As adults there are many positives using social media, but also many negatives. We often struggle with the negatives, it is even harder for young people to navigate these things when they are exposed to them. The online world is not going away and children cannot be shielded from it. The challenge for us all is to make it as safe as possible.
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Using Social Media Well.
As adults there are many positives using social media, but also many negatives. We often struggle with the negatives, it is even harder for young people to navigate these things when they are exposed to them.
- Children face increased social problems, loneliness, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and heightened aggression as a result of excessive screen time. (Public Health England 2014)
- A very high percentage of university students are addicted to their phones. This can lead to problems with sleep, depression, anxiety and sometimes suicide. The addiction is higher than those addicted to alcohol, and drugs.
- Young people “want to feel connected” yet often it does the opposite.
- Lots of people don’t engage with what they see they just passively scroll. This leaves people disheartened and often negatively comparing their life to that of others they see on line but don’t always know.
- Many influencers are giving their opinion or being paid to promote something.
- Children will often play up to get their parents attention if they are absorbed in their phones.
Tips for digitally healthy households.
- The younger the child the more support they will need.
- Extra support and guidance may be needs at certain ages. e.g. 10-13.
- Promote fun non-technological activities.
- Stay alert for any signs of inappropriate use of devices- Who are they chatting to, what are they saying.
- Switch devices off at night and at least an hour before bed time.
- Work out rules together, then everyone needs to respect them.
- Know there are positives and negatives.
- Have regular family digital detox.
The online world is not going away and children cannot be shielded from it. The challenge and opportunity for us all is to make it as safe as possible. Help teach children to use technology well and age appropriately. Not as a passive tool to become disheartened or be unkind to others, but positively to promote good.
Remove friends or posts that result in negative feelings
Children under the age of 13 should not be using Tic Tok, Snap chat, Facebook or Instagram.
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