Dangers Of Social Media For Youth

There comes a time in every parent’s journey when certain inevitable conversations arise with their children. Think the “birds and bees” chat or the revelation about the elusive tooth fairy. They’re conversations that simply can’t be avoided. In the year 2022, another unavoidable discussion has joined the ranks: the “social media talk.”

Undoubtedly, as your child grows older, the desire to engage with social media will surface. As their friends dive into the digital realm, it’s only natural that your child would want to partake in the fun. And let’s be honest, social media can indeed be enjoyable. Instagram provides a fantastic avenue for your child to explore their interests, while TikTok can serve as an inspiring platform for showcasing their talents, whatever they may be. Additionally, children often perceive social media as a means to stay connected with their friends’ lives, particularly if they can’t hang out every day.

However, these positives merely scratch the surface because social media also carries substantial potential dangers if you and your child are unprepared. The impact of social media on children is considerable. Hence, we’ve compiled some essential tips to assist you in introducing your child to the world of social media. Continue reading to discover more!

Familiarize Yourself and Your Children with the Risks

So, what precisely are the risks associated with social media for young individuals? If you’re already on social media platforms yourself, you’re likely aware of prevalent issues such as bullying, body shaming, offensive language, and sexual content. You might also know that child predators exploit social media to target kids, and it’s alarming how swiftly such a connection can form. Studies indicate that this bond can be established in as little as 8 minutes.

One of the most challenging aspects of allowing kids on social media is shielding them from online strangers, as it’s impossible to discern which online acquaintance might be a potential threat. On the flip side, peers they know in real life can also pose a risk, with cyberbullying being a significant concern in the online world.

So, what can parents do? Firstly, educate yourself! Understand the pros and cons of social media’s impact on children. Secondly, educate your child! Acknowledging potential dangers is half the battle for many parents. If you and your child can establish trust for open communication about these issues, you’ll be well ahead in navigating digital parenting.

Explore Different Social Media Platforms

Now, for practicalities: how can parents educate themselves, especially if they’re not actively using these platforms? One approach is a reliable Google search. Numerous resources provide comprehensive information about each platform, and guess what? Pinardin is one such resource! Our blog covers apps, games, and crucial topics like mental health and internet trends. By reading this, you’ve already tapped into a valuable source of information about social media.

However, a foolproof method to truly comprehend the potential dangers of social media for young individuals and the inner workings of the platforms is to download the apps and create an account. While it might seem like a substantial effort (let’s face it, what parent has ample free time to explore random social media sites?), it could be worth it. Familiarizing yourself with the app can offer clarity when your kids have questions or run into issues later on. Another bonus is that, once you’ve decided they can have social media, you can follow their account to keep an eye on their posts and interactions.

After your research, you should have a sense of which platforms you’re comfortable with your child using and which ones raise concerns. Now, it’s time to discuss it all with your child.

Establish a Tech Contract

A fantastic way to communicate clearly with your child and establish healthy boundaries is through a tech contract. Sit down with your child and outline the expectations that come with their access to social media. Here are some helpful suggestions:

-Platforms they can use freely -Platforms they can use with restrictions -Platforms they cannot use at all -Hours allocated for each platform -Features that are permissible and off-limits -Types of content they may view and/or share -Guidelines for handling friends, likes, followers, etc. -Private message guidelines -For more examples and even a printable tech contract to get you started, check out this blog post for additional guidance.

Actively Monitor Your Child’s Social Media Activity

Regrettably, the work doesn’t conclude after the research and tech contract. Once your child is on social media, it’s crucial to stay informed about any harmful or suspicious content appearing on their feed. This is where Pinardin comes in! Pinardin can monitor your child’s social media accounts and text messages, alerting you to issues such as cyberbullying, predatory comments, and more. It also provides insight into your child’s digital world, enabling you to understand them better. Begin your free trial today!