Social media is oftentimes associated with addiction and not encouraged by parents until their children reach a certain age. In today’s age of viral reels, trending posts, hashtags and algorithms, the social media industry is thriving. Five years ago we could never imagine Instagram or Facebook as a full time career option, but today many people have taken up the role of social media ‘influencers’ and their primary income is dependent on these platforms.
Although in the recent past, social media has played a huge role in growing small businesses, connecting with people and providing a platform for content creators, the question remains; is social media good for your child?
There is no denying that there have been previous instances where social media has proved to be an unsafe space for children. Whether it is fake profiles, cults or harmful challenges like the blue whale challenge, etc, the internet has a dark side to it. Often, children are too naive to identify a fake profile or unsafe spaces and end up as victims of cyberbullying, may have their personal data misused, or even exposed to graphic content.
On the other hand, most social media platforms are now becoming more aware of these issues and have precautions in place to make their platform more child friendly. For example, Instagram now has warnings before opening sensitive or graphic images that may be unsuitable for children. It also has policies in place to report and block fake accounts as well as specific guidelines for users under the age of 18. To deal with the problem of addiction, one can also set a time limit for social media apps so that children do not overuse them.
One may argue that social media does affect a child’s mental health as it can be distracting from their daily study routine. But platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Youtube can in fact, can be very beneficial to your child’s learning experience. Let’s explore 5 reasons why social media is good for your child-
- Keeps them Connected – This is the main objective of most social media platforms; to keep in touch with your friends and to connect with people who you can relate to. For children, it is a great way to learn more about their role model or their interests. For example, a child whose favourite subject is history, has the opportunity to follow various museums from all over the world on instagram and learn more about them. A student who is weak at mathematics or science can follow study hack pages where they simplify difficult concepts and present them in the form of 15-30 second reels. In this manner, children can stay connected with trending topics as well as learn from their social media.
- Keeps them Informed – News is always quick-paced and ever changing. Even T.V channels cannot keep up with the live updates on social media. Major news agencies are slowly switching over to Twitter and Instagram to give its audience and followers the latest headlines. This can be extremely beneficial for children who wish to stay updated on current affairs around the world. It is fast, easy to read and presented in an appealing manner that makes it simple for children to understand. Although this is favourable, children must be educated on fake news and how to identify whether the source is genuine or not. They must be encouraged to consume content and read their daily news updates only from verified sources on social media platforms.
- Makes them Critical thinkers– Instagram influencers don’t just post about make-up and fashion. Content creation is so much more than that and goes beyond the conventional categories of fashion, lifestyle, travel, etc. There are many creators who specialise in making educational content for children, educating the public on different subjects that may have not been given much importance in school as well as provide useful information on global trending issues. For instance, an Indian couple Abhi and Neeyu, create short videos discussing all topics Indian ranging from politics to movies. These videos are child friendly and encourage the viewer to think about news that we read everyday, interpret it and form our own opinions about certain issues. Similarly, many other pages on twitter and Instagram encourage students to get more involved in the country’s affairs and improve their critical thinking skills.
- Makes them more aware of their surroundings and society– Social media gives us an insight into how people across the world live their lives. It provides us information beyond the textbooks and gives us access to first hand information from people belonging to different communities. Textbooks may have a line or two about a particular community or country but with the help of social media, children can discover so much about their culture, identity and traditions followed all over the world.
- Helps them in building community and finding themselves- Every student has a different school experience and it is not uncommon sometimes for a child to feel left out or different from their friends. Social media exposes children to a variety of people in similar age groups where they can if not interact, at least follow and relate to their content. Children may feel a little less lonely knowing that there are people similar to them and their way of thinking.
Considering all these points, it is safe to say that social media can be a wonderful learning platform for your children!
Schools like New Horizon Public School (NHPS) – one among the top schools in Bangalore encourages alternate methods of learning, critical thinking and educates children on the safe use of various platforms. New Horizon Public School Bangalore puts their best efforts in creating a healthy lifestyle for every student that steps into the school. The top 10 schools in Bangalore and Bangalore schools are making choices that help students discover their true potential and work towards it every day!
If you are a concerned parent looking up ‘schools near me’ then this is a call for you to fill in that ICSE admission form and give your child quality education in one of the best ICSE schools in Bangalore.