For those currently in their 50’s, spending their spare time outdoors, socializing, and reading fun books was the trend when they were young. Today, the tables have turned.
Social media has taken over, and the ‘big giants’ keep pressing for more ways to dominate. The gains of staying in touch with friends through social media are not debatable. On the flip side, the cons of social media are like a terrific tornado that keeps whirling, and sometimes spins people to their death, especially children.
When I say social media, I will like to restrict the term to popular sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. These are internet-based communication tools that are designed to enable people to connect by sharing information. While we love the pros of social media on children, we must also be wary about the cons of social media on children.
We live in a time where everyone has access to social media, including children, irrespective of their age. Children can utilize social media to answer a homework question, get information from a website, chat on platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Today, social media is a significant part of the life of children. It is sometimes hard to imagine a world without social media.
The Pros of Social Media on Children
- Social media keeps children more informed on social debates, healthy lifestyle, and environmental issues so that they can make decisions that will improve their lives.
- Social media is vital for research and learning. For our children, it is a veritable platform that makes studying more efficient. They learn better when they post homework questions on social media for answers.
- It hides their disability. This is particularly the case for children with disabilities who do not get the chance to communicate with their peers. Social media provides them a place to hide and do everything their peers can do without feeling less of themselves.
- Social media keeps children abreast of trends and changes in technology that are useful to improve their day to day living. When our children are exposed to social media, they can keep up with innovation around them that can help them do well tomorrow.
- Social media raises a child’s self-esteem. The early years of a child’s development come with a lot of challenges that are often difficult to manage. Social media proves to be a safe place where children can join groups consisting of individuals of the same mind to discuss their problems.
- Social media allows children to keep in touch with their relatives who live outside the country, rather than wait for a particular date and time scheduled for a family reunion.
The Cons of Social Media on Children
- Social media is distracting to children. Children barely know how to handle the distraction that accompanies the use of social media. This had often led to low grades in school and poor attention to detail while using social media to study.
- Social media exposes children to the predatory whims of pedophiles. This can lead to awful manipulations of the child to do obscene things.
- Social media leaves our kids under the preying eyes of cyberbullies. Generally, bullying results in an incredible number of suicides yearly. In my upcoming book, I EMPOWER ME; bullying is thoroughly threated. I also discussed about bullying and how it links to suicide, with cyberbullying as a major causative factor.
- Social media creates an air of confidence and makes everything seem to revolve around them. The likes and comments to their posts make them feel great. This can be addicting for several children, by causing them to seek attention in the many ways they can purposefully. Some present a fake life to get attention on social media, which in many cases creates a narcissistic personality in a child.
- Social media causes procrastination for children. Children struggle to walk out of wonderfully engaging moments on social media, which hampers their productivity. While they spend a lot of time surfing the web, they neglect essential school work and activities. As this decreases their rate of productivity, it invariably leads to poor performance in school and addiction to social media.
- Social media isolates physically challenged children from their peers. This makes them feel lonely, sad, and depressed because they are a target for other children.
- Social media discloses so much unhealthy information to children. Adults, talk less of children, can be easily brainwashed to do crazy things via social media. Children find themselves in a dangerous situation when there is no parental watch to the information they access.
- Social media encourages a sedentary lifestyle and disrupts the sleep of kids because they are perpetually online.
- Social media destroys the social skills of children. When children spend much of their time communicating with their peers online, they tend to lose specific skills they can acquire in real life. Also, research has shown that much typing can make our handwriting loose due to the loss of muscle memory. For most children who are introverts, social media provides them with some level of confidence such that they can be extroverts online.
If you suspect the use of social media to be of significant disadvantage to your child, you can monitor their social media activities with social monitoring apps.
Check out our Anti -Bullying Workbook: Bully Here, Bully There, Do You Care.