The Good and Bad influence of Social Media

In the current digital age, social media has become a huge part of our daily lives. In fact, some of our daily activities have been linked or are dependent on social media. We use social media for personal and business purposes. We use it to communicate and stay in touch with friends and relatives all around the world. We use it to transact and do business online even when we are miles apart. In a way, social media has changed our lives and made it a lot easier.


The group of people who is arguably the most affected by this social media rise is the young children. In the past, children will go outdoors to play and socialize. Now, they stay at home to play online games or chat with their friends on social media.


The introduction of social media into our society has also changed the way we raise our children. Children who grow up in this digital age are different from children who grew up playing outdoors. Growing up with social media has both its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some reasons why social media can be both a benefit and a threat to children.


Positive Effects of Social Media


  • A medium to socialize

Social media has become an avenue for children to connect and socialize with their friends. Through social media, they can expand their network by meeting new friends online and keeping in touch and building a stronger relationship with their current ones.


  • Learn new skills

There is a wide range of learning content available online. From the simplest “how to’s” and general knowledge to technical information, there is nothing that cannot be found on the Internet. The digital age has made it easier for children to research on things they do not know. This helps them in their studies and in enhancing their personal knowledge. Platforms like Youtube provide content that can help your child learn things that they do not learn in school.


  • An avenue to express themselves

Social media provides a place for young people to express themselves. The way they customize their social media accounts into something that reflects their personality. It also provides a platform for them to showcase their skills and talents to the public. So many popular artists and talents nowadays are first discovered through social media.


  • Exposure to current events

It is often a difficult task to get children to read the newspaper or even watch the news. They perceive these things as boring and they would rather read comics or watch cartoons. Nowadays, social media readily provides bite-sized information on current events and is able to reach a wider audience. It helps children to be more aware of what is happening in the community and around the world.


Negative Effects of Social Media


  • Social media addiction

Social media is very addicting. Many children spend most of their hours scrolling through the content on the Internet. This addiction creates a detachment from reality and may even severely hinders the child’s day-to-day routine.


  • Lesser physical interaction with peers

Instead of physically bonding and catching up with friends and family, young people are instead more focused on their phones during social gatherings. They miss out on the opportunity to socialize because they are too attached to social media.


  • Seeking self-validation through social media

Youngsters are obsessed with the ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ they gain from their friends or followers. This causes a psychological effect known as self-validation. It develops a need to always look good in everything that they post online because they think that the number of ‘likes’ they receive is correspondent to their own self-worth.


  • Cyberbullying and exposure to violent content

As much as it provides entertainment and joy to most of us, social media has also been a source of negativity for some. Cyberbullying is easier to engage in due to the anonymity involved. Moreover, constant exposure to violent content can result in the child being desensitized to such content in the future.



Regulating your child’s use of social media


As mentioned above, social media has a lot of benefits. However, too much of anything is never good. In order to keep things balanced and to enjoy the perks of social media, we should learn how to regulate the use of it. For parents, you should always keep an eye on their online activities to prevent them from viewing violent or obscene content. It is also good to remind them of the difference between social media and the real world and that they should not believe everything they see online. Limiting their use of social media will help to prevent them from being overly dependent on it.