Wizaru Blog

Social Media – A Boon Or Bane For Kids?

In this digital age, we all are on some kind of social platform, be it Facebook, Instagram or even LinkedIn. Although these platforms has been around for quite a while now, but for children it has been there from their childhood. As such children now often want to get an account on these platforms as soon as possible fearing what they might be missing out on, which might not be the best idea for them and a large horrific nightmare for the parents. As it takes 1 little mistake for a child to ruin their entire reputation on social media it becomes important to them but is there something to be worried about? Let’s talk about all of that in this article and clear everything up.

Why is Social Media Important to teens?

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Social Media is a big thing especially for teens, as they start spending more and more time on their phones. With everyone on their phones and only some that have access to these platforms. It becomes a game of exclusivity.

Social Media is a way for friends to connect and talk, share photos and have fun. And, if they don’t have an Instagram account, or Snapchat, they feel like they’re missing out on the fun of being a teen in the digital age.

 

What is an appropriate age to give a child a Social Media account?

There are different guidelines set up by different platforms with the minimum age for an account holder. For Example, Facebook requires that the account holder is above the age of 13, the same goes for Twitter and Instagram.

While the age of 13 looks to be the standard for the minimum allowed age to be on most social media platforms, it doesn’t mean that it is the correct age.

Teenagers are still kids, meaning they are still vulnerable to a lot of things like being bullied and linking their self worth to the amount of likes they get on a post.

At what age your child, joins a platform is a decision you will need to make after you weigh the pros and cons and then decide if your child is mature enough to handle an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter account.

What are Pros and Cons of Social Media for Teens?

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The Pros of social media are as follows: –

  • It allows them to keep in touch with friends, including those that have moved away
  • It allows teens to raise their voices in times of crisis as they can’t travel to go out and protest
  • Social Media allows them to connect with their everyone and see what they are up to
  • Instagram allows them to share their art or creativity
  • Twitter provides them with a platform to discuss things they love and organise community events

The Cons of social media are as follows: –

  • It can become a distraction and waste a lot of time.
  • These Platforms can cause teens to compare their lives, bodies and marks to others, making them feel insecure and even worthless at times
  • It can cause Fear of Missing Out or FOMO, meaning they miss out on an experience or a product that everyone has
  • Social Media is a Big Privacy Risk
  • It also causes teens to reduce social interactions with people
  • UNICEF has even published an Article about the Mental Health Problems that are caused due to social media.

 

I think that my child is mature enough, What Now?

Social Media can be a good thing for your children allowing them to raise their voices. And, even potentially make money from their endeavours but if you decide that your child is old and mature enough for social media. Regulation is key, if they decide to make an account without your permission and your knowledge it can cause serious repercussions if something goes wrong.

Here are somethings to make sure to explain to them before they can make an account on any social platform: –

  • That likes don’t decide if you’re attractive or good looking
  • Never to accept requests or talk to strangers
  • Photos and Videos can be fake and nobody’s life is perfect

These 3 Points are small and concise so that you can keep repeating them until they understand.

Netflix also made a Documentary called The Social Dilemma. It briefly talks about the effects social media has on children and how it affects their lives. There might be somethings we missed on this article, let’s talk about that in the comments. If you liked this article, here’s one we recommend you read next: Exercises for kids

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