Social networks occupy an increasingly important and significant part in the life of a modern person. And gradually draw children into their orbit. At the same time, children are often more vulnerable to the negative impact of social networks and the danger to the mental (and sometimes physical) health of children and adolescents that they can carry.
According to many foreign scientists, a child's abuse of communication in social networks leads to a decrease in cognitive and social functions, learning abilities and assimilation of large amounts of information. Gradually, ordinary friends are replaced by virtual ones, the child loses the skills of “live” communication, but becomes dependent on artificial network life, it seems to him that the world revolves only around their page on social networks. This, not to mention the problems with sleep, vision, posture and being overweight, since fans of “hang out” in social networks, as a rule, do not move much.
In their attitude to the presence of a child on social networks, parents are usually divided into two main categories: those who categorically and carefully control every action of the child on the Internet, and those who simply waved their hands and are glad that their son or daughter at least “not hanging out in the street." Both of these methods are equally harmful. It has been known, that prohibitions only encourage a child or teenager to break them, and the younger generation in this sense often shows simply miracles of ingenuity in order to bypass parental controls. If a child is banned from the internet and social networks at home, he will look for ways to access the worldwide network from friends, at school, from relatives, he will create second, third, and so on accounts secretly from his parents. If you let everything take its course, then the consequences for the child and parents can be very deplorable.
The dangers, that can lie in wait for a child on social networks are quite diverse. This is shocking content that can harm a fragile psyche, and an inferiority complex, which is often born even in adults when viewing processed and staged photos on Instagram, and hounding of peers, and destructive groups. Due to age and little life experience, the child often does not know how to adequately respond to this or that negative phenomenon, he either begins to withdraw into himself, afraid to tell adults, or takes frank manipulations at face value.
The best way to prevent the negative impact of social media on your child is to be involved in his life and let him know that he can trust you no matter what. In this case, you need to act according to the saying "If you cannot prevent then join." Moreover, the internet and, in particular, social networks can be an inexhaustible source of useful information.
If the child has expressed a desire to create a profile in any of the social networks, it would be best to take part in its creation together. Help set up privacy settings, explain some of the nuances that he would be best to discuss with you, as well as elementary network security rules, such as:
- do not tell strangers your real name and surname, your address or place of study;
- do not abuse posting selfies for any reason, since it can be easy to calculate the location or residence from the background in such photographs;
- notify parents of any suspicious messages;
- provide access to your account only to verified friends and family members;
- do not share in the public domain information that can only be shared with very close friends;
- not take on faith everything that he sees on the Web.
You can come to an agreement with the child, that you will check the contents of his correspondence from time to time, at least superficially, so as not to miss the disturbing “calls”. The main thing is not to do this in secret from him. You can set up the "parental control" function, when access to resources is limited, where the child may encounter information that is not intended for him.
Like everything in this life, social networks can both benefit your child - make new friends, learn a lot of useful information, realize your creative potential - and harm. It all depends on the dosage, that is, on the number of social networks in the child's life. The fewer of them, the more consciously he uses their advantages and the clearest he understands the risks, the better for him.