As a lover of technology and being a parent, I often wondered if I would let my child engage in social media at a young age. I sought others’ opinions on the subject, and I discovered that many people share strong opinions about children using social media sites.
While everyone has valid points and opinions, I finally had to settle on my own opinion. I settled in my mind that social media is actually beneficial for children. Here are some reasons why.
Stronger communication skills
You always see companies advertising new tools to help your young child develop language skills. Flash cards associated with audio recordings certainly help babies and young children discover the things that surround them in this life, but they don’t truly help their communication skills.
When children get to an age where they can read and write on a basic level, social media can help them strengthen the way they use that language. Having advanced communication skills will help children express their questions or concerns to teachers and other faculty. Kids with advanced communication skills can also help strengthen their friends’ communication skills.
Though there is nothing wrong with being an introverted person, extroverted people tend to find some things in life easier to do. Social media can help children learn to be extroverted. Outgoing people tend to make friends easier and excel in their work. Moreover, employers tend to favor people who are extroverted due to their greater ability to communicate with customers and clients.
It is not necessarily Facebook that helps children learn to be extroverted. Public forums allow people to express their opinions to strangers, who can become cyber-friends. If your child has an interest, you can find a public forum for that interest and your child can participate in conversation. Of course, you should never let your child participate in a forum unattended. Cyber-bullying is very real, and it can damage your child’s self-esteem. Additionally, most public forums will not allow children under the age of thirteen to participate without a parent’s consent.
Children who lack confidence often find it very hard to succeed in academics. Confidence helps children believe in themselves and their abilities. Interacting with others via social media can help children build up their confidence. This can be achieved through validation of their opinions and agreement in a conversation. When kids know that they opinion matters, they will be more apt to give it.
Now, there are some dangers worth mentioning. The Internet is not entirely safe, and children don’t necessarily understand the possible dangers that can occur. First, kids should not give sensitive information away, such as their name or address. Second, kids are easily enticed by those “too good to be true” offers, which can lead to email spam and even downloaded malware. Nevertheless, the Internet, particularly social media, can greatly help children during critical development stages. Just be sure to establish some basic rules for your children and always supervise their activity. The internet is in fact an organic part of growing up now.
This guest is offered by Monica Trevedi, who works for Organic Baby Products an online store.