Today’s world is run by social media. As an interactive platform, it has completely transformed the way in which we perceive one another, along with the world around us. However, how does social media impact children? Children have impressionable psyches, which makes them vulnerable to the evils of the cyber world. Should children be allowed to use social media? If yes, to what extent? Let us delve right into this issue by weighing the pros and cons of social media in relation to children.
Positive Effects of Social Media on Children
- Social media helps children connect with peers and family members. This might lead to lasting friendships and meaningful social connections.
- It helps them develop fresh perspectives, which help hone critical and imaginative thinking. Apart from honing their interpersonal skills, social media allows them to broaden their horizons. It also helps them gain awareness about nuanced social issues, new ideas, and myriad possibilities.
- Social media allows children to expand their knowledge base through the means of online courses and certifications, educational content and access to premium research material. Good primary schools in Gurgaon use this opportunity to the fullest by incorporating online educational tools, programs and videos into their academic curriculum.
- When used right, social media can help boost confidence and encourage freedom of self-expression and unbridled creativity.
- It facilitates the development of technical expertise, along with a pragmatic understanding of how the real world works.
Negative Effects of Social Media on Children
- Owing to the impressional nature of the child or adolescent brain, social media can negatively influence the way in which children behave. As most young individuals are yet to develop the ability to discern what’s right and what’s wrong, they fall into nefarious social circles, including internet bullies or trolls on sites, such as Reddit or 4chan.
- As there are no limitations on the nature of content that is to be found on the internet, it is very difficult to predict what a child might stumble across. Social media has made it easy for children to view abusive, pornographic, or graphic content, which has a visible effect on the way they think, behave, and perceive the world. Children might also inadvertently come across archived content from the Deep Web, such as disturbing social experiments and torture videos.
- Cyberbullying has been on the rise in recent years. Bullying of any form or extent can be potentially fatal, especially for young children. This can also lead to mental breakdowns, self-harming behaviour, and suicidal tendencies. Your child might also be influenced by the behaviour of online bullies, wherein they start emulating their patterns. Good schools in Gurgaon make it a point to educate children about the perils of cyberbullying, and guide them in dealing with online trolls who perpetrate hate.
- Social media can evolve into a distraction and can be a waste of time. Spending too much time on the internet can lead to an addiction, which holds the ability to interfere with day-to-day routines. Addiction can manifest in myriad ways and affect your child’s health adversely.
- Too much of social media can hinder a child’s ability to develop strong interpersonal bonds. This has given rise to a legion of social recluses, epitomised in the form of the Japanese hikikomori, who are reclusive adolescents/adults, mostly men, who seek extreme degrees of isolation and confinement while carrying the weight of loneliness at all times.
As a parent, you should monitor what your child is surfing on the internet and make sure that they are only imbibing the wonderful, positive effects that are conducive to their growth. If your child is displaying signs of addiction, depression, or anxiety, it is best to contact a therapist at the earliest.