Teaching Children Healthy Media Use and the Negatives of Social Media

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
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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:

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  • 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

The Danger behind the Profile: How Social Media Assists in Kidnapping and Assaults

Social Media has been established as an important tool for businesses and learning. It is a great way to communicate, share and create online. Unfortunately, there is a lesser known side to social media that is dark and scary. I am here to spread the word and help you realize what can go on behind closed doors and help prevent it. When using social media networks, it is easy to remain anonymous or present yourself as whoever you please. This is where online predators take advantage of the system and its impressionable users. Predators use social media to disguise their identity, learn about their victims and lure them in. Pre-teen to teenage males and females are particularly vulnerable to predators involved in sexual assaults, child pornography, sex trafficking and prostitution.

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Predators online are known to present their age and identity as someone among their victims’ peer group by using fake photos and providing relevant information for them to connect with. Online offenders use social media websites to gain information about a victim’s home and school activities, daily schedule and friends. By learning the likes and habits of victims, it makes it easier to approach them and have topics to discuss. Commonly after making a connection with a victim online, predators feel comfortable enough to lure them by arranging a meet up. Before social media became a prominent figure in our lives, predators typically lured in their victims off the street or in public places which was much more risky not having established a relationship with them first. 

Although using social media networks can be beneficial in many scenarios, it is important to remain informed of the potential dangers that can come with it. Some ways to ensure the safety of your children online would be to make sure they do not overshare personal information, use proper security settings, monitor your children’s online activity and to have conversations with your children informing them of the potential dangers of social media. 

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Did you know of the risks that social media brings regarding kidnapping and assault? Will you do anything in your personal life to be more cautious and help prevent these things from happening?

Twitter- Social Media has a Dangerous side! How Social Media Assists Kidnapping bit.ly/socialmediakidnap

Facebook- The Danger Behind the Profile! How Social Media Assists in Kidnapping bit.ly/socialmediakidnap

Social Media Filters are Damaging!

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Filters on social media websites are digital overlays placed over photographs or videos to enhance or change the subject. Although filters may be a fun and creative way to spice up a photo, it can be damaging and distort our perception of reality. Many of these “beauty” filters suggest that our natural faces need to be altered to fit into today’s standard of beautiful and “perfect”. Using filters on social media such as Instagram and Snapchat can lead to insecurity and self consciousness. I want to focus on the fact that these filters are not real and that everyone needs to embrace their natural beauty! Each flaw and special part of you makes you unique and beautiful in your own way. 

Adding animal ears or a cool background can be fun and innocent but the outcome is very different when focusing on filters that change your appearance. Some things that the filters typically change are: smaller noses, bigger lips, a sharper jawline, slimmer face, more tanned skin, whiter teeth, and different eye colours. 

Many impressionable children, teens and even adults see influencers posting photos online using these filters to enhance their appearance.  This leaves people feeling inadequate and thinking that they should be doing the same thing to fit in and appear more like the influencers. I am here to tell you that you are absolutely perfect and wonderful as you are! There is no need to change your appearance to fit into society’s beauty standard. Remember that acne is normal, not everyone has a perfect tan or straight teeth and that is completely okay. 

Image by @the.narcasskin

Have you ever used a filter on a social media website? Has it left you feeling as though you are not good enough in reality? I know that I have!

Filters vs Reality. Social Media is Distorting Our Perception of Reality! https://bit.ly/3tFrpcJ

Beauty Filters are Damaging for Self Esteem! https://bit.ly/3tFrpcJ

BMI is Outdated and Inaccurate!

In today’s society, our family doctors or fitness trackers may ask us our height and weight to determine our body fat content. They use this information to calculate our BMI (Body Mass Index). That shows them what weight category we are in, for example: underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight or obese. Today I’d like to inform you about the background of BMI, why it is not an accurate way of measuring our body and why our doctors and social media should no longer be using it. 

You may see advertisements on social media that ask if you would like to calculate your BMI, then it leads you to an ad for weight loss pills. These pages are taking advantage of the population’s vulnerability, making them think they need to change their bodies to be considered “healthier” and buy their products to achieve that.

Body Mass Index was invented by a mathematician (not a physician) named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet in the 1830s. He created this formula to calculate the population’s obesity levels in order for the government to know where to provide their resources. At this time, 200 years ago, there were no calculators or electronic devices to assist in creating the formula; that is why Lambert decided to use a simple equation, (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) even if it wasn’t completely accurate. 

The reason that BMI is considered to be outdated and inaccurate is because it does not account for bone density, muscle mass, waist measurement and underlying health issues. You could compare the body of a professional athlete with a couch potato and realize that they somehow have the same BMI.

Every person’s body is different and there are many other ways of determining their health and wellness. Have you ever calculated your BMI? Have the results of that equation made you feel as though you are “unhealthy”?

twitter-icon-circle-blue-logo-preview-1Who invented BMI? Not a Doctor! 

facebook-512 BMI has been debunked! It’s outdated and inaccurate.