By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: Have you ever thought teenagers who are earning money through social media platforms and neglecting their studies are being exploited, whether by media platforms that seduce them, parents who are using them as a source of income, or even the society that appreciates these teenagers more than those who are studying and building their future with things that benefit them.
Kuwait Times spoke to Dr Hassan Al-Mosawi, Psychological and Social Consultant, and asked him about the main reasons that encourage teenagers to neglect or drop their studies and concentrate on social media platforms, in addition to the effect of this decision on their future.
Dr Mosawi said in order to understand the effect of this on a teenager’s future, “we need to know the reasons for parents letting their children live this way, and reasons are mostly between it being an economic factor, which means their children are a source of income for their parents to improve their economic situation, or some families they are looking to show off their children in order to become famous, which gives their parents a feeling of pride and vanity”.
“In addition to all of these factors, there is a psychological side, which is that many parents don’t want to place any kind of pressure on their children, especially teenagers, so as not be exposed to psychological problems, because it is mostly a part of their freedom and the new generation’s lifestyle,” he added.
Mosawi stressed that despite these factors and reasons, they have a negative effect on their future. “What are the benefits teenagers get by being on social media platforms at an early age, other than blind imitation and fame,” he said, adding “the only things that they are getting is a waste of their time, studies and future – for nothing,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the material aspect has become more important for teenagers than studying, as their way of thinking has changed. They believe being on social media will help them earn money more than having a good education, in addition to getting the attention of the media and people. This has led to people’s appreciation of material values more than moral values,” Mosawi pointed out.
Addressing the role of social media platforms is very important as they prod teenagers to work with them. “Some parents have the idea that unless their teenagers are not doing anything wrong, such as using drugs, moral deviations or homosexuality, then they are safe,” he explained.
“But these parents don’t understand that in the long-term, they are creating weak characters that will not be able to catch up with the rapid changes in the world in the future, which will leave their children empty handed and feeling inferior,” Mosawi said. He gave an example of merchants who didn’t get any education, which made them unable to follow up updates.
Regarding the ways social media is used to attract teenagers to work with them and drop out of school, Mosawi explained: “Having role models is not a bad thing, but the issue is that they are focusing on negative role models, while positive models are being ignored, especially those who made something with their lives after dropping out of school. They highlight temporary careers that don’t benefit them, such as vlogging, playing football or becoming an actor, for example. This will destroy the way how the next generation thinks and understands life, and surely it will affect their lives negatively.”