20 Oct How do social networks, influence children?
Social networks have changed the way we communicate and relate to others. How do social networks, influence children? Know the risks to which they are exposed.
For many children, the use of social networks is becoming almost essential. At an increasingly young age, children are asking their parents or relatives for a mobile phone. Many of us choose to give him the mobile phone, perhaps to avoid a possible tantrum or for another matter. However, we are not realizing all the risks that its inappropriate use may entail. How do social networks, influence children?
The constant advancement of new technologies has changed the way in which children study, interact and spend their leisure time. Internet and virtual social networks, such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, among others, have begun to occupy an increasingly prominent place in the socialization process and have become (more and more) an essential element for their lives.
What Do Children See on Social Media?
In a study it was observed how the youngest children (from 5 to 8 years old) made very limited use of virtual social networks, focused, above all, on the game applications offered by the network, articulating it with the social utility it offers, while children from 9 years of age already prioritized social utility over applications.
Social media and the internet give today’s children the opportunity to become true content producers. It allows them to express themselves with their own voice, they can represent their own experiences and some even record their lives in real-time. Being the author of a blog, a profile on a social network, or a Youtuber gives them the possibility to exercise the right to participate and make themselves heard. They show themselves, become visible, and present themselves as social actors.
McQuail (2000) establishes that there are four categories of gratification that the media offer their audiences:
- Fun, since it allows one to escape pressure, the weight of problems and, therefore, it becomes an emotional escape.
- Personal relationships, through the company and social utility. Social networks allow us to communicate with each other without having to move.
- Personal identity as a professional reference, exploration of reality, and the reinforcement of values.
- Surveillance is access to information about the world.
- The Dangers of Social Media in Children
The internet and social media can easily encourage inappropriate behavior due to anonymity or the potential for misrepresentation, such as exhibitionism, aggressiveness, or deception, to name a few.
Here we will describe some of the dangers that children can be exposed to:
It is a set of strategies that an adult develops to gain the confidence of the child through the internet, acquiring control and power over the child, with the ultimate goal of abusing him sexually.
Cyber violence, or virtual violence. Children who are linked to bullying use the media as another way of exercising violence against their peers, especially from anonymity.
It is a practice that consists of sharing images of a sexual, personal, or other nature, through telephones or the Internet. The risk is that the images are published and virtualized without permission.
Cyber addiction or addictive behavior on the internet. In a pattern of behavior characterized by the loss of control over the use of the Internet. This type of behavior leads to isolation and neglect of social relationships, academic activities, recreational activities, health, and personal hygiene.
Some Tips for Supervising and Controlling Children
- Be a model in the proper use of social networks. We, adults, are the most direct example that children have.
- It decreases the time that the child can stay connected.
- Encourage family time without the need for electronic devices.
- Check the history of pages you have been browsing.
- Explain the risks that the inappropriate use of social networks can have.
- Leave electronic devices out of the room at night.
- Turn off the wifi at night.
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