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Social media and children: what are the risks?

Pubblication date: 12.03.20224


Nowadays the approach to the social media world is increasingly premature. If in the past children spent hoursplaying football, with dolls or with friends, today children spend a lot of time on social media already from a very low age.

 

This can become dangerous because the social world is very vast and in some cases deceptive. As adults we can recognize the right side and the wrong side of social media, unlike a child who can hardly do it given his naivety and inexperience.

 

Let’s see what the risks can be and how adults, especially parents, should move to avoid them.

 

The risks

 

One of the main problems is surely the lightness with whichsocial networks are used. Not knowing they can be riskier than I thought.

A simple unauthorised photo to a companion, friend or teacher can lead to consequences for himself, but at the same time also for others. Even if you delete them from the web, the photos circulate easily and become available to everyone. The problem would not be so easy to solve, thus risking to pay the consequences or worse to start a digital bullying.


Another aspect is that of social comparison. Through social networks there is constant competition with others. After the publication of a photo or video begins the search for 'likes' and comparison with others, to see who is most popular.. This leads to a sense of anxiety and dissatisfaction that can also push them to accomplish more dangerous things just to have more 'likes' and more approval.


We can mention the dangerous challenges like 'Blue whale', 'Blackout challenge' and 'Hanging challenge' etc. The famouschallenges of courage to become viral and popular. Often theseare very dangerous and have led to many deaths. Or again the danger of falling into the traps of the fake chat, which throughfake profiles pretend to be someone else to achieve their purpose.



How to avoid these problems

Even if we adults are the first to spend so many hours on the phone, we should set an example for the little ones. For example, parents should not be afraid to impose rules and be careful to prevent their children from getting involved in these problems.

They should ban the use of social media and apps up to a certainage group, and then introduce them into the world of social media later, but always without abusing them. The ideal would be to limit hours, talk and explain how they work, what is correct and what is wrong, suggesting more suitable types of social networks or apps also based on age.


In general it is important to supervise their coming into contactwith this world, while respecting their spaces. Inquire about the platforms and social media that the child attends but always without invading their privacy, preferring dialogue and proposing the use together.



Conclusions

In conclusion we can say that social media despite being a constant in our lives today, have their dark side. When usedwithout a certain awareness, especially at an early age, they can be risky and can lead to unpleasant situations, in some severe casesand without remedy.

It is essential to educate young people to their use, to do so with right time and with all the necessary attention. To try to push future adults to a healthy use by making them aware of the negative side that unfortunately is part of social media, helpingthem to recognize the risk and avoid it.



 

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