A simple point of reality that young parents deal today: You wanna know more about your child’s emotions, who they mingle with, and what are their passions in life- get hunting into their Facebook page!
girl uses smartphone
How many of you would have said, ‘Yeah’?? For a matter of fact, you are reading this because you would have encountered a situation whereby it is quite taxing to make a child stop (or even reduce) using their gadgets, gizmos and social media.
It may not be necessarily you, but could be any of your loved ones, or siblings and so on.
But I have a different story to tell you....
Social Media is one addictive platform for both adults and children. Often parents worry when their children develop an addiction to all sorts of gadgets, gizmos and anything related to technology. Well, just like anything has a bad side, it also has a good side too. So, learn what are benefits of using the social media- in perspective of children and young adults. Simultaneously, understand what the problems are of using social media.
The Two Sides of The Coin Named Social Media
At a recent presentation that was conducted at the American Psychological Association, there was a very important revelation and what was that?
There are many parents who are actually worried about the time that their child spends on social media. So, they use different techniques to monitor the child’s social media activities. But at the presentation, it was mentioned that this monitoring is a total waste of time.
Why is that so?
They reasoned out further: Social Media has a good side and a bad side to it and if parents understand all this, they probably won’t feel so alarmed and distressed about their child.
Some Key Areas children dwell in:
- Facebook. Chat Rooms, You Tube, Games, Whatsapp and so much more!
- Going further, they detailed the Good and Bad Effects of Social Media on Children and Young Adults.
- Let’s first talk about the bad side and then end with the good and sweet side of Social Media.
Cons of Using Social Media
The Narcissist Kid:
Teenagers who are always embedded in the Social Media world, will show more behavioural problems. They display narcissism related characters and tend to anti- social and stay aloof from society, family and friends.
The Anxious Kid:
Overuse of any type of social media creates depression and anxiety in the child. They tend to face a lot of psychological problems and that will affect the way they think, communicate and interact with people around them.
The Slow Learner
Social Media has a very distractive side to it. So, children and young adults often spent more time on it, and this will reduce their time to study. Since their mind is more focussed on the social media materials, they will also lose their memory power . That will eventually make them poor students.
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Pros of Using Social Media
The Expressive Lot:
Since this is a virtual world once you are on social media, it has often been noticed that regular social media users have more virtual empathy than their non social media user counterparts. They feel and express their emotions to their online friends.
Keeping The Introvert Smart:
Through social media networking, it has been noticed that even shy and introverted individuals feel safe enough to voice out their opinions and emotions. It maybe because they feel that a whole crowd is not watching and they do not face people upfront.
The Tool Master
Yes, there are millions of tools that can help students and anyone who wants to study. So, that is definitely a good side about social media. Free study materials, free research resources, and step by step videos of any subject under the sky can easily be opened, viewed, saved and studied. What more convenience does a person need to study in life?
Back to the Old Comment Raised at the Presentation: Why is monitoring kids a total waste of time?
Facts that every parent should know about Social Media:
You can monitor but it remains fruitless to a certain extent because you as a parent who is trying to understand what the child is doing in the supposed gadgte, and app. That takes a great deal of time!
Next, children have much more grasping power and they pick things quiet. So, even if you ry monitor one app or gizmo, they may even shift their attention to another one. You may not even realize it!
Then, They have so many online friends through modes. You may not know it, unless and until they disclose it to you.
These friends are tubs of information. So, if you monitor, and if they have connections with people who have a manipulative mentality- they will advise these children and young adults to escape from your virtual grasp. Finding a solution for that is quite difficult!
How to Make The Monitoring Process More Effective?
I would suggest the CAT Process and this is what it goes like:
You need to communicate a lot with your child. Whatever be the age, communication does help. You may not be very gadget friendly, but you do know the vices of social media. So, make them aware. Treat them as responsible individuals and tell them it is okay to use social media – provided they don’t fall into any mess.
For this, you need to show examples about the damages that social media can bring. Simultaneously, also tell them they can use the same gadget and same social media account for informative purposes.
For example: You can read a novel or any research article, play a simple game. But do not chat with people who you do not know- they could harm you in the most unpredictable manner.
Secondly, many parents are not very gadget friendly . So, children feel that their parents are of an old generation. Yes, all parents are, but does not mean that parents are of no use. Are we? Instead, if it is social media that fascinates them, join them in their online activities, talk to their friends and that way – you will be able to quietly monitor them.
So, what makes them happy? They have a cool dad or mum to show off to their friends and you are in complete support of their activities. Sounds nice, right?
Yes, this is the last and final point I would like to dwell upon.
Trust is a very important factor for children. They are presently in a vulnerable age where all what they need is readily offered by their online friends. So, life is so much easier!
You as a parent needs to go along with the flow, and sort of prick their thoughts. Here I mean, that you can allow them to get friends, but also discuss with them- whether all their friends talk to them with good intentions.
Have family discussions with regard to the same. They need to have trust that you are telling for their own good. That takes time and patience and be ready to take up that challenge!
Social Media Parenting is an age that has to be dealt with in a very delicate manner. If you ever feel your child is going astray, don’t lose hope- instead, discuss with parents of children of same ages and even their teachers.
There will be one among them- who the child adores in life and maybe that could be starting point of guiding your child to use Social Media in the right manner.