Social media is an internet based interface that allows an individual to interact and learn various subjects. The media has many applications like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Whatsapp, etc. They are advantageous in their own way by supplying information required and also disadvantageous when undue information is fed into the websites and browsed by children.
The reason behind the society blaming the media is that a child tends to spend most of his precious time in it. The reports of academicians reveal the truth and tell us that there needs to be much concern in this issue. The recent announcement of the Government’s ‘Data Protection Bill’, has given the public the right to force internet companies to delete unwanted posts on their sites.
Children may grow to regret their excessive exposure to media but by the time every egg is pulled out of the basket it would be too late. We are ofcourse aware the there is world of benefit in the social media. To make meticulous use of the same parents must be aware of the healthiness / unhealthiness of the information sites browsed by their kids. Recent studies have revealed startling facts on the adverse effects of the social well-being of an individual.
In a classroom situation a child who has been using the media all through the night is restless and appears tired even early in the day. He/ she refuses to pay attention or concentrate on what is taught or explained in class. Their preoccupied mind constantly tells them that there is a better world outside the classroom where they can learn something different on their own .
A paediatrician plays an unique role in educating families on the complexities of the digital world and the challenging health and social issues . They also help parents to deal with online issues of youth and reduce their anxiety. Theyguide in discussion of topics that were kept in clandestine for ages in an effective manner. In a way pediatricians can support parental effort in engaging the youth to be responsible, sensible and respectful digital citizens. Parents must be aware that 13 years is the most appropriate age for their wards to use websites with online monitoring.
Risks involved in children using social media
Using social websites become a risk as the children easily fall into problems like Cyber bullying, harassment , facebook depression, excessive texting , developing the thumb syndrome, video gaming, sharenting, sending obscene pictures, etc. The current Bluewhale game which had grabbed few lives of youngsters is just a tip of the iceberg. Experts should take immediate action and stop such games which result in ending lives of preteens. When children go online sites like Amazon , Flipcart, etc increase the buying tendencies in adolescents and influence them so much so that they unduly spend and increase parents’ anxiety.
The first and foremost risk is Cyber bullying which happens when a child uses a popular site like Facebook. It goes even to the extent of threatening and using abusive language.
Secondly, online users especially children fall a prey to aggressive behavior and they fail to think twice before passing remarks. When a child uses the internet and visits various websites they can leave an evidence in the sites they have visited which is called the digital foot print.
Thirdly posting personal information makes an individual a victim to Identification theft. Children should understand that violating rules and visiting unnecessary websites will be a big threat to their future reputations. Cyber stalking is obsessive monitoring of an individual and this ends in harassment. Pedophiles use child account to exploit them to the extent of explicit imagination.
Finally, the dangerous implications are that individuals suffer from low self esteem , mood swings, etc and ignore the importance of interpersonal skills. This is called the phase of Facebook depression.
Benefits of children using social media
One can’t afford to ignore the beneficial importance of using social media. Socialization and communication allows an individual to accomplish important tasks, develop, enhance and expose their skills. School students can complete projects and explore opportunity standards. Students can enhance their learning and writing skills in various fields like language ,maths, science, arts, creativity, etc. Schools use e-board and also blogs as learning and teaching tools.
Marketing , advertisement and health based topics provide one with a large scale of information and all round knowledge .
At the end of the day the society would cry foul to the mind bogging question, ‘Is social media a bane or a boon?’ When we weigh the pros and cons it is imperative on the part of the parents to be vigilant on their side and to protect their children from vices. When children use this SOCIAL MEDIA a gifted invention of science for information , technology and knowledge they will be in the safe hands of a prospective future filled with fun and frolic.
About the Author:
Ms. Shobhana: I have 23 years of rich teaching experience to my credit . I feel that imparting moral values to the children everyday will carve a niche in their minds to be good and disciplined children in future. Apart from mere subject teaching I feel moulding the students to face day to day challenges would help them lead a fruitful and healthy life till their end. I will strive hard to reach my goal of cultivating good students in my life.