The number of kids and teenagers engaged in communication technology is increasing. Kids and teens are obsessed with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc.
Such sites provide youth with a platform to entertain themselves. And also communicate with the world and gain significant popularity among the kids and teens of their age. Web browsing, posting, commenting, networking is the daily rituals seen in kids and teens.
There are various reasons how surfing social platforms will benefit any kid or teen. However, the benefit comes with several risks because not all social sites and media are safe for the use of kids and teens. Therefore, as a parent, you should be mindful of your child’s addiction and obsession with social media.
Negative Effects of Social Media on Kids
Social media are that more harmful and has serious damage is associated in the long run. Below are the adverse and harmful impacts of social media on children:
The most common negative impact that any kid or teen has through social media is that they develop intense addiction and obsession. Their want to look at the social media feeds is lofty. Experts believe attributes like “like” and “comments” on social media are among the most common reasons for addiction.
If a kid posts a picture on his/her social media; then they want to check over their recent post constantly; just to see the number of likes or shares they received. Multiple similar features influence their mood and encourage high screen time.
Kids’ addition to social media will increase their screen time; this will significantly impact their eyes. Social media has become the closest friend of everyone today.
According to research, the corona outbreak has increased screen time by 100%. An enormous amount of blue light is emitted through devices, leading to serious damage to one’s eyesight. It will gradually affect our sleeping schedules.
Comparing the present with the past, more people today are seen with power glasses. This clearly shows how technological advancement has done to people’s eyesight.
Social media has been the number one priority for teenagers today. Kids and teens love to keep themselves updated and engaged on social platforms rather than focusing on their academics. They are supposed to engage in physical activities and have fun in fields and playgrounds with their friends. But the technological revolution has limited its activities to social media.
Kids and teens might be updated and connected to the virtual world, but this refrains them from being practical in the real world. They are spending a huge amount of time on social media, which refrains them from indulging in productive activities.
Social media is the highlight reel; not a person would love to share their misery. Kids and teens only share the highlights of their life online. For kids, social media is providing a platform to show off things they own. They tend to compare their highlight reel to that of others.
This has triggered jealousy and affected the behavior of kids and teens. They are focused on faking a perfect personality and life online rather than working on becoming the best version of themselves in the real world.
Bullying is not a new thing, and this has been going on in every corner of the world. However, in the last few years, cyberbullying has become a huge concern. Hundreds of young people fall under the victims of cyberbullying. As it is comparatively a lot easier and a lot more threatening than what is done in school. One of the reasons for it is as it is done anonymously online on a larger scale.
Victims of cyberbully can have severe emotional and psychological consequences. Cyberbullying activities include making bad comments, spreading rumors, making fake profiles, imitating others, etc.
Sending, receiving, posting, and sharing inappropriate pictures or videos online is sexting. Explicit content and nudes are shared very quickly. The teen population is mostly involved in such activity.
A recent study shows that among 10 teens, more than one has forwarded or posted explicit pictures/videos.
Kids and teens exposed to such activities are suspended, expelled, or rejected from schools/colleges. Such a negative social media footprint will affect their reputation and will face a harsh reality in the future.
How Parents Can Manage Social Media Risks From Kids
Kids are way more familiar with the new devices than adults are today. To protect your kids and teens from social media’s negatives, you must be aware of social media practices to cope up with their tech-savvy kids. Below are the points on how any parent can manage the risks associated with their child’s social media:
Talking about Social Media
As a parent, you should start by searching and acknowledging yourself with social media’s negatives and inform your child about it. It would be best to encourage your kids to talk about their social media activities openly with you. This way, you can keep track of and manage their child’s social media use.
Similarly, kids should be taught to have good practice in social media.
For example, if kids are to make comments, they should be encouraged to make positive comments only like anybody would want to receive.
Engage With Your Child’s Online World
Restricting and limiting social media activity from any child might induce them in wanting to do it more. Parents would rather ask their children to show how they use it.
Together you could go through posts and comments your kid is making online. You can even go through different videos and supervise accordingly.
Kids are highly attached to their devices, due to which they are missing out on the fun in the real world. Children before the 2000s did not have any technological device. They spent their childhood in the field and playgrounds with their friends and families. While the kids of the 2000s seem to have limited their childhood to social media and the internet.
Kids have different hobbies or passions; parents should encourage such interests as sports, music, dance, etc., anything that is not virtual. When kids are engaged in physical activity, they tend to be more happy, lively, and active.
Encourage Real-Life Communication
While the kids are connected online to numerous people, there is a disconnect from the real world. The relationship which is the most important is given the least amount of time.
Therefore, you should try to limit the time your children spend on social media. Kids may acknowledge different information online, and all the information might not be appropriate for them. However, it does not help to add value to his/her personality.
Connecting with numerous people through social media could be fun. But having hundreds of friends on social media and not in real life can be depressing. Kids should understand that they are many anonymous people with fake accounts. And these accounts can be harmful to children.