Research


Kids and Social Media

In many years ago people welcomed the technology in our life and now it is very important and something we can’t live without. To the extent that people can’t go out side without their cellphone or they can’t go to their work without their laptop. Technology started to be part of us, without it we feel something wrong. In the same time, technology is a problem because it makes us both better and worse if we use it clearly (Lawler, 2005). Social media is part of technology, we can’t participate in social media’s website without using a device like cellphone or laptop. Kids are huge consumers of social media like Facebook and Twitter, and that makes parents ask is social media harmful or helpful for our kids? Each thing in the world has good and bad effect, and social media has the same thing. However, Parents are playing the important part of how children use social network by teach them what they can and can’t do online. Social media can be harmful or helpful for kids in different ways.

            In the beginning most people say that social media is worse than better for kids for many reasons. One of them is social media lead our kids to lie in the form of creating fake names for game and e-mail accounts, as a way to mask their identity and engage in safe play. Therefore, if you ask kids why they lie online about their true identities, they will respond with we don’t want some people to know who we are. In other hand, a lot of websites like Facebook and Myspace require users to be 13 or older, so children set up an account with fake age with taking permission form their parents. By that parents teach their kids Indirectly how to cheat on the website and that leads them to lie in their real life. Parents are not means to teach their kids to lie but they want their children to participate with people online (Richtel, 2011).

            Another kind of bad effect of social media, social media replaces face-to-face interaction. Social media enable us to communicate but replace face-to-face time with others and impede having real connections. Not just for kids but also for adults, we use our devise all the time while eating, walking, setting with family or friends, etc. It is absolutely wrong to use the devise all the time and especially for kids. Kids are detracted from learning to communicate in the real world. If kids communicate primarily through the screen they do not learn the exact of real life communication such as body language. Also, kids will be afraid of talking with people who don’t know and it will be hard for them to make a friendship with someone. (Turkle, 2012) Write, “I’ve learned that the little devices most of us carry around are so powerful that they change not only what we do, but also who we are.”

               Also social media could harms children’s brain. Kids are using social website all the time for texting their friend or see the news what they interest on. Derbyshire (2009) mentions that “A growing number of psychologists and neuroscientists believe social websites may be doing more harm than good” (para.7). Setting front of the screen for many hours harms children’s brain of the bright lights. However, that could train the brain to have poor attention. Parents should avoid their children from setting a log time front of the screen to not let that happen.  

               That’s not all for bad effects of social media but the most dangerous bad effect for children is online bullying. Bullying is the people who bother other people online by different ways. This is too risky for children because it has many disadvantages that might affect children life like make them depression. For instance, one of my cousins has like this experience, he posted his picture in Instagram and he got a lot of people who bother him with bad comments so he became depressed. In addition, children might feel surrounded by people who try to discourage them. Therefore, parents should make their children confident to avoid what bulling say. Also, they have to teach their children how to take what they want from what other people say about them and avoid the negative comments (DiMaria, 2012).  

               While there are risks inherent in online social networking, there are also many potential benefits. And one of them is help to build self-confidence on children. Like when children post a picture of them on Instagram or Facebook people usually give them support words and that build self-confidence on them. Also, it could be for self-entertainment so the kids who feel upset, can post what he feels on Facebook or other social network so people can encourage him. For example, when an 18-year-old recently posted on his Facebook page that he was thinking of jumping off the George Washington Bridge, which connects New York with New Jersey, Port Authority officers managed to connect with him on social media and encouraged him to get help. Also, kids can give their opinion and make their voice heard by post what they think on twitter for example every person can see it (Wallace, 2013).

               Also, social media is better for kids to keep them in touch with their family and friends. With social network like Skype and FaceTime, children can talk and see their family and friends who is away from them. Also, children can’t go outside every time they want so by using social media they can text and call their friends while they are at home (Khan, 2009). Parents will not let their children to spend their time out of their home for many different reasons so by buy a little devise for them; they can keep their children happy and in touch with their friends while they are at home.    

               Also from the positive effect, social media makes kids more relationship-oriented. Some website like Facebook send an e-mail to remind you if it is one of your friend’s birthday so kids remember friend’s birthday and greet them. They also comment on pictures, videos, and status of their friends. Therefore, they create longer-term friendships by being in touch online. However, social media is important method of communicating in schools and workplaces. When I was child, I knew about my friend’s birthday just from Facebook, it was so helpful to me to avoid my friend’s anger if I don’t know about their birthday (Younkins, 2000).

               In conclusion, we can’t live without technology; it is being part of us as the food and the water. Social media is one part of this technology and has special interest on people because people use it all the time and for different job. Some use it for watching the news, some for texting, and some for other things, but what about children are they use it for fun or to see things that not allowed for their age. And is social media good or bad for kids? Every person has his own opinion about that, and their parents decide to let them use it or not.                     

                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Derbyshire, D. (2009, February 23). Social websites harm children's brains: Chilling                       warning to parents from top neuroscientist. Mail Online. Retrieved from            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1153583/Social-websites-harm-          childrens-brains-Chilling-warning-parents-neuroscientist.html

DiMaria, L. (2012, Jan 18). Cyberbullying and Depression. About.com. Retrieved from             http://depression.about.com/od/childhood/a/cyberbullying.htm 

Khan, U. (2009, Jan 4). Parents turn to social networking sites like Facebook to keep in                 touch with children. The Telegraph. Retrieved from       http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/4107438/Parents-turn-to-social-            networking-sites-like-Facebook-to-keep-in-touch-with-children.html

Lawler, P. A. (2005). The Problem of Technology. Perspectives on Political Science 34,     3.

Richtel, M., & Helft, M. (2011, March 11). Facebook Users Who Are Under Age Raise    Concerns. New York Times. Retrieved from            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/technology/internet/12underage.html?page               wanted=all&_r=0

Turkle, S. (2012, April 21). The Flight From Conversation. New York Times. Retrieved                  from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-          conversation.html?pagewanted=all 

Wallace, K. (2013, November 22). The upside of selfies: Social media isn't all bad for                    kids. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/21/living/social-         media-positives-teens-parents/

Younkins, E. W. (2000, January). Technology, Progress, and Freedom. Retrieved from                  http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/technology-progress-and-freedom/