Social media refers to any application or website that allows users to participate in social networking and enables them to create and share information. As known by now, such websites include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, GooglePlus and of course, blogs and v-blogs.
This article discusses the importance of filtering information for children who surf the web and engage in social media interactions. Of course, effects can be both positive and negative, and that is the reason why we have to take action. “It is better to prevent than to treat”, says an old quote.
Social Media Statistics
The following are some of the global social media statistics that relate to kids.
The average age that a child starts consuming online media is eight years old. There are about more than six million Facebook users that are under the age of ten even though the minimum age for Facebook user is thirteen years.
As a product originally designed for college students, we can’t help but wonder why a child age 8+ be allowed to sign up on a platform designed for “adults”? To add more, many parents create accounts for their children, in some cases children being below the age of 8.
Positive Effects of Social Media to Kids’ Education
But let’s not get too alarmed and have a look at the positive effects of social media…
Competence in the Digital Age
Spending time online allows children to acquire technical and social skills that enables them to fit in the modern society. They are also motivated to learn from one another about the modern trends in the growing technology. No harm comes from being social, right? Except for…
Harmful Effects of Social Media To Your Child’s Education
According to Child Support Agencies, there are at least 7 major harmful effects that social media might have over your child’s school and personal life. There include:
- Intelligence Factor Drop Down
According to a study by Oxford University, social networking damages kids’ intelligence factor. This damage is permanent and irrevocable. Such a damage will lower the ability of a child to learn new ideas.
- Addiction Increase
Frequent checking of updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other social media apps stimulates the addiction oriented parts of the brain. This addiction lowers the ability of the child to fully engage in other education related activities such as reading, concentrating in class-work and doing assignments.
- Attention Decrease
While participating in social networking sites, no concentration skills are required. This trains the brain to develop a poor attention span leading to low performance in school work. The usage of multiple apps in the same time also increases the multi-tasking behavior, which can lead to induced stress and anxiety.
- Poor Communication Skills
Social networking communication deters the child from learning to communicate in the real world. Reports from teachers say that social networking lowers the child’s comprehension levels. If children of young age communicate more often on the screens than face to face, they fail to learn the subtleties of real life communication such as voice tone, body language and so on. Such effects will downgrade their performance in various subjects such as literature and other disciplines that require powerful communication skills.
- More Self-Centered Children
Social networking sites give kids personal pages that are about themselves only. This might lead to some children thinking that everything revolves around them, resulting in the development of emotional problems in the future. The outcome: a child unable to empathize with the rest of the world, which might lead to poor social and school work performance.
- Facebook Depression
After spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, some children become moody and stressed especially when they notice that great things are happening to their age mates and nothing good is happening in their lives. Kids who experience this kind of depression are usually very weak in social interactions which can contribute to poor performance in school and personal life.
- Worse School Writing Skills
Since there are no spelling and grammar rules in social media, kids become used to grammar and spelling errors, typos etc. Many children are therefore unable to distinguish between school writing and social media writing. Some teachers do claim that grammatical and spelling mistakes have got their way at a very high rate to school students’ writing.
We advise all parents to take action and be more considerate towards their children’s online behavior, as this might lead to serious problems in the future.
This article was created with the help of UK Child Support Agency. You can reach them through their CSA phone number: 0843 455 0070.
Image source: Novak Djokovic Foundation