Students and the dislikes of social media
Social media is a big part of our lives nowadays. Almost anything we are involved with is connected to a social media network, but there are negative effects of social media. Social media has a noticeable impact on our behaviors and on our lives. It especially negatively impacts the youth, particularly the immature and the weak minded. Teenagers are more susceptible to peer-pressure and have a limited capacity for self-regulation and that is why the use of social media in children should be closely monitored and regulated by their parents to help reduce the potentially negative effects social media can have on them.
With the rise of technology teenagers are in constant exposure to all sorts of media outlets which include social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. In fact Facebook is one of the most powerful forms of media for communication today with more than a billion users. Excessive use of Facebook or any social media outlet can lead to what is called, Facebook depression. ("The Bad, the Ugly, and the Good of Children's Use of Social Media" Par.3) As stated in the article "The Bad, the Ugly, and the Good of Children's Use of Social Media," Facebook overuse among teens is significantly correlated with anxiety and many types of behaviors problems, and disorders. Some of the disorders and behavioral problems include: narcissism, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Paranoid, Passive-Aggressive disorder, and Histrionic Personality Disorder.
The overuse of social media not only causes psychiatric disorders and behaviors but it also can cause an internet addiction. Internet addiction can be described as an excessive use of the internet in which can lead to distress and can interfere with daily functioning. Adolescents who demonstrated internet addiction scored higher for depression, generalized and social anxiety, ADHD, and other maladaptive behaviors. Internet addiction has become a major problem in teens and young adults. As stated in the article Social media and kids: Some Benefits, Some Worries, "According to a Common Sense Media poll from August 2009, 22 percent of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to social media sites more than once a day." It was also stated in the article Social media and kids: Some Benefits, Some Worries, that "seventy-five percent of teens now have cell phones, and 25 percent use them for social media, 54 percent use them for texting, and 24 percent for instant messaging." Times have changed and we have a grown into a culture where it is not uncommon to have a cell phone as a teenager, in fact children as young as 7 years old have cell phones nowadays. Devices such as cell phones, tablets, iPad, and laptops provide easy access to social media outlets and make it that much easier to have an internet addiction.
The overuse of internet can also cause a distraction from the real world and internet addiction also takes time and energy away from face-to-face interactions, physical activity, academics, and family time. "The total amount of media use by youth ages 8 to 18 averages 6-plus hours a day - more than any other activity," "The amount of use has increased significantly, up from 4-plus hours in the last five years." as stated in the article Anti-social networking: How do texting and social media affect our children? The issue that now arises is in what ways the overuse of social media affects the development in children. The major problem with the overuse of internet in children is that it leaves little to no time to focus on their academics. In fact "increases in media use are associated with reduced grades; only 23 percent of light users averaged C's or worse, as compared with 47 percent of heavy users." (Anti-social networking: How do texting and social media affect our children? Par.10). Studies have found that middle school, high school, and college students who check Facebook at least once during a 15 minute study period achieved lower grades. The more time spent on social media the less time is spent on reading, studying, and school work which then produces lower grades. If you have an internet addiction it makes it hard to resist the lure of social media and can interfere with physical activity, homework and even sleep, which are all essential to being academically successful.
Cyberbullying seems to be one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the use of social media in adolescents. Cyberbullying is like bullying but its cyberbullying uses social media to harm or harass other people. Bullying has been around since way before the internet but now with the internet and the use of social media it has become a lot easier for children to push boundaries and say things that they might not normally say if they were face-to-face with the person. Cyberbullying could be in the form of purposely publishing humiliating or hurtful material about another person on the internet or it could also be someone posting rumors about another person in the hopes to instil hatred in the minds of the people who see it. It doesn't take much to harass someone online because it takes only a second to send that hurtful message or post that humiliating status. The worst part of cyberbullying is that harmful gossip can be disseminated quickly throughout the internet.
Another problem with increased media exposure is that it is associated with violent behavior and isolation. Children who watch violent shows are more likely to be more aggressive and more socially secluded and adolescent girls who use media to express their problems were found to be more depressed. Another problem is that teenage girls now measure their personal image and beauty standards based on what the media perceives is the right way to be. The sizes of actresses and supermodels influence teenage girls to believe that they have to look like them to be beautiful. The media also glorifies alcohol, drugs, sexy and violent behavior which makes it seem more appealing to teens and then makes it hard for teens to make responsible behavioral choices. As stated in the article Social Media and kids: Some Benefits, Some Worries "tweens and teens have a limited capacity for self-regulation and are susceptible to peer pressure, they are at some risk as they engage in and experiment with social media." If not monitored properly by their parents, teens can often find themselves in situations that are not age appropriate such as inappropriate internet sites, or even "sexting."
One scary thing for parents is that in social interactions they are less likely to know who their children are interacting with. Years ago before we had the internet or cell phones in order to get a hold of someone you had to either go knock on their door or they had to call on the land line so parents were much more aware of who their children were involved with. Nowadays most children have access to cell phones and the internet so parents are less likely to know who they are connecting with. Interactions through cell phones or social media happen at all hours of the day and night which makes it even harder for parents to keep track of what they are doing and who they are communicating with.
It can be frightening learning all the potentially negative things that can happen with the use of social media in children but there are ways to monitor and prevent it. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new clinical report called, "The impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents, and Families" to help address the many effects that social media use has on youth and families. "The report offers background on the latest research in this area, and recommendations on how pediatricians, parents and youth can successfully navigate this new mode of communication." (Social Media and Kids: Some Benefits, Some Worries. Par. 2) Some of the recommendations the new APA guidelines are to advise parents to talk to children and adolescents about their online use and the specific issues that today's online kids face, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and difficulty managing their time. It also advises parents to work on their participation gap in their home and the importance of supervising online activities through active participation.
Here are some ways you can help prevent the negative effects of social media on kids: First of all you if you can you should limit the presence of cell phones, laptop, and tablets in your children's bedrooms. Instead find a place in your home that is public but is still quiet enough for homework. You should also set limits on the cell phone and internet usage. If you can get products with software that allow you to monitor online usage and is able to your off at a certain hour. If necessary, force kids to play outside or do other things other than electronics. You should also make your children charge all of their electronic devices in a room other than their bedroom and don't allow them to have their electronic with them overnight. If you allow your child to have a social media network then make sure you have the password so that you can monitor everything. You should also join your child's social network and become their "friend." If you are unfamiliar with social media then you should take a class and become familiar with it so you know what to look for and if you are one of those people who are very familiar with social media make sure you lead by example and spend more family time and less time on your own social network. Make sure you talk with your kids about what is and isn't appropriate to post online, and teach them to really stop and think about what they are posting or responding to. Remind kids to be careful what they post and to not post content that could help strangers find them. Parents should also make sure to educate their children on the ways social media sites can capture personal information and how they can harm their reputation and safety by posting inappropriate or personal information. Also make sure to confront your kids about things you see that you feel are inappropriate for them or their friends.
Although there are a lot of negative things that can happen with the use of social media in children there are also some good things that come out of it. So let's take a look at some of the positive effects social media has on children and teens. First of all social media interactions can help children who are shy or have social issues and have issues communicating by enhancing communication and facilitates social interaction. It can also help teens to shape their identity. "Studies have shown that more time spent with social media is related to increase virtual empathy, meaning that expressed through technology, and real world empathy... more of both forms of empathy means more social support" (The bad, the ugly, and the good of children's use of social media) Shy or introverted children are able to overcome their biggest fears of making new relationships and practicing their social skills through the use of social media. It can also help teens to have an increased social confidence and social support. Social media allows children to stay connected with each other when their busy schedule won't give them the time to hang out with their friends. Social media can also provide better tools for teaching in ways that will engage younger children.
Social media can also help families stay connected and maybe even improve their relationships. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram provide an easy way of sharing important things in your life with your closest family and friends. With the world in a constant rush in can be hard to find time to stay connected with your family and friends so social interactions make it easier to do so.
Social media and the use of technology among children and teens can be fun, educational, and overall a positive experience. What it all comes down to is being educated on all the negative and positive effects social media can ensue. Next you need to effectively educate your children about the positive and negative effects of social media and they need to do if a problem arises. The fact of the matter is technology and social media is taking over and it is involved in almost everything we do so properly educating your children, and close monitoring is the key to avoiding the negative effects that social media can potentially have on them. Just like any other thing your child is involved with, teach them right from wrong, educate them, and most importantly be involved.
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