By Holly Hodge

Usage of social media has increased over the years, especially for young people. Experts say that could be dangerous.  


According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of users in the U.S. utilize YouTube and Facebook, but young adults are heavy users of Snapchat and Instagram.
The Pew Research Center statistics for 2018 show YouTube rising to the top replacing other social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.


A small pool of teenagers on Instagram answered a questions about their everyday experiences on YouTube. Some said they spend about 1-2 hours a day on the video channel and others said they spend as many as five hours a day. Following the regular postings of YouTube couples such as De’arra and Ken 4 Life, Runik and Hali, and FunnyMike and Jaliyah was a common use the teenagers reported; some stay connected to their subscriptions on other social medias. 


But one respondent said YouTube is sometimes a distraction for her. She feels it prevents her from being a social person because she always is looking at videos. 
Joy Nealey, a mass communications major at Savannah State University, finds more useful applications for the time she spends on the site. With a concentration in audio and video production, she uses online videos to help with her school work. “I believe a lot of people learn from YouTube, especially with my major,” she said. 


Nealey uses YouTube not only for school and her education, but for entertainment also. She is in the process of making her own YouTube channel and joining the campus Tiger’s Roar channel focusing on life on campus at historically black college.


Angela M. Wilson, an assistant professor in public relations and marketing at Savannah State, encourages youth to use YouTube for studying and education, but agrees that YouTube could still be a hazard. “Some kids don’t see the negatives,” she said. 


Nothing is private on any social media, Wilson said, nothing disappears, and it can always come back to haunt you. Plus, there is an impulse to engage in dialogues that can turn negative and sometimes become heated.


Wilson suggested users ask themselves, “Do I really need to respond?” — not only on YouTube but on all social media. 

Photo by Holly Hodge

Prof. Angela Wilson advises users, especially young users, to ask themselves, "Do I really need to respond?" when using social media sites.

Social media sites attract more users, more scrutiny 

Savannah State student Joy Nealey, right, answers questions about using social media. Nealey sometimes used YouTube to learn how to use software she needs for her major.