According to Lenhart et al. (5), the research conducted by Pew Research Center (PRC) on the internet and social media use indicated that 63% American citizens between age 12 and 30 go online every day. To this group, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap chart are viewed as essential elements in their daily life. Most of the children who are between the ages of twelve and seventeen are usually members of various social media sites regardless of their sex, religious beliefs, and social status. However, the research by Pew Research Center (PRC) indicates that females use the social media more often as compared to men (Perrin 3)
The use of social media among children has caused numerous positive influences to the lives of kids. Some of the positive factors associated with the social media use among children are such as the promotion of easy friendship making. The enabling of children to learn a lot about their studies and what is happening around them, and the fact that it has allowed them to communicate with each other easily (Strasburger et al. 958). However, children use of social media also relates to various factors that may negatively affect the lives of kids. Due to this reason, I view that it is appropriate for parents to monitor their children social media use.
Individuals who are not in support of parents monitoring their children social media usage argue that their monitoring would cause kids to be more secretive since they would know that their parents would limit them from engaging in activities that they like. They also argue that the process of monitoring would negatively affect the kids' relationship with their parents since it would make them feel like their parents do not see them as mature enough to do what is right according to them (Buckingham and Willett 128). Their arguments are not factual since monitoring parental monitoring would encourage kids to share more with their parents since they know that their parents would help them make the right decisions. This would thus assist them to protect their lives and positively build their future. Parental monitoring may lead to the strengthening of children to parents bond since it would make the child feel protected and view their parents as parents who love them and are concerned about their safety.
Parental monitoring of children utilization of the social media and internet is healthy due to numerous reasons. Some of these reasons are such as monitoring would enable parents to protect their children from becoming addicted to bad vices that are associated with Internet use. The mentioned forms of addiction may be the addiction to pornography and violent acts. Most of the kids are usually lured into porn addiction from their interactions through the various social media sites and the unrestricted pornographic websites. According to Gentile et al. (3), the 1999 to 2009 research on children exposure to the media indicates that children spent more time in playing games and the social media as years passed. The social games they play through the internet and the many social media avenues are what encourage them to be violent since they make them accustomed to acts such as shooting, robbery, and murder. The violent movies advertised through the media avenues have also played a big part in encouraging them to be violent individuals.
According to Gentile et al. (481), the research on the importance of parental monitoring of children social media use conducted by American Association of Pediatrics (APP) indicated that monitoring would assist parents in protecting their children from online predators like kidnappers, stokers, murders, and rapists. The growth of social media use among children through time has led such predators to use the various social media sites to lure kids into their traps. Most of these kinds of predators usually attract children to their traps by pretending that they are good people who want to become their friends. By interacting with them, they get to learn of what the children like and what they do each and every day. The children bio highlighted on their profiles also enable them to know more about the kids who they are targeting. The information they gain allows them to earn their trust which helps them to execute their attacks.
The increase in cases of cyberbullying makes it advisable for parents to monitor their children social media use. Cyberbullying is the act of sending intimidating messages to an individual through the various forms of social media avenues (Hamm et al. 770). The intimidated in most cases usually face different emotional relating challenges especially in situations when they do not get help from people around them. Some of the emotional effects they may face are such as depression, a lowered self-esteem, anger, fear, and even suicidal thoughts. The possible effects of cyberbullying thus make it necessary for parents to monitor their children's social media use. In the case where they may notice that their child may be experiencing a form of cyber bullying, the parent would know what to do thus preventing their child from experiencing the challenges relating to cyberbullying.
The pressure of cyber bullying led one of our neighbor's daughters to attempt to kill herself through drug overdose. The girl who was in her early teens attempted suicide by ingesting nine pills. Her mother lucky found her while she was still swallowing the pills and immediately rushed her to hospital. She later confessed that she face threats and abuse from some of her classmates in school. Her case shows how parental monitoring would assist in preventing possible adverse consequences of cyber bullying that is supported by the various social media avenues. Parental monitoring may also help parents to ensure their children do not join the many occultist or gang-related groups. Most of the children who get to join these kinds of groups are usually influenced to enter the groups by peer pressure from their friends who they interact with through the social media sites.
Parental monitoring of their children social media use is paramount thus for them to ensure that their children are always safe they need to employee different monitoring methods. Some of the most effective monitory methods that I recommend parents to employ are such as the use of filtering software. This software will enable parents to know exactly what their children do on their social media sites. It also allows them to block them from accessing different sites that the parent may see as sites that will negatively influence them. The setting of ground rules, this would involve the creation of an agreement on how the child should independently use the social media site and internet. The rules may also define the possible consequences that they may face in cases where they break the set rules. Parents may also station the computer in a central location where they may easily see what their children are doing.
Buckingham, David, and Rebekah Willett. Digital generations: Children, young people, and thenew media. Routledge, 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Gentile, Douglas A. Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Gentile, Douglas A., Reimer, R. A., Nathanson, A. I., Walsh, D. A., & Eisenmann, J. C."Protective effects of parental monitoring of children's media use: a prospective study." JAMA pediatrics 168.5 (2014): 479-484. Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Hamm, Michele P., Newton, A. S., Chisholm, A., Shulhan, J., Milne, A., Sundar, P., & Hartling,L. "Prevalence and effect of cyberbullying on children and young people: a scoping review of social media studies." JAMA pediatrics 169.8 (2015): 770-777. Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Lenhart, Amanda, Smith A., & Zickuhr K.. "Social Media & Mobile Internet Use among Teens and young adults. Millennials." Pew internet & American life project (2010). Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Perrin, Andrew. "Social media usage." Pew Research Center (2015). Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Strasburger, Victor C., Hogan, M. J., Mulligan, D. A., Ameenuddin, N., Christakis, D. A., Cross,C., & Moreno, M. A.. "Children, adolescents, and the media." Pediatrics 132.5 (2013):958-961. Web. 20 Apr. 2017
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