Honestly speaking if children are on social media and spend their time on it efficiently i.e. say 30 minutes to 1 hour a day it should be fine. But if this time further increases to 2 to 5 hours than I think that is not good. It's a simple logic - an excess of anything is harmful - if children are on social media spending whole day long on it than its quite obvious its going to affect them in a number of ways and some of them I'm outlining it as follows:-
- Facilitates laziness - all day long on the mobile and internet could mean the children are not going out for fitness activities and this could lead to being lazy and further gaining those extra kilos. This could also cause a problem in eyesight because of the rays emitted by cell phones.
- Reduces family closeness - being on social media most of the time kids tend to forget about what's happening in the family and often forget important dates i.e. birthday of parent and close relatives. At times they get so engaged on social media that they are not willing to go out with family for an outing or family dinner or a function that needs to be attended.
- Causes distraction - the kids are so busy on the social media that they and their friends start comparing themselves with each other, wondering who has more Facebook friends or Twitter followers. As a result what really ends up happening is that the children begin to talk less and end up relying on text for a conversation.
- Feel disconnected when having a face-face communication - children when on social media most of the time - what normally tends to happen that you are talking to them and it may seem that they are listening but ideally they are not as they are busy in their social media world. This has really become a big concern nowadays amongst the kids wherein - they don't value the face to face communication due to being very busy on social media.
There are positive aspects as well which I'm not going to get into many details. Some of them are like:- enhance knowledge as to what is going around in the world, great networking platform, fun if used in limits and many more. But it drills down to using social media to an extent where it doesn't start affecting your daily life and doesn't interfere with your family matters. Will end on a side note - ALL is good if done in limits.
I do not think we should restrict children. Actually, if we suppress them, then they will find ways to join these media. So, it is better to give them a level of freedom but at the same time they should be under adult supervision because social media does have a lot of content which is not good for the growing minds. Then there are anti social elements who try to take advantage of young ones and mislead them and even try to lure them away from their comfort zone.
I am a parent who allowed her son to join social media but was always there to supervise and give suggestions. My son is now a college student and I don't think there has been any harm done but the exposure has made him tech savvy and confident. So, it depends on where we lead our children. I had signed him up on deviantart and other such sites which actually helped him a lot,
Try to make sure that the children are guided properly and always make sure you are aware of who their friends are on such media and who is trying to make friendship etc. Basically, do a background check from time to time and also decide how many hours they should spend online.
There are so many negative influence in social media . Allowing a child access to social media or even the internet without any guide or monitoring is very risky to the child. You can't really control the type of information that your kids are accessing or the type of people that they are contacting when you allow them to access the internet or social media without any sort of control or restrictions.
I've seen and heard stories of teens that were wrongly influenced and some taken advantage of because of the internet and social media. So you have to monitor them and who they converse with since we can't cut them off the social media or internet. But the child have to have come of age and understand happenings around him/her and be able to make decisions for himself if such access to the internet or social media should be granted to them
The bottom line of everything I've said is that, you should keep a close watch on them if you must allow them access to either the internet or social media. If you won't have the time to monitor them, then you have to deny them such access until they have come of age
This is a more a judgement call of what age you feel is appropriate for your child to engage in social networking. I accept that it's a part of life now, and it's pretty well embedded into everyday life, that being said, I know my children will want to use social media, and I don't have a problem with this, but I also feel there is a time and a place for it.
My oldest child is 8, and he doesn't use social media, nor has he even expressed an interest to. I don't see the need for him to use it either. The internet already seems to have enough of a negative effect on his attention span, so I don't see any positive influence coming from added networking.
Really, during a child's early development, I think there should be a well balanced mixture of learning, as well as playing. There is no reason why children can't go outside to play with their friends while their young.
What age would be good? I don't know honestly. I personally hope I can keep my kids off social media until their at least teen ager's, and even if I allow them to use it in their teens, there will certainly be limitations. School comes first!
I think it depends on several factors.
Fisrt factor for me will be the age, better to have age restrictions on social media sites. Just like Facebook that only allows those who are 13+ to be their members. also these kids/teenagers should have supervision or properly monitored by their parents or guardians.
There are several cases of crimes already involving teens as victims through social media sites.
Another factor for me is the maturity like if he can use a social media site without abusing it such as spending too much time on it and sharing too much information on the social site that could compromise his safety already.