Social media is becoming more common for everyone to use, including children and teenagers. Although social media can be a fantastic way to connect with others, there is also a darker side to it. People typically join social media networks to stay in touch with their friends and family, share your life milestones, learn new things and consume entertainment. Some unnerving and negative things that could come from social media use would be:
- Sharing personal information online
- Connecting with a predator
- Being exposed to deceptive marketing tactics
- Online bullying
- Sleep problems
- Negative effect on school performance
The negative impact of social media is why parents should be concerned about their children using it. It would be beneficial for parents to control and monitor their usage. Media can influence how children and teens feel, learn, think, and behave, therefore, it is beneficial for parents to help their children form and practice healthy media use habits. Here are some important tips for healthy media use:
- Talk with your children and teens about online safety. This includes treating others with respect online, avoiding cyberbullying and sexting, being wary of online solicitations, and safeguarding privacy.
- Place limits on hours of media use
- Check your children’s media use for their health and safety.
- Avoid exposure to devices or screens for 1 hour before bedtime and overnight
- Discourage entertainment media while doing homework.
- Plan media-free times together, such as family dinners.
- Engage in family activities that promote wellbeing, such as sports, reading, and talking with each other.
- Use sites like Common Sense Media to help you decide if movies, TV shows, apps, and video games are age and content appropriate for your children and your family values.
Raising a child in a more digitalized world can prove to be a challenge. It is important not to shy away from these challenges and to prepare your kids for the obstacles they will face in the digital world as well as in the real one, since they are deeply intertwined. By talking to your children about the risks and pitfalls of social media and how to handle them responsibly, you can prepare them better for adulthood and protect them – as well as rest easier – since they will be more vigilant online.
Do you have any safety measures for your children’s social media usage? Let me know what you think about this topic.
Facebook- Do you have safety measures for your children’s social media usage? Here’s why you should bit.ly/healthymedia
Twitter- Negatives of Social Media and How to Build Healthy Habits Online bit.ly/healthymedia