Ever ask what parents should know about Social Media? Having a social media account and sharing their pictures is a typical daily activity of many kids and teens. Internet and social media, especially, allow people to connect with many people around the globe and share ideas, thoughts, and stories. But can social media be harmful to a young child or a teenager?
As a parent, you certainly want to protect your child from any danger or discomfort that they may face, but how can you protect them against a threat that cannot be seen?
Here are some tips on how to raise your kids in the age of social media.
Social media use by preadolescents and adolescents
In recent years the usage of social media in children from ages eight and up increased drastically. Some kids even say that they log onto their favorite social media accounts up to and more than ten times per day. There is no denying that a large part of the children’s emotional development is influenced by the time they spend online. And the influence may have harmful consequences.
Instead of buying your child their first phone at a young age, maybe the smartest idea is to spend a lot more time with them or invest in some good quality toys that can help them improve their cognitive abilities while keeping them entertained, you can find a great selection of toys at funtastictoy.com.
Maybe you are not using a lot of social media, or you know your limits, but this is not true for kids. Kids have quite different brain structures than adults, and their obsession with social media may be the result of that. Children have an undeveloped part of the brain that manages distractions and temptations (frontal cortex), so they do not really know how not to overuse their access to their phones.
Keep in mind that no matter how many times you spoke to them about the dangers of social media, they will not be able to learn the maturity of the brain that social media requires.
Also, another exciting aspect of personal growth that social media brings is the opportunity to learn everything they wish with just a click of their mouse. Many schools are incorporating Facebook groups for sharing assignments, discussions, and collaboration.
Many schools also incorporate education videos, blogs, and courses into their regular teaching.
There is a vast ocean of information that is easily accessible and can have a beneficial impact on your child’s life.
And some more dangers.
When I think of the most significant danger of social media, I think of mental health impact on very young children.
There is even a term proposed by the researchers called “Facebook depression.” Because their personality and appearance are the most important among teenagers, seeing the amount of ‘love’ others are receiving online, but they do not, may lead to depression and low self-esteem.
Sometimes the phenomena of Facebook depression can lead to social isolation and anxiety.
Privacy concern is another significant danger of social media. Most teenagers are not aware of their digital footprint and how what they do online can affect their life. They cannot really grasp the concept, “What goes online stays online.”
Online advertisements are another treat of social media because they do not only affect teenagers but everyone else, as well. These big companies have a say in what you and your kids spend your money on without anyone ever knowing.
The best way to deal with the dangers of social media is to postpone the usage of it as much as you can. Show them that other activities can be fun! But also make sure to explain to them the dangers of it once they can understand them.