Should Parents Monitor Social Media of Their Teens?
Years have passed in this debate of whether parents and school authorities should monitor social media of kids or not. Between invading their privacy and protecting them from the possible dangers, parents are quite confused about this. Parents often share their concerns that they want to protect their kids as they are not mature enough to understand the use of social media, but at the same time, they are worried that monitoring them might push them away.
So, should parents monitor social media of their kids or not?
A research conducted by UNICEF reported that not all social media is bad. It largely depends on the time you are spending there and the activities you have got yourself indulged into. They believe that limited time on social media is good for the kids. Digital technology is proving to be beneficial for children’s growth and social relationships. They can learn a lot of things with the right use of social media.
Social media allows them to interact with new people, make friends, take part in healthy conversations, be informed of what is happening around, and express their views. Kids who are shy and less confident find it helpful to express their emotions on social media as it gives them the platform where nobody is judging them.
However, too much screen time is surely dangerous for the kids. It can damage their mental health as well as physical health. An average teen spends about nine hours a day on the screen which is a big part of a day. According to several types of research, only two hours of screen time a day can severely affect the mental health of a teen leading to anxiety and depression. Teens are more likely to fall into depression because of the stuff they see on social media and how they interpret it.
It is suggested that kids should be exposed to the use of social media for only about 1 hour a day. The other time of their day should be filled with face-to-face time with friends, other activities, regular chores, studies, and family. With this routine, kids can be happier and have better academic results. If parents want to achieve this stage, they must start by communicating with them.
Should Parents Monitor Social Media of Teens?
Many parents differ in this opinion about whether they should keep an eye on their kids’ online activities or not. But those who don’t do this are mostly unaware of what their kids are doing over the internet. They think their kids can learn on their own and use social media the smart way. But is that possible?
You can’t just hand them anything without guidance. Can you give them a car and ask them to learn to drive by themselves? Not. They are in grave danger of driving it the wrong way and causing an accident. The same is the case with social media. It is also dangerous for them if they don’t know how to use it the right way. There are several things on social media that they might not see coming. Such as:
The internet is the number one platform for online predators. Especially social media is their favorite place where there are innocent kids who are sharing about their lives and being vulnerable. These predators grab their attention, play nice with them, and then make them do inappropriate things.
Social media is all fun until it is not. Several cases have been reported so far where the kids are harassed and humiliated by their friends or strangers. Cyberbullying includes using rumors, gossips, inappropriate pictures, videos, and stuff to humiliate the other person. It can all start in a school’s classroom and then it goes far beyond the limits. The kids have even reportedly tried to commit suicide due to the embarrassment they face on social media.
What is more amusing on social media than making new relationships? It gives them the biggest platform to interact with new people and make new friends. This can be taken to the next level where they indulge themselves in fake relationships that sound so real to them. The biggest practice of kids nowadays in these relationships is sexting. It includes sending nude photos, sexual content, and related stuff to each other to enhance the relationship. This content can later be used by the other person to blackmail.
This is another danger that kids often don’t see coming. Kids share too much information on social media that makes them prone to identity theft. Any stranger can extract the information from their account, pretend to be like them, or use that information against them. This way the child won’t even know what is happening to them.
How Should Parents Monitor Social Media of Their Teens?
By knowing all the dangers roaming around social media, it is very clear that there is a dire need to monitor kids’ accounts. For that purpose, there are several apps in the market being introduced in the market for parental control. These apps allow the parents to monitor their kids’ social media accounts and know the threats that might be roaming around there.
SecureTeen is one of the best parental control apps out there that allow parents to monitor their kid's text, calls, their social media accounts, and much more. The threats that they might not see coming can be seen by the parents through this app. Also, it allows the parents to manage kids’ screen time and fix some of the rules. These features make the parents apply some discipline in the house.
Also, in addition to the use of parental control app, parents must communicate well with the kids about the possible dangers of social media. They must get them involved in the conversation to earn their trust and to make sure they feel like a part of it. Kids don’t like to be told what to do, instead, they like to be involved in the decisions of their lives. The more you involve them, the more you will be able to earn their trust and protect them