Social media has changed how we interact with others, and adults can make their own decisions about whether or not they want to participate in social media. This is not the case with children. Whether you’re the parent of a teenager or pre-teen, understanding what type of social media platforms your child uses is important and continuous. The differences between each one can help you determine if that platform is safe for your child to use and engage with other users.
What Is Social Media for Children and How Is It Different Than Adults?
You probably started your social media journey with Facebook or Twitter. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat have become famous in recent years among children. Other platforms, like Tiktok and Omegle, have found success among younger demographics too. There are so many social media sites that it can be hard to keep track of them all! For a current and up to dates list I suggest looking at this list on commonsense media. Research shows that 68% of parents with preteens worry about what their children see online. This article on internet safety will give some advice. Social media and the device it is looked on is different but easy to confuse.
At first glance, social media platforms might not seem like a fit for children. Parental anxiety might mean that you want to protect them from perceived dangers such as cyberbullying. But as parents, we know how much social media is integrated into our lives and how powerful it can be to connect with friends and family online. We want our children to reap those same benefits, but we also want them to learn how to use social media safely.
Tips on What Types of Platforms Are Good for Children
Above we have given a list of suitable apps for children. But the app can not be considered in isolation. Consider when and where your child will be using these platforms. Is it going to be on a family device that you can see or on a phone in their room? Remember that this will change as they grow, no matter what your best intentions are.
As with all things parenting-related, there isn’t a blanket rule that applies to every family. What works for one child may not work for another—and what works today may change tomorrow. It is also impossible to ignore the effect of peer pressure. If all of your daughter’s friends are talking on WhatsApp you might download it on your phone. What we have is linked the account to an old handset so it is possible to see. No matter what type of communication platform you choose (or how many), make sure everyone involved knows how to use it and set clear expectations around its use so everyone knows what to expect when connecting via text or video chat.
How Social Media Can Harm Children?
The apps your children use all have different risks. If you were to design an app for bullying it would be Snapchat, to cause body dismorphia it would be Instagram. They may post inappropriate photos or contact strangers through direct messages. When talking to your children about social media, emphasize that what they post can be viewed by all their friends and friends of friends. Also by future partners and employers. This conversation should be a stepping stone to a larger discussion about how to make safer choices online.
How Can Social Media Specifically Affect the Mental Health of Children?
With all of our devices, it can be very easy for children to get online, connect with their friends, and feel like they are a part of a community. As much as we may want our children to be able to just be children, we must also recognize that they’re entering into spaces where they can form relationships in which serious issues arise. Here are three things you should keep an eye out for:
- Increased isolation: Children may feel more isolated if they spend too much time online. Because they don’t have a lot of friends in real life. Or because they’ve formed relationships online that take away from their ability to interact with others in person.
- Depression: It’s not uncommon for people who are depressed to turn to technology as a way of escaping their feelings. So you must keep an eye out for symptoms like mood swings, irritability, or a loss of interest in things. Your child used to enjoy doing this before she started using social media platforms regularly.
- Self-harm: While it’s not common for children to be affected by self-harm, research has shown that there is a link between suicide attempts and technology use. This can be especially true if your child is using sites like Tumblr or Reddit, where users often post about depression or mental illness in an attempt to connect with others who may be going through similar issues.
If you notice that your child is posting about feelings of sadness or hopelessness. You must pay attention and talk with her about what she’s experiencing so you can get her help if necessary. The story about the suicide of Molly Russell is a warning to any of us as to what can happen.
General Tips on Parenting and Social Media
Below are some tips on how to navigate your child’s social media use. It is important that, from the outset, you talk about the responsible use of social media.
- The most effective way to guide your child is by example. If you set clear boundaries around what is acceptable online behavior, then show that you practice what you preach by not spending too much time online yourself, modeling responsible behaviors will help make sure your child can make good decisions when they need to as well.
- Be clear about what is acceptable online behavior. You must set rules for your child around their online activities. Particularly when it comes to their interactions with other people online. For example, you may want to discuss with them how much information they should share about themselves (such as their full name or address), as well as whether they should accept friend requests from people they don’t know in real life.
- Make sure you understand what your child is doing online, and be available for questions. If they’re using a computer at home, be sure that you’re nearby in case they need help with something. Or want to talk about something they’ve seen online. By being available when needed. You can help ensure that your child has someone they can turn to if they have any questions or concerns about what they see online.
- Know where your children are going online and why. If you’re not sure what your child is doing online, ask them! You may be surprised by how much they know about a topic or website that you haven’t heard of before. By knowing what sites they visit and why you can help them make better decisions about what they do on these sites as well as how much time they spend there in general.
- Be a good role model for digital citizenship when it comes to technology use at home. For example, if you need to turn off devices at night. So that everyone can have quality family time together, then make sure that happens in your household too!
Final Thoughts on My Child and Social Media.
Social media is a big part of life for people of all ages these days. It can be a powerful tool for keeping families connected and informed about their loved ones. There are a lot of things. We parents should know about our children’s use of social media even if they are young. But parents must also be careful not to overreact or get involve in their children’s online activities. Children must learn how to navigate digital spaces on their own as they grow up. So set reasonable boundaries while also making sure your child knows you are available when he or she needs you.
Some companies, like mSpy, suggest that they have software that can help you monitor and protect your child. However as our review shows they do not work as advertised.