It is no longer taboo for a celebrity or teen to advertise their use of drugs on social media platforms. Celebrities use their fame and popularity to influence young people to follow their lifestyles, creating pressure for teens to make dangerous choices that can appear harmless. If a celebrity they look up to as a role model advocates smoking marijuana, teens come to believe this is appropriate.
Peer pressure from other teens through social media is also a factor. Social media is a way of teens interacting with other teens. That said, teens should be careful and aware of who they follow and the type of influence those people have over them.
The impact of the music industry on teens and their daily choices crosses over into social media, as some well-known pop figures promote the recreational use of marijuana on their media platforms. Popular singers like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus not only release songs about the use of marijuana and synthetic drugs, but one scroll through their Instagram feeds or Twitter pages reveals various images of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Social media influencers make a huge and lasting impact on social media and those who use it.
The view of marijuana and advertisement of it by social media leaders and the people around them is causing teens to view drugs as safe, harmless and OK to use. In reality, teens don’t know the true effects of marijuana.
The impact of social media is bound to happen. But if teens are educated about the negative effects, the use of the drug and its normalcy may go down.
By // Will Horner and Mikenna Yarmus Gannon
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