away the moral fabric of our dear youth population. Unless one exercises caution and personal decision on judging what is right and acceptable to share on social media, it may be that the information shared on social media negatively affects more people especially youth than it can be substantiated.
Considering the trend at which the social media use is expanding, regulating sharing illegal information could be the next big thing that the social media technologists should consider tightening to protect our youth’s social norms. It is also my humble opinion that sharing of illegal should not only be regulated, but banned for ever to clean our social media sites the junk of unregulated wrong information on illegal activities that will carry these bad memories todays wrongs to the innocent generation of tomorrow.
Lastly, the damages on the information already shared on social media sites will not be only accessible in the context of today youth but also tomorrow. With the technology available today, the search engines sites should identify this king of information and avoid referencing to the public domain. This is to avoid the impression that since this information has been reviewed as bad today, it may be tolerated as more relaxes on the definition on what is wrong today and what will be wrong tomorrow. For instance, such activities like smoking weed and underage drinking were more of unheard of a couple of year back and the society were okay with it. Today it is considered more of a fashion that every youth is almost being engaged in such behaviors, the society seems, and the society is undecidedly okay with it. With this trend, who surely can tell what will be acceptable tomorrow?