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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Being Influenced to purchase online. The Positive and Negative of Social Media Influencers.

Being Influenced to purchase online. The Positive and Negative of Social Media Influencers.

Photo by on Unsplash

Have you ever been influenced to purchase a product online? I’m sure most of us in this day and age have. I have always been interested in this topic. I love to learn about different fads that are going on online and to see the funny ways people will push a product. It amazes me some things people will buy that honestly look like complete scams to me. Being an influencer online or even a business we can use social media to market products that even they know aren’t good. Unfortunately, nowadays some people don’t have the same morals as maybe a few decades ago.

Positive Influences

Clootrack states “Consumers are more likely to buy when they get recommendations from a person they trust. Celebrities and popular people inspire their audience and influence their buying behavior.” This is statement is so true, especially in 2022. We rely on influencers and celebrities to help us when purchasing products. I love it when I can purchase a product and an influencer recommends and I love it. It builds trust between me and the influencer that is promoting the product.

Since 2016 I have been really into makeup. I learned how to do makeup from Youtube beauty gurus. This can be an amazing place for people to learn more about your skin type and tips and tricks on how to improve your makeup skills. Although there can be many negative impacts in the beauty world I want to focus on influencers that I have always looked up to. Her name is Samantha Ravandahl, she is a Canadian Beauty Youtuber and has been online for many years. Her whole brand is about self-confidence and self-image. She struggles with acne as do I. I have learned a lot about skincare specifically through her videos. I admire the way she reviews products and never endorses a product that she would not use herself.

Now, should you believe everything you hear from one person? You should always take everything with a grain of salt. Remembering that everyone is different and every product whether it be beauty or otherwise should always be tested by you with an open mind it might not work for you.

According to an article I found called “How social media influence 71% of consumer buying decisions” they said that “Due to the rise of online shopping and the amount of time people spend on social media, social media impacts consumer buying decisions.” Everyday influencers are pushing products and that can only be a good thing until someone is only in it for the money and not the well-being of the consumers.

Negative Influences

Does anyone recall the recent pink sauce that was going viral? This is a great example of an influencer that does not care about consumer needs. Or at least was careless enough to not put enough detail and attention into her product causing some of her consumers to get sick. A woman named Chef Pii was going viral a couple of months ago using a homemade vibrant pink sauce on any type of food. I mean any type of food tacos, burgers, fried chicken you name it. Undoubtedly this sauce went viral in no time. I mean come on bright pink sauce?

After some time had passed Chef Pii decided to sell this pink sauce to consumers. Being a small business I don’t think she knew the ins and out’s of the food industry. Unfortunately, the bottles were sent out in the middle of July with no way to preserve them. Customers were receiving exploded packages due to carelessness. Chef Pii wanted to get her product out to consumers as fast as she could. Working with food you have to be extremely careful and follow all necessary guidelines and standardization tests which she ignored.

Even after complaints, Chef Pii did not address them right away and even went after some customers online in a negative way. I’m almost certain that Chef Pii has lost the trust of a lot of people. I wouldn’t want to repurchase a bottle after receiving one.

Always remember to keep your mind open when purchasing things online. Use your best judgment before making any purchases. Do you have any tips on how to avoid false advertisements?

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Real or Fake news? All about Misinformation and Disinformation.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and wondered if what I’m reading is correct? Or have you ever tried to do something you saw online only to find out it wasn’t true? I certainly have been a victim of many kinds of misinformation online. By the end of this piece, I hope I can open your eyes to the dangers of misinformation and some of the harmful things that can come from it.

So what is misinformation vs. disinformation?

Image by SarahCulture from Pixabay

“Misinformation is false or inaccurate information. Examples include rumors, insults, and, pranks. Disinformation is deliberate and includes malicious content such as hoaxes, spear phishing, and propaganda. It spreads fear and suspicion among the population.”  Using Social Media in Community Based Protection: A Guide So what’s worse? Should you be putting misinformation online that you are not 100% fact-checked? Sometimes being innocent in a post and trying to help can do a lot of harm to someone that listens. For example, if an anti-vaxer makes a false claim and someone follows their, advice that could cause serious harm to themselves or someone they love. Even if they didn’t know what they were putting out is false it was.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

According to WE FORUM 60 seconds on the web in 2021 consist of more than 500 hours of content uploaded on YouTube. How much of that is disinformation? Remember the tide pod challenge? Some guy on Youtube decided it was a great idea to make that a trend on his channel. In return, many people followed his actions and some people even got sick from it including children. Whether he knew what he was doing or not he put incorrect information out online.

Personally working at a pet store fact-checking can be crucial to the business. I remember one time in 2015 I had posted a video of our store pet rabbit on her back after a nail trim believing she was happy. Only to find out bunnies can go into a sort of trance-like state on their back due to stress. Immediately I had comments coming in letting me know what was going on. If I had only fact-checked what was possibly going on with the rabbit I could have avoided the negative feedback.

Nowadays we have to be researching and fact-checking the information we put out there, But how do we know what is real and what is fake? You can use a fact checker like Google Fact Checker.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“Critical Thinking isn’t about doubting everything: it’s about learning how to find out what is true. Because only truth can Break the Fake.” Media Smarts (part of the break the fake campaign) I love this statement because it truly makes you realize that you need to think before believing what you see but not to doubt everything you see at first.

So I ask you what are your thoughts on misinformation. Have you been a victim of wrong information online? Also, what are other ways you can look out for misinformation online?

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How has Social Media Impacted Small Businesses?

Outside of our London Location

Hi, my name is Bailey! If you read my previous introduction you would know that I work for my dad’s pet store as the social media and marketing manager. Our store is called Southwest Pet located in London Ontario and St. Thomas Ontario! We are a family-owned and operated full-line pet store specializing mainly in reptiles since 1998. Over the years I have seen the changes that social media has had on our store. In this blog, I will be talking to you about the positive and negative impacts that I have seen in our small business as well, as some information that I have researched from other small businesses.

Three generations of Southwest Pet.
Clifford our big red Tegu giving Kisses.
Employee’s at Southwest Pet

Positive Impacts

Overall I believe social media has had a positive impact on all small businesses. There are many ways that social media can benefit your business whether it be brand awareness, sales, or using it to see what your competitors are doing you can use these tools to make your business better.

The main thing that we use our social media for is brand awareness. estimated that 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide. Those statistics speak for themselves on how important social media is for brand awareness. Facebook is a great platform to really focus on your target audience. For example, Southwest Pet’s target audience is mainly women and men between the ages of 25 and 34. We try to approach a younger audience with all of our posts to get the best reach. says according to Social Media Examiner’s seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92 percent of marketers working with small businesses (between two and 10 employees) agree or strongly agree that social media is crucial to their marketing efforts. I firmly agree with this statement based on the success we have had using social media. I made our Facebook page in 2014 and since then our sales and social presence have improved greatly. Every year Southwest Pet hosts reptile events that include reptile experts, sales, and giveaways. These events are always successful. One of the only ways we promote these events are on social media we always draw in large crowds from as far as Toronto coming to see us. Without social media, we would not be able to reach people from out of town so easily.

Negative Impacts

The biggest negative impact I have noticed personally with Southwest Pet is, not having enough employees and time to have a large social media presence. Being a small business, especially during COVID, everyone was struggling. This was a time when you needed to have a large social media presence to stay relevant and still make sales. It was also a time when a lot of people including us had to lay off employees. This made being on social media daily a struggle. We overcame it by scheduling posts each week although it was harder to keep up with comments and inbox messages.

Image by Anna from Pixabay

One thing that is huge on social media is negative comments. Being a small business negative comments can strongly affect your business. As a pet store, people can be extremely critical of the care that we give to the animals. At Southwest, we pride ourselves on proper animal care but that does not mean we do not still get negative comments. I believe commenting in a professional informative way is the best way for other people on social media to make a decision for themselves.

To summarize I believe the positives outweigh the negatives and Social media is a crucial part of being a successful small business. Do you agree with my points? I would love to hear in the comments your thoughts on the impacts that social media has had on small businesses and, any experiences you may have had that relate to it.

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