Social Media in Kids and How does it Affect Them.

I was born in 1996. During this time Internet was just becoming a thing. There certainly wasn’t any social media like Facebook or Instagram. This got me wondering what would it be like for kids to grow up nowadays. Their faces are on social media before they even know what it is. Is it appropriate to share our kid’s information and pictures online without their permission? Should you wait until your kids are older to allow them to have social media platforms?

How does Social Media Affect Kids and Teens Development

Image by Tawny Nina Botha from Pixabay

“Social media is a big part of many teens’ lives. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey of nearly 750 13- to 17-year-olds found that 45% are online almost constantly and 97% use a social media platform, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.” – Mayo Clinic Staff. Many kids use social media from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. Doing this can cause many of them to be anti-social. According to the Mayo Clinic Staff “The risks might be related to how much social media teens use. A 2019 study of more than 6,500 12- to 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that those who spent more than three hours a day using social media might be at heightened risk for mental health problems. Another 2019 study of more than 12,000 13- to 16-year-olds in England found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens.” I know for if I spend too long online it can have a major effect on my mood at that moment. It is even hard for me to transition into a social situation from being alone on my phone after a few hours. 

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Young kids 12 years and younger seem to be online more and more these days. “While experts are just beginning to understand social media’s impact on children, one study shows that children younger than 11 years old who use Instagram and Snapchat are more likely to have problematic digital behaviors like having online-only friends and visiting sites parents would disapprove of, as well as a greater chance of taking part in online harassment.” – Clevland Clinic (Effects of Social Media on Children)

So how does this compare to adults who were not born with social media around them? In my opinion baby boomers are one of the hardest-working generations. They did not grow up using social media. While some boomers use social media. I would say that a lot of them can’t be bothered with it. Brooke Axiur and Monica Anderson from the Pew Research Center report that 65 and older (45%) use social media.

Nowadays there are amazing tools to help combat depression and anxiety in social media. With it being a big problem in our society it is nice to see that we can be open about it. As well as to talk about how to prevent these problems from happening. 

Should We Let Our Kids Use Social Media at an Early Age 

“Due to the various dangers and effects of social media, it is necessary that parents restrict their children from using social media until at least 13 years old. At that age, they may introduce those apps to their children so the process becomes more gradual and easier to monitor.” – Justin Bower at Liberty Champion While I believe that Pre-Teens and Teens should be allowed to use social media I think younger could cause much harm to developing brains.

At the moment I don’t have any children. If I were to have kids I don’t think I would let them have social media until they were at a mature age (maybe 12). Becoming a parent I can see my opinion changing seeing as I am unaware of many things kids go through. I always see people including famous people have social media for their children. Even though these accounts are usually monitored by their parents I’m sure there are a lot of dangers for young kids. There is a lot of debate online about whether it is a good idea for kids to use social media. Some articles think that you should allow your young kids to build confidence while others think the opposite. I believe that if you have spoken to your child to be open about their socials and you monitor them appropriately then your child will be safe online. Communication on how to use social media properly can have a huge effect on your kid’s social media use.

Would you let or do you let your young child on social media? Do you monitor their social media? I would love to know your opinion or the experiences you have had. 

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