Nowadays, almost every person in the Europe can use or is using social media. It’s a place where we can do various things ,for example to communicate with friends or to read the news. However, there are many accounts showing inappropriate content, for example violence or porn, which shouldn’t have been seen by juveniles. But firstly let me show you some statistics about social media usage by the age in the UK.
From the age 3 to 4, 21% of the kids use social media and 24% of them have their own account. From age 5 to 7, 33% use and 30% have own account. Age 8-11, 64% use and 60% have an account. In age between 12-15, 91% of the teenagers use social media and 89% of them have an account. Between 16-17 almost everyone (97%) use social media and 94% of them have their own account.
And what does it mean? These percentages consist of huge number of younglings who are using social media and being exposed to its impact and consequences.
Mainly, children use social media to communicate with their friends, to watch cartoons or to follow their favourite influencers/celebrities. And that’s a good thing. Teenagers feel more socialized, confident and popular. However, there are also a few negative aspects of surfing on the Internet in such a young age.
Spending a lot of hours in front of the screen, preferring to stay at home than to go out with friends are the most crucial problems. Also high screen time can lead to addiction, anxiety and depression. From apps like Tiktok children could start to use inappropriate language and apps like Instagram or Pinterest (by seeing perfect, sometimes photoshoped, bodies) can contribute to decreasing young people’s self-worth.
Recently, I’ve read an article in which it is said about the death of 14 years old girl named Molly Russel. She has committed suicide due to negative content available on social media. After this incident the UK coroner have started to implying the idea of separate social media websites for children and adults and that got me to think how can we prevent children from harm in the Internet.
However, I disagree with the British coroner. Usually children want to be similar to their parents so they’re not gonna use sites for kids but like their parents, sites for adults. And it’s parent’s business to control their kids and watch the young ones’ behaviour. App developer can only help to improve the parental control system. Also the administration in apps like Tiktok, Facebook, etc. should do their job more efficiently ,if we’re talking about inappropriate content, by paying more attention to the rulebook.
In summery, I think that we should give children the possibility of having access to social media but as parents’ obligation to kids, they need their protection. But how about you? Do you have other idea how we could prevent such a bad things like with ‘Russell’ case to happen? Let me know in the comments;)
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