For everyone around, social media is quite a thing recently. From sharing pictures to sharing news, now everything is on the Internet with widespread popularity. From kids to oldies, everyone is using social media nowadays but do we as a person know what social actually provides us and what social media can adversely cause to us? Social media, especially for kids, is harmful because kids, for a fact, do not know how to use social media and how it can affect us.
Therefore, kids must be grown up and sensible enough to understand the usage of social media and its harmful effects that comes along with it. Social media works both ways, positively and negatively, it just depends upon how we tend to use it.
Here are the top pros of social media, basically points which are the reason why one can or must use social media for.
Unlike the times when the communication process with distant relatives was hard or time-consuming, social media has made it way easier for us to communicate. Especially for kids who find it difficult to stay connected with friends and relatives at times. It acts as a bridge between the kids and their buddies who may have shifted to another state or country.
The distances may have widened but the information does reach us with time. Social media also acts as an information source as it provides us with news about the world within a fraction of a few minutes. On personal grounds, it also tells us about the happenings of our relatives and friends like their wedding, graduation, most importantly, birthdays. I believe if it wasn’t there, I would personally forget birthdays on all my batch mates and I feel the same for other people as well.
It is said by most of my known people that the social media spreads news faster than the news channels itself, no offence but yes some people feel that way. With social media coming in place, every person has got a voice with a platform that does not have any limitation.
Social media is a platform for all with no boundaries. More people on board means more ideas and creativity of people from around the world. This leads to an enhancement in creativity in skills and stuff.
Social Media gives kids confidence more than the actual conversations do. Although the adults feel that social media is just a time passing tool involving sharing of photos, statuses, emotions and personal details, it helps build confidence among kids about their words, feelings, their appearance, and all the attention their social media profile receives through the platform.
As a kid when I made my social media profile, I was very conscious about everything, but with time I realised that people liked my status, my photos (which I edited every time obviously). This brought confidence in me about myself and putting my voice in front of people. This would happen with most of the people.
Other than this, since most news and information surfaces on the social media platform only, it also brings confidence in users who tend to become more aware of news, trends, and controversies, if any while conversing with people.
To put it all together, the social media network builds confidence among kids in all aspects. These are the few among those many reasons of how social media is beneficial for kids and humans, in general.
Now let’s talk about the cons, those are too many if not used more responsibly. Kids, when in their growing age are not much aware of what is right and what is not, it is generally taught to them through either their parents or siblings.
Therefore, if you also want your kid to use social media more effectively then ensure that your kid knows how this digital world works and what its negative aspects are. Support your statements with good examples, news stories and theories to prove your point to make sure that you kids understand the vitality of the topic rather than thinking that you are just bluffing.
Here are the top cons of social media, basically, reasons why your kid’s social media activity must be monitored at regular intervals:
Social media is responsible for influencing people through its rapidness and user power, however, which is one of the biggest negative aspects. Not everything on the Internet is true and user friendly. Social media contains information harmful for users, most of which is not even true but just fake news.
These fake pieces of information can be harmful to the kids as these tend to influence the growing minds that are not exposed to worldly things. Social media contains photos, videos, memes, and movie scenes which can influence the minds of the child in the wrong direction and this would affect their overall growth process and thinking as well.
As much the social media is responsible for increasing the confidence in your child, it may also lead to stress given the cyberbullying risk it contains. Not everyone on the Internet is a good person, some like to bully kids with no reason and your child might come face to face with such person leading to his confidence level decrease and many other problems as well.
Anyone can come and bully your child through their dirty comments, personal messages, and explicit commentary among other ways. This is the top reason for which you must regularly monitor the social media activity of your child. Also, explain to them that social media is just a phase of your life but not your whole life. This may lead to stress, fear, suicidal thoughts etc among children.
One of the example I can quote here for your help. Once, one of my young cousins was extremely exposed to social media with her parents not even one per cent interested in monitoring her activities. One unfortunate day I heard that she attempted suicide but was saved by her family.
Afterwards, it was revealed that she was being blackmailed by an unknown person on social media claiming that he has her unseen pictures which he would leak (however, it was just a bluff). She stayed in fear for a month due to the scenario.
Therefore, before your kid faces such a situation, make them aware of how few dumb people would try to degrade them and how they must handle it with smartness.
Likewise said in the point above, many (not all) people find it great to make others feel low and kids don’t understand this.
Therefore, it is up to you how you make them understand this point to protect them from unnecessary tensions and stress. This is one such point which makes kids more responsible to handle the consequences.
Most children think that if you have put a photo on the social media account, the more people see it, the more you are popular, but the truth is, the more people see it, the more increased risk to your privacy. Once a photo is uploaded, it will reach anyone residing in any corner of the world.
Anyone can misuse your photo just the way they want. Therefore, make your children aware of the scenario the privacy while uploading the photos must be followed to safeguard your personal life and social media account.
Sharing anything on social media is not possible at any cost. You might share something controversial, statement that might hurt a community or political views that might instigate someone, and the next day you would be handled by the police probe. Therefore, tell your children to think, frame and then share anything on social media because everything gets noticed here.
Teach your children not to friend strangers randomly. The new social media accounts receive a lot of traffic, mostly from people whom you cannot trust. They can do anything with your child, they can brainwash them to do something of benefit to them, they can influence or mould your child any way they want. Therefore teach your students to friend no one without your knowledge.
Privacy is vital, in fact, more than you think it is. The world is quite big and with social media trend, it has made the world more approachable just one tap away. Not everything must be shared on social media. Usually, kids now days think that sharing everything is ‘cool’ because everyone does this but, at the same time it is risky.
Children share their relationship status, live locations and updates about their
life giving room to the thieves, kidnappers and other criminals to do wrong with you. I know this might sound extreme but it is truth. Never leave any loophole behind to ensure your privacy.
Ensure that you make your children smart enough so that they can effectively handle the social media world and make them familiar with what and how this digital platform is worked on.
Author Bio: With a pinch of humour and realistic approach, Garima Aggarwal is a Creative Content Writer working with TABSCAP. She has been into the field since last 2 years wanting to develop change with her words and thoughts. She is passionate about her work and writes about topics related to Fashion, Lifestyle, Health, Search Engine Optimization and Digital Marketing.