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Social media was introduced to the world 25 years ago and now has become an integral part of many of our lives. We use it to stay connected with friends and family and keep up to date with what is happening in the world around us. As of now, there are 4.62 billion people on social media. That is just over half of the world’s population.
It is estimated that on average, each individual spends around 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media. While this may not sound like a lot, it is becoming a growing problem as social media has been linked to the growth of mental health issues. This is supported by multiple studies and while it may prove to be a challenge initially given its addictive nature, there are ways that you can help your child to manage their use.
An international baccalaureate college shared some guidance with us below on how you can teach your child to use social media responsibly.
Not everyone will agree with what you have to say, and social media is a place where anyone can share their views. This can make for controversy and cause offence. Misinformation can just as easily be spread which is why it’s important for you to remind children to think carefully about what they post online. This is especially important for those looking for new job opportunities as employers can carry out their own checks to ensure that they are hiring the right people for their jobs and can maintain their company culture.
Social media platforms not only serve as a massive distraction from work, but they aren’t good to spend too much time on as mentioned earlier. Much of what children are exposed to is fake. Images are often edited which pushes false, unattainable beauty standards and creates self-confidence and esteem issues. As a parent you can help by educating your child on this matter. Many influencers are helping to do so by leaving disclaimers and being transparent with their audience about the editing and effects that they use. If a break is what they need, screen time bans can be applied via the settings of their device.
Going back to what we touched on earlier with regards to misinformation, fact checking tools are great for distinguishing between what is true and false. Tools such as Snopes allow you to enter any statement and receive a short and sweet answer without having to carry out extensive research. You will find that their answers also come back with legitimate sources so that you can be 100% sure.