According to the NCBI, over 56% of children have some sort of social media presence. This, unfortunately, means that this percentage of children is also prone to facing some kind of danger on social media. As parents, you need to look out for your children to ensure their safety.
How Is Social Media Harmful for Kids?
While social media helps your children stay connected with their friends and gives them a creative outlet, it also exposes them to several virtual threats. Children on social media are prone to:
Any content present online is at risk of facing criticism, which can escalate to hate and bullying.
- Access To Explicit Content
Social media is full of nudity and violence for everyone to see, including children.
Children may be naive enough to put personal information online, putting them at risk of being stalked.
- Mental Disorders
Social media can induce complexes, body dysmorphia, and depression in children suffering from low self-esteem.
Social Media Dangers: How to Talk with Your Child?
As much as you want to, you can’t keep your children from using social media forever. Instead, try talking to them about the danger it entails and how they can be more careful with their social media usage.
Here are some things to remember:
- Set an age limit for when they’re allowed to use social media. They should be mature enough to understand its dangers and safeguard their privacy.
- Be as direct as possible and lay out the ground realities of how damaging social media can be if not used correctly. Tell them about stalkers and scammers online.
- Teach them how to keep their account private and the kind of information they shouldn’t be posting online: phone number, address, etc.
- Tell them how they shouldn’t be posting any personal or compromising content online, as it can always end up with the wrong audience.
- Lastly, warn them against excessive social media usage.
How to Protect Your Child on Social Media?
Fortunately, with parental control options present on smart devices, you can have a certain level of control over your child’s virtual activities. You can use them to limit screen time, control in-app purchases, restrict certain content, and lock their privacy settings.
Alternatively, you can use monitoring apps like mSpy that allow you to remotely track your child’s social media activities. This app has WhatsApp spy app features that enable you to read kids’ messages that can contain dangerous meanings. You can access their chats and the content they’re posting, monitor their calls, and get notified if they type certain words. mSpy is legal to use with children under 18 and is discreet enough for your child to not notice.
Your children having access to social media is inevitable, but their becoming victims of its malice is avoidable. Warning them early on and taking precautionary steps to safeguard their privacy can help them enjoy the perks of social media while being safe from its threats.