- What are the benefits of social media for kids?
- Why are the negatives of social media?
- How do I keep my child safe online?
Allowing your child to have a social media account can be a conflicting decision for parents to make. We've made a list of all the pros and cons you need to make an informed decision.
Stress-free digital parenting in an era when much of our lives is online might seem like a myth. As a parent, you’ve probably found yourself wondering whether or not you should allow your child to have Facebook account or any social media profile at all. 🤯
There is much debate on the internet and within parenting circles about allowing kids to use social media. When it comes to younger students, some consider it a parenting mistake to give them access to social media, while others agree that if monitored well, it’s okay for children to have social media profiles.
What are the benefits of social media for kids? 🤔
👉 Boosts Digital Creativity
Social media channels can help students explore their digital creativity – the use of technology to present different ideas. Whether that’s vlogging about their day on YouTube or posting their cookie recipes on Instagram, social media can be used in a productive way! 👊
This can prove beneficial for students’ future careers, with there being a creative digital skills shortage in a number of key creative industries across the UK. In an increasingly digitized world, computer skills are becoming more and more vital. Encouraging your kids to become tech savvy from a young age will give them a huge advantage in life.
👉 Form Friendships
If your child is struggling to make new friends, social media could be a great medium for them.
Talking about common topics of interest online can provide children with opportunities to boost their confidence and connect with like-minded people. This can be particularly beneficial for children that are a little more on the shy side. If they struggle to make friends at school or in their neighbourhood, connecting with people online will help them feel less isolated. 🤝
Used in the right way, social media can be a great tool for young people. If your child goes online to cultivate meaningful friendships and stay connected with their family and community – it influences them positively and enhances their overall happiness! In this way, social media is able to strengthen children's relationships.
👉 Deepen Knowledge
Educators around the world are using social media to connect with students, so they can deepen their knowledge beyond the classroom.
There's a ton of great educational content on social media, from YouTube to TikTok as well as educational influencers.
Using social media as an educational tool can help motivate students in their everyday lives! ✊
What are the negatives of social media? 🤔
There are many bad effects of technology on kids – the increased use of social media being one of them. While these negative side effects also have an impact on adults, the adverse effects of social media are often more significant when it comes to children because of their premature emotional and social development.
👉 Anxiety & Low-Self Esteem
Peer acceptance is very important for students, especially teenagers. Social media can give them a false impression of how much they are ‘liked’ by others. The engagement students have on social media is determined by algorithms and digital likes and not their real-life likeability. So this discrepancy between their online persona and offline worth can have a damaging impact on their self-esteem. 😕
Another way social media can trigger anxiety is through FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
FOMO essentially means that kids feel they are missing out on integral life experiences when they see their friends on social media posting about their lives. Kids can feel like they're missing out on things like social events, material possession, and even milestone relationships.
Constantly being overwhelmed by images of what they don't have can be super overwhelming for children!
Moreover, unlike most adults, children don’t have the awareness that social media is just a curation of the good parts of people’s lives. It is by no means their real ‘perfect’ life. 💥
👉 Cyber Bullying & Trauma
Bullying can be a traumatic experience. Another way social media can be detrimental to children's mental health is if they experience cyberbullying on social media. Due to their naivety and lack of life experience, students are more susceptible to trusting strangers online.
Like much of the internet, social media has content that's both appropriate and inappropriate for young audiences. Due to their curiosity, kids can be more likely to discover the latter and experience cyber trauma in the form of violent or sexual content. 😟
👉 Digital Overwhelm & Addiction
Social media is designed in a way so that consumers are compelled to spend hours and hours online. The mindless “scrolling” can easily become addictive for children if it's not monitored.
Moreover, the increased use of social media gives rise to information overload that can cause digital overwhelm. The after-effects of too much time spent online include restless sleep, inability to concentrate on tasks and even an irritable demeanour! 😖
How do I keep my child safe online? 🤔
✳️ Make your children aware of the consequences of their actions online. Tell them that accepting friend requests from and chatting with strangers on social media can be dangerous.
✳️ Tell your kids to not post personal information like their address, age or phone number on social media – even when interacting with friends! Also remind them that once they've posted something online, it's there forever.
✳️ It's vital that you are aware of what your child is up to online. This way, you'll be aware of what kind of content they're being exposed to.
If you’re still concerned about your child’s safety on social media, we also have some great tips on how to keep your child safe online.