Social media is a scary beast when it comes to your child inevitably using it. With social media comes access to a wealth of information – some good and some bad. At the end of the day, your kids are more likely than not to use social media. In fact, even though the age to join Facebook is 13, research has shown that 59% of children under the age of 10 have joined social media platforms. But can social media be a good thing for a child’s development? Today we will be looking into how social media can help a child’s growth.
It Can Be a Confidence Booster
When I was a kid, I was painfully shy. As a personal anecdote, I can verify that social media had made me much less shy as I grew up. I first joined Facebook when I was 13 years old. Facebook was still pretty new at the time (this was in 2006), and while I was not technically a ‘child’ I still feel like my social skills had benefitted from the early inclusion of social media in my life.
I always hear older people say ‘Kids have no social skills anymore, everything is done behind the keyboard!’ and while I understand why they think this, I have to respectfully disagree. Before social media, I was painfully shy and had no self-confidence. This made it so that I didn’t have many friends in school, and other than my select group of close friends I generally kept to myself.
When Facebook came along this all changed. Soon I was communicating with people from the comfort of my own home, liking people’s pictures and getting into poke wars. Eventually, this new found confidence found its way into the real world. Soon, I was having lunch with my friends that I was communicating with over social media, and felt genuinely comfortable with myself. I’d go as far as saying some of my greatest friendships were formed because of social media.
It Can Help Children Learn
Where do you get your news from? If you’re under the age of 30, it’s very likely that you get the majority of your news through your social media newsfeed. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn make it easy for you to access a wealth of new information – something that can be very beneficial to your child’s learning path.
Let’s say your child is interested in video games. You can use their social media accounts to subscribe them to articles regarding video game design, coding, computer science, etc. This can allow them to keep up to date on the things they are interested in all while educating them and benefitting their learning processes.
It’s A Part of Life
Lastly, whether you like it or not, social media is now a part of everyday life. No matter what your views and opinions are of social media, your child is going to use it. It’s up to the parent to make sure that they teach their children to use social media in a safe and responsible manner.
While social media can be beneficial for children, it’s still highly recommended that the parents keep an eye on their children’s social media profiles. Make sure that they aren’t talking to strangers, and are not viewing content that is inappropriate for their age range.