Section 1: Topic Introduction
Psychology is a study that involves the human mind and how one behaves towards certain situations. Several dimensions have been applied in studying psychology. However, with the rise in internet usage, a new dimension known as cyberpsychology is fast arising (Ahuja and Alavi, 2017). I selected this topic because we are in the digital age where young people are hooked up to the internet. They are trying to figure out new things using the internet. As a result, they end up being influenced negatively or positively, thus changing how they behave socially. As Ahuja and Alavi (2017) say, the internet has become part of our lives where young people have found refuge in expressing their thoughts. As a young person, I find the topic appealing to me as it affects me directly. I use the internet a lot and would like to learn more and understand cyberpsychology’s dimension with clarity. This research will either help me when approaching social media or help those affected negatively by this domain.
Assuming that technology does not affect individuals in one way or another is being ignorant. Indeed people using the internet display different characters from those depicted in their everyday lives. There is a lot of evidence indicating that individuals involved in internet usage developmental health. They are often misinformed due to the availability of fake news that is all over the internet. Prolonged use of the internet becomes addictive to the individuals using it; hence the mental state changes. Cyberpsychology research becomes essential as one can understand how this addiction to technology can affect an individual (Soare, 2019). No doubt learning the effects of this addiction will enable a researcher to develop measures that protect young people, especially adolescents, from ruining their behaviors.
Section 2: Topic Discussion
While several things influence an individual’s personality, it is essential to note that the technology era has also impacted adolescents’ dispositions. The new internet era has provided an arena where individuals can express their thoughts. The media provide a forum to show their hidden behaviors while others showcase their skills to their internet friends. When creating these personal accounts, these individuals develop their identities through the help of social media. In the social scene, two characters are displayed. Some are generally extroverts, while others are introverts. Extroverts present themselves with the same names in both social media and their regular routines. On the contrary, introverts tend to display their inner thoughts and behaviors in social media, unlike in their ordinary world, where they remain conservative (Ahuja and Alavi, 2017). To understand how social media affects adolescents’ behavior, it is essential to learn about their psychology first.
Early adolescence is associated with psychological issues such as mood swings due to hormonal changes taking place in their bodies. They develop a rebellious attitude towards their seniors such that they feel disappointed and feel they are not loved by their guardians. At this stage, the adolescents form their own identities as they try to do what their friends are doing. These adolescents tend to find their freedom and spend most of their time with friends to feel different satisfaction. With time, adolescents develop several personalities due to social media engagement. They become expressive such that they respond to everyone hoping to get similar acknowledgments. Others become attention seekers while others use the available material in the media to become more knowledgeable (Ahuja and Alavi, 2017). Based on these findings on adolescents’ growth and behavior, there is no doubt that adolescents’ cyberpsychology exists.
CyberPsychology is relevant in a course on digital and social media. According to Soare (2019), the domain involves computer-human interactions that happen in the digital age currently in place. Social media has become the order of the day, and it directly affects the psychology of an individual who is using it. Having learned how social media affects an adolescent’s mind, there is no doubt that the topic is relevant when discussing social media since the two have a relationship.
After conducting in-depth research on the topic, two articles emerged the most relevant to the topic. The first article is titled Internet and Mental Health of Adolescents, written by Kostic and Panic (2017). I found this article a relevant source because it talks more about adolescents’ relationships with technology and how it affects their behavior. The source is undoubtedly credible as it fulfills all the requirements of a credible source. For instance, the website in which the article is found is credible. The report is dated January 2017, which makes it a reliable source. Also, the piece is written by professionals in the field of psychology. The item is unbiased as it clearly articulates how adolescents are affected by the use of social media. According to the authors, adolescents have grown in the presence of technology; thus, it has become part of them. Besides influencing one’s character, the article explains how the use of the internet can improve the lives of those involved in it by improving their mental health. Social media enables one to access social groups that are meant to support one another. The computerized therapy that an adolescent is exposed to helps him or she overcome depression and other mental problems.
The second article that I found relevant to this topic is titled Cyberbullying Involvement and Mental Health Problems among Late Adolescents. Skilbred-Fjeld, Reme, and Mossige have written the report. I found this as a credible source because it is a recent article written in 2020. The article is written by professionals who have experience in psychological research. According to Skilbred-Fjeld et al. (2020), psychological suffering is related to cyberbullying. The paper tends to explore the behaviors depicted by adolescents who have faced cyberbullying. After the research, results showed that, indeed, late adolescents who met cyberbullying were most likely having mental issues to the extent of contemplating self-harm or suicide. The products could be used by relevant authorities to protect adolescents from the vice and treat those who had fallen victims. This article focuses on how the internet affects adolescents’ psychology, makes it a relevant and reliable source.
The two articles contribute significantly to the topic of adolescents and cyberpsychology. The first article explains not only the negative side of the internet but also the positive side. Adolescents may be deemed a rebellious group, but some use the internet to better their personalities. The second article shows how adolescents become victims of the internet despite their efforts to express themselves to their peers. Cyberbullying has become one of the biggest problems faced by those using social media. When learning about cyberpsychology, it is essential to look into both advantages and disadvantages that come with the use of the internet, which these two articles have done.
Ahuja, V. &Alavi, S. (2017). Cyber psychology and cyber behavior of adolescents- the need of the contemporary era. Procedia computer science. 122(2017). Pp. 671-676. Doi: 10.1016/j.procs.2017.11.422
Kostic, J. O. & Panic, T. (2017). Internet and mental health of adolescents. Review paper. 47(3). Pp. 197-216. Doi: 10.5937/ZRFFP47-14986
Skilbred-Fjeld, S.,Reme, S. E., &Mossige, S. (2020). Cyberbullying involvement and mental health problems among late adolescents. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 14(1), Article 5. https://doi.org/10.5817/CP2020-1-5
Soare, B. (2019). What is cyber psychology? Learning Hub. Retrieved February 17, 2021 from, https://learn.g2.com/cyberpsychology.