Since social media has become a staple in society, it’s no surprise that children have begun to use it at a young age. What may be surprising, however, is the impact that social media can have on kids. On this article, we will be discussing why parents should be concerned about social media use by their children.
What are the social media platforms
First of all let’s take a look at social media. According to the Pew Research Center, social media apps are “defined as a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” In simple terms, social media platforms are websites and apps where people can create and share content with others.
There are a variety of social media sites/platforms, but the most popular ones among kids are Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. These platforms allow users to post photos, videos, and thoughts publicly or privately.
How children use social media
Now that we know what social media platform is, let’s take a look at how children use it. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, “92% of social media-using teens say they go online for socializing, 88% for getting news and information, 85% for staying up-to-date on current events, and 81% for entertainment.”
In other words, social networking sites are a great way for kids to socialize, get news and information, and be entertained. However, there are also some downsides to social media use by children.
Effects of social media for kids
There are a variety of ways that social media affects kids and young people. Let’s take a look at some of the positive and negative ways social media can affect children.
- Social media can help kids stay connected with friends and family.
- Social media can be used as a learning tool.
- Social media can help kids express themselves creatively.
- Social media can be addictive and lead to social media addiction.
- Social media can cause anxiety, depression and poor mental health.
- Social media can lead to cyberbullying.
- Social media can also be a source of peer pressure for children. Children may feel pressured to do things that they wouldn’t normally do, such as sending inappropriate photos or engaging in risky behavior, in order to fit in or be popular online.
As you can see, social media can have both positive and negative impacts on children. It’s important for parents to be aware of the potential dangers
Negative effects of social media
As mentioned earlier there are some negatives to social media use by children. Let’s see them in more details
Cyber bullying is a growing problem, especially among children and young adults. Cyber bullying is when someone is harassed, humiliated, or threatened online. This can happen in a variety of ways, such as through mean comments on social media posts, spreading rumors online, or sending threatening messages. Unfortunately, cyberbullying can have a serious impact on children. It can lead to depression, social isolation, and even suicide.
Excessive screen time
Another concern that parents have about social media is the amount of time their children are spending on screens. Many kids are spending too much time on social media and other digital devices, which can be bad for their physical and mental health. Excessive screen time for kids can lead to problems such as obesity, social isolation, poor grades, and sleep deprivation. More than three hours can cause mental health problems.
Social media addiction
Some children can become so addicted to social media that it starts to interfere with their everyday lives. Social media addiction is when someone is unable to control their use of social media and begins to neglect other aspects of their life. This can include things like their schoolwork, relationships, and physical health.
What parents can do to protect their children online
So what can parents do to protect their children online? Here are some tips:
Monitor your child’s social media use. This means knowing which platforms they are using and how much time they are spending on them.
- Teach your child about cyberbullying and how to deal with it if it happens to them.
- Set limits on social media use and stick to them.
- Encourage your child to have a balanced life that includes offline activities.
- Pay attention to warning signs of social media addiction, such as neglecting schoolwork or social activities.
- establish technology free zones
By following these tips, you can help protect your child from the negative impacts of social media. You can find more on the screen time for kids article.
Parents should be concerned about social media use by their children because of the potential negative impacts it can have. These negative impacts can include cyberbullying, social media addiction, and excessive screen time. However, there are also some positive aspects to social media use by children. Parents can help protect their children from the negative impacts of social media by monitoring their social media use, teaching them about cyberbullying, and setting limits on social media use. By following these tips, parents can help their children have a healthy social media life.