Many parents are concerned about how technology has affected the lives of toddlers. We are well aware that even the pre-schools are picking up new social and cognitive skills at a great pace. We don’t want our children to be glued to the internet for long hours.
On the other hand, adolescence is also a crucial period of rapid development. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that very few of us are paying attention to how teenagers make use of technology. It has affected so much that social media and text messaging have become an integral part of a teenager’s life that has led to anxiety issues and low self-esteem issues.
Young people report a lot of such troubles that they face on a daily basis. A survey was conducted in the UK to find out how social media impacted the health and well-being of children. The survey results found that all the social media platforms led to an increased feeling of depression, anxiety, poor body image, and loneliness. As a parent, it is our duty to protect the wellbeing of our child. Even the pediatricians suggest the healthy use of social media and urge the parents to monitor their child for potential problems like cyberbullying, Facebook Depression, sexting, and exposure to various inappropriate content. (Could Your Kid’s Internet Addiction Be Masking Mental Health)
Social Media Usage by Teens and Tweens
Engaging all the time in social media is a routine activity that has undoubtedly benefited children and adolescents by enhancing social connection, communication, technical skills, and many more. Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat offer multiple opportunities to connect with friends, classmates, and many people with common interests. However, in the last five years, the number of children using various social media platforms has increased drastically. Therefore, a major part of their development cycle is occurring while using the internet or cell phones.
Kids have a limited capacity of self-regulation and susceptibility to peer pressure, children are at some risk as they navigate with social media. These things have introduced problems like cyberbullying, privacy issues, and sexting, and various other problems like internet addiction, concurrent sleep deprivation, etc.
A large number of parents use technology incredibly well these days and feel comfortable and capable with various platforms. However, few face problems and may lack the understanding that the kids need to be monitored from time to time.
Positive Effects of Social Media Platforms
1. Socialization and Communication
Children can get deeper benefits by using social media like staying connected to friends, family, making new friends, sharing pictures, and exchanging ideas. It can enhance the creativity of the kids through the development and sharing of innovative ideas. It also lets you bring out your unique social skills.
2. Enhanced Learning Opportunities
Kids connect over social media platforms for their homework and group projects. Some schools efficiently use blogs as their teaching tools, which has the benefit of reinforcing skills in English, written expression, and creativity.
3. Access to Health-Related Information
Kids are finding their health-related concerns easily on social media platforms. Excellent health resources are easily available to youth on various topics like STDs, stress reduction, signs of depression, anxiety, and many more. Parents should be encouraged to ask about their children’s and adolescent’s online searches and help facilitate the discussion topics.
Negative Effects of Social Media Platforms
1. Cyberbullying and Online Harassment
The deliberate use of social media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. It is the most common risk faced by all teens and is a risk. It can cause psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and tragic suicide.
The act of sending and receiving or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, videos, via cell phones, computers, or any other digital devices. This gives a great opportunity to the online predators. They wait for the right time and use such things against the victim. As a parent, it is very necessary to look after your child and protect them from such problems. A parental control app would help in protecting the child from such scenarios.
3. Facebook Depression
According to researchers, a new phenomenon called “Facebook Depression” is very common in children. It develops when teens and tweens spend a great deal of time on social media websites. The kids who suffer from Facebook depression are at a risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to internet sites for help. They may get into aggressive or self-destructive behaviors.
Parents know that there are both good as well as bad sides to social networking life. They must embrace it beautifully as kids can go wrong a lot of times and they need guidance. Parents must stretch out their helping hand to their kids but how can they do it? Since teenagers are not very comfortable talking to their parents about their problems. The solution is very simple, they can get a child monitoring app like Phone Agent 007 that lets you keep an eye on your child. You can track your child’s phone activity and protect them from any troubles with social media.