How the Social Media Like Cell Phones, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, Affecting our children lives.
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Social media has sprung in the last decade and been excessively relied on in the last 5 years. It brought with it, its own challenges especially for the growing inexperienced mind, when there is no affective way to fully supervise.
Social media can be addictive in nature, because of curiosity about the contacts, latest events and many more. Children and especially Adolescent grow physically much more than mental maturity in given time. They can have false perception of control over their behavior that actually can be misleading. When youth engage in Electronic media activity, it become hard for them to stop the activity and focus on educational and other productive work. This is not uncommon that youth lags behind schoolwork, assignment submission and so forth. Their school performance can decline and hence grades. Youth usually have free time at night, majority of night may be spent by texting, sexting or other electronic activities leaving not enough time for sleep, which can impact the physical as well as mental health. Sufficient good night sleep is very essential for healthy brain functioning. Now the slogan of “ I am a night bird” may not be very healthy and it can become as fashion to stay up and may be considered as a sign of being up-to-date and cool. By learning too much and not being able to process, the information may lead to confusion state and youth may not know how to handle many complex emotions because of too much involvement in other persons business too soon.
Youth may get used to the cyber world and it may seem easy to stay like this instead of facing reality.
Pros of using Social Media:
1) Youth can engage in charitable works, collaboration fund raising and other like activities beneficial to community
2) Developing new ideas, openness in mind and seeing other people’s perspectives.
3) Creative activities like building upon the teamwork and artistic experiments learning new things.
4) Connecting with people at distant and learning other cultures, life style religion and fostering self-development and self-identity
5) Learning from the social media about different range of subject matters and its applications
6) Learning about health Information unanimously.
Cons of using Social Media:
Adolescent carries the huge burden of risks while using Social Media more than what adult can understand in normal circumstances.
- Like being inappropriate with each other and with people whom they do not even know.
- Privacy issues may be at risk. ( like Digital footprints and reproduction of the activity once thought is unavailable to anyone)
- Influenced by advertisement, especially one has influence on behavior of purchasing online and so on so forth.
- Sexting: Inappropriately sending receiving and/or publishing sexually explicit material. Research have shown about 20% Adolescent have published nude or seminude picture video of them self. In some cases, Youth have been charged for misdemeanor and/ or felonies or child pornography in certain states. Their behavior may be monitored and put in scrutiny for misdemeanor charges.
- Cyberbullying is another major area of concern almost anyone can be affected with that. It can have profound psychological impact on the mind of youth which can lead to anxiety, depression, severe isolative behavior and may lead to suicide in severe cases when they are complicated by underlying mental illness.
- Facebook Depression: This is another phenomenon that is been recognized with excessive use of Facebook that can trigger depression and can present as full blown clinical depression, leading to its complication and consequences.
A large number of parents are aware of 13 year is the cut off age for many social medias. However, they some ignore that and may allow children to use social media. Children On line Privacy Protection act COPPA. Prohibit Websites to collect information children younger than 13 years. This is the minimum age to sign on sites like Facebook and MySpace.
Professionals like Pedriatitions, Teachers, and Psychologist can educate the parents to help keep them abreast with the new development in social media.
Parents can talk to their children about online use and day-to-day issues arising from the use.
Parent can supervise their children of social media use, appropriate posting and appropriate use timing. Educate them about not to falsify information.
Parent’s emphasis should be on healthy use of media, and constructive criticism. It should not in any way be punitive action.
Assisting the families to deal with difficult and complex cases and if needed get help from the following websites to deal with issues.
Few Useful websites:
the AAP Internet safety site (http://safetynet.aap.org),
The AAP public education site, HealthyChildren.org (www.healthychildren.org/english/search/pages/results.aspx?Type=Keyword&Keyword=Internet+safety),