Have you ever noticed your children are more dedicated to social media than you are? A study reveals that kids spend more than nine hours a day using social networking sites and this is immensely greater than that of parents. The social media perks for the new generation are irrefutable as it helps socializing with new people, developing self-confidence, and releasing the stress of studies. However, the downsides of social media are more distressing for parents than the pluses. With the prevalence of communication technologies and internet access, it has become easier for the scoundrels to victimize adolescence, and hard for parents to secure their children. In this post, we are discussing how social media has evolved as a threat for children and why parents need to monitor their kids’ practices on social networking platforms.
Social Media Bullying
Bullying is not something new, but it has certainly changed with the passage of time. You might have heard about school bullying, it is time to be acquainted with social media bullying that includes:
- Posting photos or videos to make fun of someone
- Posting negative comments on someone’s status, photos or videos
- Sending threatening or unwanted messages to someone
- Hacking or impersonating other social media account
If allowed to continue, the social media bullying can have more disastrous consequences than physical bullying. With the increase in bullying on online social platforms, a dramatic increase in children’s suicide has been noticed. This happens when the emotionally sensitive kids do not find any support and fail to deal with severe bullying. As well as suicide, online bullying can also cause depression, losing self-confidence, and feel isolated that can hurt studies, social skills, and well-being of the bullied.
Sexting has become something common among younger children. Sending sexually explicit messages and inappropriate photos to other individuals or groups has become a common practice on social media platforms. While boys send sensual messages to other social media friends, the girls share racy photos of themselves with their boyfriends. More than 20 percent of younger children participate in sexting, according to a nationwide survey.
Online Child Predators
The internet has emerged as the frequently used tool of online child predators to interact with children. The child predators are the adult social media users who victimize younger or underage children, especially girls, for sexual or obnoxious intentions. They first find their targets; sneak into their liking and disliking through their social media profiles, and lure them through attention, courtesy, and gifts. When the children get attached to them they sexually exploit them. If the kid attempts to discontinue contact, they emotionally blackmail or threaten them to tell their parents about their dishonorable doings.
How to Protect Kids From Social Media Dangers
The best possible way to secure your kids from the menaces of social media is to keep a close eye on their activities on social media. Fortunately, there are scores of mobile phone and computer monitoring applications that allow parents to monitor their kids’ social media use, and one worth mentioning is TheOneSpy. This application allows parents to watch out the most popular social media apps including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Hangout, Tinder and many others. You can see whatever your kid is posting on his profile, and whosoever is commenting and liking his post. It will make you aware in case a bully teases your kid or a child predator tries to lure him. Also, you can read the text messages send and received by your kid via social media accounts. The photos, videos, and other media files shared and received on your kid’s social networking account can be tracked to prevent sexting.
While the technology has amplified online sexual crimes and odds for persecutors and child predators, it has also empowered parents to stay watchful and protect their kids from cruelties of the adult world.