Background to the Study
The crux on adolescents socialization in this digital age covers considerable ground regarding the ways young people use and are influenced by the many forms of digital communication. This as an increasing pervasiveness in the lives of adolescents have become an established (e.g., Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2001; Roberts, Foehr, Rideout, & Brodie, 1999), but there remains a dearth of research on what exactly adolescents are doing when they are online, with whom, and why—and, moreover, how these aspects of digital use may be related to young people’s well-being and development.
The irony however is that adolescents are using digital media in ways that often exceed the capabilities of adults both for cognitive and social development with so much information at their fingertips, Mills (2016).
They are the first adopters of many of the innovations that appear in this landscape, and they likely feel more comfortable using digital media than adults. Indeed, the new media offer novel ways to communicate that were not even conceivable to parents during their transition to adulthood. At the same time, these new means of communicating have also introduced problems that have often con-fronted adolescents of the past either in face-to-face interaction or when using more traditional media.
Socialization is the process whereby an individual learns to adjust to a group (or society) and behave in a manner approved by the group (or society). Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the life course and is a central influence on the behavior, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children (Spitzberg and Huwe, 1991). Grusec J.E. and Hastings P.D. (2007) explained that socialization involves a variety of outcomes, including the acquisition of rules, roles, standards and values across the social, emotional cognitive and personal domains. It can be accomplished by a variety of individuals including parents, teachers, peers and siblings as well as by school, the media and the least but not last, internet (Grusec J.E. and Hastings P.D., 2007).
In this digital age, adolescents in their various socialization stages have tapped into the online presence to engage in various interactions resulting to effects on them. The Internet is a primary educational and developmental tool for many adolescents (Demner, 2001). The most modern form of socialization is technology socialization. Parente et al., (2009) noted that technology socialization is accomplished via personal experience to a large extent especially when the internet usage is specific, such as for entertainment, communication of information search. Kids today have more exposure to internet than in the past since they have grown up in the environment with advanced technologies.
Social media is a popular means of interaction for adolescents and young adults, in which they create, share, and exchange information in virtual communities and networks. Social media allows participants to be the creators and consumers of content that is then discussed, modified and shared. The platforms for social media are diverse and evolving; these include social networking sites (Facebook), internet forums (eHealthforum.com), blogs and microblogs (Twitter), photograph or video sharing (Instagram, YouTube), crowdsourcing (Wikipedia, Kickstarter), podcasts (This American Life), and virtual game or social worlds (Second Life). Social media sites allow teens to meet many online tasks that are relevant to their lives offline: to lie about friends and family, make new friends, share photos, and share ideas (Ito. et al., 2008). Social media participation can also offer adolescents deeper benefits that extend into their view of self, community, and the world (Boyd D, 2007).
Thus, young adults who spend more time on Facebook are better at showing “virtual empathy” to their online friends (APA, 2011). Again, social media sites allow teens to accomplish many online tasks which are important to them offline: staying connected with friends and family, making new friends, sharing pictures, and exchanging ideas (O'Keeffe, G.S, Clarke-Pearson. K. 2011). With these exposures to the vulnerability of the digital age, it has become imperative to explore the impact the technology has on adolescents.
Statement of the Problem
The presence of digitalization on adolescent socialization has become a very important platform in the daily life of the teenagers. They benefit by increasing the communication skills with friends and relatives and they can develop their socialization process more. Also, we can say that the teenagers were through the internet are able to socialize with their peers on various social networks and also obtain information about topics like health, education, and to increase the technical skills using the last technologies.
Consequently, various forms of social media have changed the ways the teenagers talk, learn, and think. On the other hand, the negativity of these technologies poses a problem on adolescent socialization. These are Facebook depression, cyberbullying, and online sexual harassment.
Despite the presence of other agent of socialization, technological advancement seems to be the order of the day in the hands of adolescents
Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to establish the impact of digital age on adolescent socialization; specifically the study intends to
1. Investigate the roles digital age play on adolescent socialization.
2. To examine the influences on adolescents use of the internet.
3. To examine how digital age negatively influence adolescents.
1. What role does digital age play on adolescent socialization?
2. To what extent are the influences of internet on adolescents?
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