The Effects of Social Media on children
Social media is quickly evolving in front of our eyes and it is almost impossible to reject and hide from this new form of media.It is an important part of socialization within peer groups as well as used to market and motivate people to become a part of a larger community. It is undoubtedly changing the way one communicates and how one finds and shares information. Most websites offer communication through the use of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and many various blog formats. Through these new advances in technology one can share things about themselves to the world to view, whereas prior to social media one would have to communicate and share physically. These social media sites offer adolescents new ways to access communication and entertainment but the long-term effects are still unknown. For this reason, it is imperative for parents to be more aware of this new media and what it offers both good and bad for our children.
Positive Effects Of Social Media On Children:
Social media helps you to link up with people all over the world. The positive influence of social media on children include:
- Helps children connect with their extended family and friends.
- Helps them to develop better perspectives on various issues.
- Learn new things and exchange ideas .
- It helps provide an effective platform for the child to explore his knowledge
- It helps motivate children to get better at communication and thereby encourages freedom of self-expression.
- Social media facilitates the development of technical expertise and practical understanding of technology in the child.
Negative Effects Of Social Media On Children:
Young minds are moldable, and social media can mold the way the child thinks or behaves. Social media also has a dark side.
- The vastness of social media ensures that there is no control on the scope of information. Such situations can lead to children bumping into obscene, harmful or graphic websites that may affect their thinking process adversely.
- Cyber bullying is another growing trend among the social media websites. Cyber bullying can have dangerous and even potentially fatal effects. It claims many victims each year. Australia suffers from a large number of teen and other youth suicides due to cyber bullying.
- It largely results in the waste of time. Spending too much time can affect the child negatively and often lead to social media addiction. It may even affect the child’s physical health.
- Too much social media can affect the child’s ability to develop strong interpersonal relationships.
Some facts regarding the negative impact of social media on children
- A 2015 U.K. Office for National Statistics finds that children who spend more than 3 hours each school day on social media sites are more than twice as likely to suffer poor mental health.
- A report published by IZA Institute of Labor Economics even suggests that just one hour a day on social media can make a teen miserable.
- Another 2015 study by the British Psychological Society finds that teenagers being obligated to be responsive to social media (liking posts, answering texts and direct messages) throughout the day affect their mental health.
- DoSometing.org, “one of the largest organizations for young people and social change”, lists several bad effects of social media, which includes sleep disorder, depression, addiction, 24/7 stress, isolation, insecurity, and fear of missing out (FOMO).
- The results of a survey from the University of Glasgow shows that social media use particularly at night, with strong emotional involvement, led to poorer sleep quality, lower self-esteem, and higher levels of anxiety
- A study by Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University concludes that extended use of social networks like Facebook can result in a decrease in empathy among teens, and thus an increase in narcissism.
- Selfies, which became popular with the rise of camera phones, can trigger mental health conditions when a person becomes obsessed with looks. The Mirror, for example, recently featured a selfie addict who tried to kill himself when he couldn’t take a perfect photo.
- Educators also note that for kids and teens in social networks, there are no spelling and grammar rules.
Some internet safety tips for kids
- Keep control of their information by restricting access to their page
- Keep rules in the household on social networking sites
- Monitor what they do on their internet and smart phones.
- There should be limits on time allowed on these sites that may occur if their usage interferes with family time or external social activities
- Make sure the child spends quality time on social media websites and reaps positive outcomes
- Educate the child about the pros and cons of social media
- If you find the child too withdrawn or moody, or excited due to a lack of social media access, you may want to visit a therapist. The child may be addicted.
So, let’s pledge to make social media fun, learning and comfortable for the young ones
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5 internet safety tips for kids