It’s almost inevitable for kids to use social media, but even just an hour online can make kids less satisfied with their lives (adults do too). Social life for teenagers today is quite complicated due to the prevalence of social media. When today’s parents were teenagers, there was no Facebook or online media where you could be permanently and publicly bullied.
Parents today worry about the future of young children and how social media will affect their lives, and social life on the Internet is something quite common today for teenage boys and girls.
Research says: Children between the ages of 10 and 15 who spend 1 hour a day on social media are less happy. This report has been published by the IZA Institute for Labor Economics and it examined the effects of being online on children – pre-teens and adolescents – in Britain from 2010 to 2014.
The study authors say that spending an hour a day chatting on social media reduces the likelihood of being completely satisfied with life in general by about 14 percentage points. In addition, they assume that cyberbullying, the increase in comparisons, showing something that is not real life, online activities … They are the possible culprits that the well-being of children is negatively affected: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
This finding is very concerning considering the time children spend online and the inevitability of social media being a part of their lives, both for better and for worse. So what do parents need to do to steer children away from unnecessary suffering caused by social media?
Tips to avoid the negative consequences of social networks
You need to be a good role model and watch the amount of time your kids spend on social media. It is important to establish rules where children do not use social media at night and much less at meal times or in the bedroom.
On the other hand, it is also appropriate to talk with children about the information that exists about the use of social media, about privacy settings, about how to discriminate the information that appears on the screen to help them understand what is appropriate about what is not.
Children may think that what they post on their profiles is something private, but clearly it is not something that only a friend sees. Information can spread incredibly quickly on social media and not everyone keeps things private, even when told to do so, so it is important that they have good levels of privacy to prevent people from making a inappropriate use of what others post.
You have to talk things
Children need clear rules for safe and responsible use, to ensure that the rules are clear you can make a kind of contract for the use of the phone and also answer all the questions that children have. Children should know that while privacy is important, you will have to be intrusive if you have any concerns about their safety.