SOCIAL MEDIA, THE ADVANTAGES AND MENACE ON CHILDREN

Social media is a trending platform which has connected people from different parts of the world. It enhances bonding,business,formation of relationship ans access of information. In the midst of all these,social media still comes with a price. A price of addiction and time wasting when not used well. This article enlightens us more on the effect on our kids.

SOCIAL MEDIA, THE ADVANTAGES AND MENACE ON CHILDREN

SOCIAL MEDIA, THE ADVANTAGES AND MENACE ON CHILDREN
Social media has literally taken the world by storm. An obsession has arisen among the young as well as the elderly and it seems we live half of our lives on social media. It is sometimes hard to imagine a world without social media. It has become so integrated into our current culture that it seems like a necessity to function.
This isn’t a surprise because social media has turned the world to a global village and provided a channel to connect with friends and people around the world instantly for different purposes. With social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, you can conveniently communicate and share information with friends and family. With other social networking sites, we can watch videos, read news, learn a language, discuss topics and virtually bring people with common interests together.
Children of today are exposed to this trending effect of social media. Whether we like it or not, social media influences the lives of children to a large extent. It tends to keep their mind busy thereby making them lose focus and less effective. There are vast benefits of social media to children but we should consider the drawbacks as well.The true challenge lies in overcoming the disadvantages and ensuring that the advantage creates the desired impact.
THE GOOD
Social media can help children:
I. Stay connected with friends and family, also make new friends from around the world.
II. To work on group assignments and projects from the comfort of their own homes.
III. Enhance their creativity through the sharing of ideas, music and art.
IV. Meet and interact with others who share similar interests
V. Become more technologically adept.
VI. Have easy and free access to resources online, which helps them learn and become more knowledgeable.
VII. Get to know places they have not travelled to and even think globally.
THE BAD
I. Children become addicted to social media sites. Their immersion in a virtual world may cause delay in their emotional and social development.
II. Children waste valuable time and become distracted from their schoolwork.
III. Some children may post hurtful and humiliating messages about others which could scar them for life. This is called cyber bullying and it has become an alarming trend.
IV. Some children use social media for pornography and other adult rated contents.
V. Children may divulge too much information on social media, which can pose a threat and encourage stalkers and online predators.
VI. Children can be exposed to information, which is not useful to them, or they can be exposed to friends who can cause harm to them.

VII. It provides a platform for people with evil agendas to communicate with your children. For example;Hatred message,sex messages are passed through these means.
It is important for parents to be aware of what their kids are doing online because children don’t always make the smartest choices. Hence, it is paramount to teach children how to use the social media wisely. Here are some suggestions on how parents can make the most of kids’ social networking:
1) Teach your children the benefits and risks of social media. For example, you can talk to your child about the danger of over sharing information, cyberbullying and sharing inappropriate materials.
2) Teach them that mean behavior is unacceptable in the virtual world as it is in the real world. They should treat others with respect and courtesy, and never post hurtful or embarrassing messages about others. Ask them to also tell you about any harassing or bullying messages that others may post.
3) Encourage your kid to spend considerably more time in actual friendship and communication than “social networking communication”. Emphasize the difference between real life and online relationships. Your kids learn more social skills from face to face communication. Online friendships does not teach listening to subtle cues, interpreting body language, and adapt to different personalities.
4) Encourage and nurture your child’s other interests like playing musical instruments, writing, crafts, sports, etc. This makes him spend less time online.
5) Join the social media that your kids belong to and if possible, supervise their activities and you can put some restriction to sites on their mobile.

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