Today’s developing digital world affects children together with their parents. It it even better to say that it affects children rather than parents. Especially social media is right in the middle of our lives.
What is ? Any web site can be described as a social media which provides social communication and interaction among people and enable them to share various things. We can give examples of social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, World of Warcaft, Wikipedia, Youtube and many more.
Use of social media web sites of children is the most time-consuming activities today. According to a research of TURKSTAT in 2013, 60.5% of the children used computers, 50.8% of them used the internet, 24.3% used mobile phones and 45.6% of them used internet almost every day. We can say that use of internet for children is increased more today. However, the tendency to use the internet has increased in terms of using social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vine and Instagram instead of obtaining information and researching.
As this virtual world grows and grows and charms our children, it will bring negative things as well as positive things. Social media can provide the child with quick access to up-to-date information, can benefit the child with different ideas and experiences and can facilitate the information exchange with friends. However, on the other side, such issues as the disclousure of private life in the social media may be a violation of the child’s privacy or may be objectionable for security. In addition, contents that addesses information pollution, violence and sexuality can lead to negative mental and spiritual development of the child. It even sometimes cause to school failure and loss of energy in children who we cannot get out of the computer. The most importantly, our children may become social media addict but anti-social as individuals.
It can be argued that which are more, the positive aspects or the negative aspects of social media? The real issue is the fact that we cannot keep children away from the rapidly changing internet world. If we completely forbid social media for our children, it may create a sense of deprivation and cause the child to fight with the parent. It should not be forgotten that forbiding things will attract more attention. In this case, intead of completely forbidding social media, it will be the best solution to create a usage field that children will be kept under control.
First of all, parents need to be informed about the child’s interests, needs and orientations and should always be in touch with the child about the changes in the child. The time spent on the internet and social media networks should be monitored and restricted. It is necessary to explain appropriately to the child what can be shared and what cannot be shared. You should even be a member of the social network used by your child and check what is shared and what is not shared. In addition, it should be checked periodically to see who the children are communicating on social media networks and whether they are trusted. Primary school students should also be allowed to use social media on their parents’ accounts if possible.
In addition to these things, if the family is not competent on these issues, these controls should be done by getting help from close relatives.