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From sexting to being depressed to cyberbullying, social media has a fair share in the negative activities and mental health of teens. But if it’s all bad, how come students can raise their voices against injustice like high budgets? How come teens are running campaigns against cyberbullying and taking necessary steps? How do they organize school walkout day events on important issues like gun laws? It is all due to the smart use of social media.
No doubt with all its exposure, the effects of social media still depend on the way we use it. This goes the same for the kids too. If they are guided to the right path and given the right platform to raise their voices against the bad in society, it induces many positive things in their personalities. The benefits of social media are for those who know how to use it wisely. Many teens carry the opinion that despite the flaws, social media is very positive.
With cases of suicide and depression flooding these days, it might be hard to see how social media is benefitting your kid. But, you know you can’t take it away from them so why not see the positive aspect and let them adapt the good things? Such as:
Twitter, Facebook, and other large social media platforms have become the center to discuss various serious issues going around the world. It gives them exposure to what the world is doing. On these platforms, it is far easier to post one’s opinion and share thoughts than in real life. So, it takes out the side of users that was hidden and they realize that they also have a voice. So, they start making opinions and share them with confidence.
A recent study on Teens, Technology, and Friendships have proved that kids are more friendly on social media than in real life. Also, on social media, they are good at keeping relationships and connecting with good people. This might be because kids are often shy in sharing their feelings face to face, so it makes them more confident when they know that the other person is not in front of them and they can say anything.
While the frequent use of social media leads to isolation, some studies have provided evidence proving that kids in the present are more social and better in relationships than the kids in past decades. With the right use of social media, kids can feel more belonged and less alone. They say that they feel that they are not alone when they see people like them sharing similar things and lifestyles. Somehow, it gives them confidence and makes them less isolated.
The desire for self-expression is very strong in human beings, especially in teens. Digital technology gives kids the platform to express themselves as who they are without the fear of being judged. Social media platforms like Facebook even have kids sharing their creative videos and stuff, and the audience gives those kids the fame and respect they admire. Sometimes all kids want is a good platform to express themselves.
Kids need to come out of their fantasy land and see what the world is. Social media gives them exposure. They get to see what is going around in the world and how can they play a part in it. With campaigns like petitions and polls, they get to feel like they have a voice and an opinion. This is very crucial for the growth of kids. Also, they realize how good and bad things are happening around them and what could be their role in it.
With the right use of social media, it is not difficult to make your kid physically and mentally healthy. They learn a lot and adapt to good things rapidly. However, they must know their limits as well.
Now, being a parent, you must worry about the negative side of social media. We cannot ignore the fact that the negative effects of social media are not there, but at the same time, we cannot make our kids lose their touch over social media. We cannot make them leave the platforms the whole world is using. What we can do is to teach them the right use and keep an eye on them.
Threats like sexting, cyberbullying, pornography, predators, etc., are still out there despite the good things happening around and it does bother parents so much. It takes no time for kids to slip through the positive to the negative side of social media. However, there are things that parents can do to make sure their kids are on the right side.
One of the most important and effective steps is to use a parental control app. A good parental control app like SecureTeen lets you monitor your kids’ social media accounts, messages and call logs, and so much more. You can easily notice if your kid has slipped through the right track or if he is being tricked unknowingly. Parents must keep an eye on the kids to make sure they are not slipping because one wrong step can cost them a lot.
Also, parents need to guide their kids in the best way and be their role models by showing the best use of social media. Show them that social media is not bad but it should be used as a smart way to make a difference.
Parents must encourage their kids to play a positive and effective role in the good cause. They must appreciate their thoughts and opinions the way they are expressing them. This way, kids will confide in them and come to them whenever they are in trouble. Parents must make their kids trust them for a healthy relationship.