Social media CAN be a good thing for kids

By Shannon Quinn

It isn’t often that you hear people talk about social media and children in a positive light. Cyber bullying and letting children have access to inappropriate content are huge concerns when it comes to letting children use social media. However, there are several ways that exposing children to social media can have a positive impact on them. Whether or not these reasons outweigh the negative ones is up to you.

Social media kids
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A salon.com article discusses that social media can help children create and sustain friendships, and more importantly, make them feel accepted. Gaining “friends” or “followers” on social media can really boost a child’s self esteem. Quality support and acceptance can be found in groups on social media, “whether a kid is interested in an unusual subject that isn’t considered “cool” or is grappling with sexual identity”. There is a group for pretty much everything that exists on social media, no one is ever alone in their interests.

Besides group inclusion and acceptance, social media can let children express themselves. A sheknows.com article discusses that social media sites like Tumblr are good for this.  According to Dr. Barbara Winter, a Florida psychologist with over 20 years of experience, “social media allows teens to express their individuality through stories, pictures and quotes, which can be beneficial to emotional, sexual and spiritual health”.

social media kid
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And last but not least, social media can expose children to the real world and keep them updated on important global events. This may only be intended for older children, of course. Let’s be honest. The only way a child is going to learn about anything going on in the world is through their phone or computer, not a newspaper or the news on TV. Sheltered children tend to be less opened minded. Give them a little exposure to the bad and ugly that goes on in the world!

Citations:

Knorr, C. (2017, April 16). 5 Reasons You Don’t Need to Worry About Kids and Social Media. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.salon.com/2017/04/17/5-reasons-you-dont-need-to-worry-about-kids-and-social-media/

Ramos, B. (2017, February 10). Turns out you aren’t a horrible parent for letting your kids on social media. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1072186/5-reasons-kids-should-be-allowed-to-use-social-media

 

 

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism