Recently, I was presented with the project for a research paper for college. I decided after thinking long and hard about a subject for the paper that I"ve noticed a lot of kids posting crazy things to Facebook and twitter. I thought to myself that kids seem to be growing up too quickly and wondered if that would make an appropriate subject for my research paper. Immediately I realized that a lot of this social growth comes from what the kids are seeing in the media.
To my astonishment, I found that children spend way too much time with the Internet. More and more, parents are being left to raise children alone in single parent households, causing them to take up multiple jobs having to juggle school and work, that they leave the children more and more unattended to with the new age technology. Kids are spending between 6-8 hours a day on average with social media. Environments such as these open children up to the exposure to violent and inappropriate situations. They are subject to pornography/predators, as well as adult subject content that was not so accessible in prior generations. If children stumble across content that is portrayed as morally acceptable, they soak it up like a sponge.
Conclusively, I determined that children and parents must create a healthy media environment, if they are going to be allowed access to it, granted social media is becoming a necessity in technological generations. Parents need to make sure that the children are educated on the harms that access to the internet as well as the benefits that can be received from it; staying in contact and "in the loop" with other school friends, making sure they don"t miss social events, etc. They also need to make sure that they understand that nothing ever disappears off of the Internet.
I myself am 16 years old, and I might fit your terms of "A kid on social media".
I accept your challenge.
I believe that social media has indeed become almost a necessity in modern life. I also believe that although it presents some issues (i.e. access to pornography, other nasty stuff I won't talk about here, etc), it also presents some good. As much as some might disagree, I believe it helps social skills, and aids in the finding of like-minded individuals. I myself have met many friends over Facebook, people I would have otherwise disregarded if I hadn't had access to such a site. I would like to see where this debate goes from here.
I completely agree. At the age of 16 you're becoming of the age where responsibility is being forced on you already as you prepare to enter into adulthood (18). My argument was more directed towards the 10, 11, and 12 kind of age bracket. This adolescent group of children needs to be closely monitored. I myself have also met many people on social media that I otherwise would not have known. Even people in other states! However, looking back now, I would have made a lot wiser decisions myself when I was on social media, such as being a 14 year old girl going to meet up with boys I met on social media that I had never met previously. Luckily enough, I was never in a dangerous situation with any of these times, (Thank God), but in modern days, I would never do some of the dumb things I did a few years ago. Social media is a vital aspect of children's development just as play-dates and birthday parties played a major role in my own youth. I just feel that if kids of that age are on social media, their parents need to be involved to a certain extent. Of course a child"s social status would be destroyed if they had nothing but kittens and puppies and flowers on their Facebook, with their mom posting how much she loves and worries about her child every other day. But they need to at least engage in conversations, educate the children about the harms that DO exist and let them know that these are not to be underestimated. Make sure that they at least have some type of privacy, but make sure that they (the children) don't do regrettable things. One thing people don't understand is that, yes, children will always be mean and there will always be bullies. But when everything gets preserved on the Internet and everything is video taped or recorded, all of those fowl things that happen will be replayed over and over again. No one ever thinks about the embarrassment or feelings of the person that is on the other end of the video camera or smart phone. How would you feel if one of your most embarrassing elementary school or middle school moments that only one or two people saw, got caught on camera and is now being replayed and retweeted and shared over and over and over again. What about when you make a dumb mistake (as we all do) but instead of the rumors dying down after a few days, maybe a week, people in your class are talking about it for months.