icon November 14, 2022

Ehen! We are sure this is your reaction when you are about the negative effects of social media. It does not matter if we are looking at it from the angle of children or society. What is important is that the negatives are slowly outweighing the positives on the scale. That usually means the commodity is a bad thing but with social media, it becomes a little bit tricky.

There are still important uses and these cannot be overlooked for any reason. The problem now is how we mitigate these challenges while maintaining its use. This is what we hope to achieve at the end of this conversation.

Social Media – What it Really Is

We understand that your focus is the negative effects of social media and we will get there. However, it is important to start from the known to the unknown. For us, the very first step will be to look at what it is. Well, it is really simple if you check online for what social media is. It is any website/application that allows you to create/share content while participating in social networking.

Now there are so many options to consider when you are looking at the top social media platforms today. Some of them would include Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Gmail, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.

Now we understand that our focus is on the negative effect of social media on your child but is it all that bad?

The Good Side – Positive Effects of Social Media

The truth is it is not all that bad. Whether you are looking at it in general or just for your kids, social media has some positives. This is why we said earlier that pushing to totally abolish it will be a dicey situation. Some of the positives of social media would include;

  • Spending that time online helps teach technical skills which will come in handy in the future.
  • Education has gone digital and social media allows your children to express themselves creatively. It also allows them to learn from the wealth of information there. With the networking methods there, kids have devised new methods of learning from their friends.
  • It allows your kid to stay connected to you and your friends even when you are far from each other.
  • Kids who are naturally introverts have the chance to open up thanks to social media. Hence, improving their confidence over time.
  • Through social media, a lot of children have become part of several charitable courses and campaigns.

Now we are done looking at the Positive effects of social media how about we go to the other side? This is why we are here in the first place. There are surely negative effects of social media, this cannot be denied.

Negative Effects of Social Media on Your Child

Even with the many positive effects we as parents are still scared. We have seen firsthand how bad social media can be but our kids still need it for school and other things. Here we are going to be outlining some of the negative effects of social media. We will also be considering everything from the negative effect of social media on mental health to physical behaviour. Afterwards, some solutions will be proffered but first here are some of the negative effects of social media.

negative effects of social media

1. Cyberbullying – Negative Effects of Social Media

It is impossible to start or have a conversation about the negative effects of social media without mentioning this first. In a nutshell, cyberbullying has to do with communicating embarrassing and inappropriate information with the intent to humiliate. There are so many things that cyberbullying brings to your child which include low self-esteem and fear. In some extreme cases, cyberbullying has been seen to drive kids to suicide even. This is why a solution for this should be brought to the limelight as soon as possible. One of such solutions will be controlling what your children are exposed to on these social media platforms.

This is a growing trend on a lot of social media platforms today. Although the people behind the apps are doing things to reduce it. No one can really do enough because most times these things pass off as jokes. The line between what passes as a joke and what can be considered cyberbullying is so slim which brings regulation issues. You can read more about the effects of cyberbullying here.

2. Access to Too Much Information

It is limitless and that can sometimes become one of the opposite effects of social media on your child. Information is as important as oxygen in the data and technology world we live in today. It does not even matter if you are an adult or a child. However, how much information someone gets is what determines if this information is bad or good. Even as adults, there is such a thing as too much information so imagine that from your kids.

On a platform like Twitter, you could be scrolling through your feed and find graphical content. Not all of them are censored which makes it easy for children to stumble upon them. Some of the others can see unverified information about so many things which can lead to fear and harm amongst other things.

3. Online Stalkers & Predators

Of all the negative effects of social media, this is one that scares us parents the most. This is partly because this is one that has to do with the safety of our children. Now, the internet and all her social media platforms come with one thing in common and that is accessibility. Anyone can pick up his or her smartphone and sign up for Facebook right now. There is no measure in place to check the sanity of the person before he is allowed to join.

So, the fear is that a psychopath or paedophile can pick an interest in your child. Stalk and start having unhealthy conversations with them over the internet. There are a lot of stories out there about how adults meet harm from people who follow them online. Children do not know how to mitigate what they put online and this might be harmful. School, street, address, etc. – all the information stalkers need to follow and harm them.

4. Depression & Anxiety

Another effect of social media on your child is depression and anxiety. This is more of a compounded problem; the result of some of the other problems. Kids spend time seeing a filtered version of people’s life on these social media platforms. They see their age mates doing good things and it looks like they are not good enough.

Some kids crawl up into a shell and start avoiding contact with the real world. The constant feeling of not being good enough could drive them into depression which has too many vices we can mention.

5. Reduced Concentration

Another issue that could arise from social media is reduced concentration. Even as adults, we experience this when on our phones. Going to Instagram to reply to a message or confirm something then spending one hour there when we have some other thing to do. Social media and our phones in general have been known to reduce concentration levels. This is where paperback books win the debate when they are compared with reading eBooks from your devices.

Exposing kids to social media too much especially when they are young may be harmful in the long run. If their concentration is affected at such a tender age, it might end up affecting their productivity in the future. This resonates in a slip in their grades at school and a reduction in their zeal generally.

6. Addiction – Negative Effects of Social Media

Just like any other drug out there, social media can be addictive to the people using it. Which is one of the worst phases you can get to. Those people who feel the constant need to impress online and post everything. Who seeks constant validation on the internet – that could be your child if care is not taken?

This is one of the negative effects of social media on society as it affects almost everyone. A decrease in physical activity as they spend all their time on social media could cause things like obesity. Another issue with this is that most of the kids begin to grow anti-social character traits.

7. Harmful Content

Freedom of speech is something that social media brings which is not so amazing. It is supposed to be a good thing but it ends up not being that because it is used in excess. There is a lot of unnecessary information on the internet, most of which is unhealthy for your child. Trends of things like self-harm content have been found on social media in form of videos. Things like that being glorified on the platform can push your children into trying it.

Children can be easily persuaded to do things against their will and the internet is the best place for this. We have heard of children who partook in immoral acts simply because they saw them on social media. This is why regulating what they find is very important. There are so many negative effects of social media but this scares us the most.

If you wish to learn more about the impact of social media, this is an article we suggest for further research.

The Problems Associated with Social Media

When the negative outweighs the positive then there is a problem. The problem associated with the effects of social media is why we are here. This is one if not the only reason why we are scared of how much exposure our children have to it. Some of these problems would include;

  • No regulation of information on most social media platforms. For example, on popular platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, pornographic content is not banned.
  • Platforms with regulation lack strict measures to restrict access to this information. Most applications contain sensitive media and information will only ask for a date of birth without properly verifying it.
  • There is freedom is speech which is a good thing but sometimes too much of a good thing. People can share whatever information they choose to share and most of these applications do not have access to verify them.

Silver Lining – Negative Effects of Social Media

For where there is a problem, there will always be a solution. It will be wrong for us to point out the negative effects of social media without solutions. Now as parents, there are so many things we should be doing to make sure our kids do better and learn better. The use of social media is important but how do we reduce these negative effects?

The first thing to be is a good example to your kids. You cannot tell them to stay off their phones when you are always on yours. Schedule other things into their day-to-day activities to reduce screen time be it the TV or their phones. Teach them about the dangers of sharing too much information online or offline with strangers or people in general.

Also, before even getting them a smartphone you must make sure they are ready for it. It is also important to be friends with your kids, so they are free to share things with you. that being said, there is still the issue of controlling how much information is available to your child on these social media platforms. The best solution we can think of for this are parental control apps.

Parental Control Apps – What Are They?

Parental control apps are apps that will help you monitor your child and their activities online via their devices. This includes social media profiles, texts, calls and any other mobile function. These apps have become a revolution when you are looking at monitoring and filtering information. You could do a lot from blocking pornography and phone numbers, to tracking calls and locations. You are basically going to be on top of things when it comes to your child’s device. And there is no better way to curb the negative effects of social media than this.

At Parentyn, we offer you one of the best parental control applications on the market. With the protection of your child as our number one priority, our app has all the tools that you will need. Some of the features of our application include;

  • Access to their call and SMS logs
  • Access to their browser history
  • Control of how much screen time they have
  • Detailed analysis of app usage on their phone
  • An analysis of the frequently used words by your children
  • Ability to block certain calls from their phone

With features like this and a lot more coming soon, the Parentyn app is one of the best you can find. Another thing it has going is the fact that it is one of the cheapest out there. This includes value for more as one of the selling points. So, if you are looking to reduce the negative effects of social media on your child, you should sign up today.

Currently available for Android Users

OS version 9 and above work well, overall but some brands may display certain restrictions for certain features. Fixes and upgrades will cater to these in the shortest possible time.