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Written by Feba Maryann 

Social media needs your attention today more than ever before. Raising a generation dominated by apps like Instagram and Snapchat can get pretty intimidating.  

Social media has a lot of benefits; however, it also contains many risks that cannot be overlooked. With limited experience in the “real world”, we can’t rely on our kids to make well-informed decisions while posting something on a site, which can lead to problems. It’s vital to have a discussion with your kids to help them understand the importance of using social media with discretion.  

Here are a few ways social media can actually help your child: 

Create A Social Network 

At its core, social media has been about connecting people and strengthening relationships. Your child’s social network can increase tremendously by interacting with peers, advisors, role models as well as other experts online. This helps your kid to stay connected with family and friends. Social media helps introverts to overcome anxiety and gain confidence to explore all what the world has to offer. It helps them build familiarity with kids their age without feeling anxious. A virtual interaction helps them practice social skills with a relative distance.  

An Ideal Platform  

Social media offers your child the chance to talk about just what they learn and what they would like to learn about. They will have better chances to interact with like-minded individuals. It can serve as an aid to their countless assignments and research. 

Social media keeps them updated on the latest news which helps them understand what’s happening around the world.  

Sometimes, it can also help them voice their opinions about things they strongly believe in. It also serves as an artistic platform for your kid to share ideas, music and art. 

Social media has the ability to make your kid smarter, it improves cognitive abilities, critical thinking and memory.  

Boosts Morale 

Research has shown that video games that require social interaction encourage better behaviour and moral understanding between children. Kids learn to be empathetic, even if its on a virtual platform.  

Social media also serves as an outlet for stress, disappointment and frustration. It helps them to get temporary relief from real world problems.  

Risks of Using Social Media 

Becoming Addicted To Social Media 

All the likes, tweets, images, emails, etc. can be daunting for children. As mentioned above, children will benefit in many ways from social networking sites, particularly in the aspect of socialisation. While on the other side, a constant online presence eventually lead to sleep loss, which can cause medical and emotional complications. They might rely on their influence on social media as their identity. If your kids spend most of their time online, they are likely to ignore other duties at home or school. This often gives them limited time for the required and valuable face-to-face experiences with everyone.  

The Burden Of Similarities With Idealised Depictions Of Others 

Given the fact that there is a vast amount of material available online about health as well as other topics, there is a drawback. Many of what kids can see on social networks is a measured and idealised representation someone is attempting to portray. Most people don’t share images of themselves on social media when they’re sad or upset. You generally only see beautiful times, like, celebrating a party, or watching a movie with dozens of friends, that seems to say they have an idea, worry-free living. When kids see the idealised life somebody else, they post on social media happens to be resulting, they could perhaps feel  like losers. 

The Threat Of Impulsiveness And Online Bullying 

Inappropriate use of social networks and lack of caution in online communications can contribute to patterns of behaviour that are not typically component of living in the digital realm. Anonymity is a double-edged sword. On the one extreme, this could help kids conquer shyness and social phobia, but it could also trigger unwanted responses, such as offensive or violent online activity, and possibly contribute to online harassment. Harassment or cyberbullying share some things in common, such as violence, power disparity, and the persistence of this kind of action. 

It is important that you’re aware of your child’s social media presence. However, helicoptering over their accounts makes you lose your child’s trust. Make sure your child knows that you respect their privacy, and all you want to do is keep them safe.  

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