Is social media helping or hurting our kids? Has social media become our new babysitter? Is social media ruining our kid’s social skills? Because parents are stressed with work and family relationships, they are finding it harder to have focused time with their children. Electronic devices coupled with social media, texting, and tweeting is our new nanny.
The rapid expansion of social media, smartphones, and digital devices is making a dramatic change in the character our kids in school and at home. Young children are shifting to online, using tablets and smartphones as their source of entertainment and connection to the world. “Consumer Reports reported last year that more than 7.5 million American kids under the age of 13 have joined Facebook, which technically requires users to be 13 years old to open an account,” (“Is the Internet hurting children? (n.d.). Will it be too late to reverse damages obtained through social media usage 20 years from now? Unfortunately, no one knows how media and technology will impact our children’s behavior in the future. Social media and digital devices can have a negative influence on our life and affect our relationships, communication skills, mental health, and become an addiction.
Lack of parental responsiveness as a whole can harm relationships with their children. [Research shows that 28 percent of teenagers whose parents have a mobile device perceive their parents as “addicted” to them, and that 21 percent of all teenagers wish their parents spent less time on their cell phones. Most alarmingly, perhaps, many child development experts believe that the recent rise in nonfatal injuries for children under 5 is related to parents who are riveted on their cell ...
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...reasingly concerned that screen time is robbing them of real world experiences. Nearly 23% of youth report that they feel "addicted to video games" (31% of males, 13% of females.) These are the results of a new study of 1,178 U.S. children and teens (ages 8 to 18) conducted by Harris Interactive (2007) that documents a national prevalence rate of pathological video game use.] (“Internet Addiction: What Can Parents Do” (n.d.).
Social media and digital devices influence our lives in many undesirable ways. However, if managed well, technology can improve our schools and education. For these positive outcomes to occur, we as a society must confront the challenges endemic in our 24/7 digital world. It is imperative that parent be present and take these issues seriously. Parents must address the problem, show they care, become more computer literate, and set strict rules.
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