This is a question that many parents are seeking the answer to, as some fear that their kids are being exposed to a barrage of digital platforms, and in this article, we will look at social media platforms and how they can affect young people.
The Z Generation
Your kids were born into the technological age and they know nothing else, as smartphones and tablets are the norm for this generation, which is why our kids can easily fix an IT issue that we may have. They know more about digital technology than most of their parents, so the Internet is not a stranger; however, there are things on the web that we don’t want them looking at, so make good use of filters (research them if you don’t know) that prevent access to known unsuitable content.
We first must understand what social media is; a platform to chat, share photos, videos and general communication with other users. It is perfectly normal for your child to chat with school friends on Facebook or Twitter; indeed, they are much safer in that environment than some strange chat forum where they could be groomed by a stranger. Take, for example, a school such as St Andrews in Bangkok where the students are familiar with many digital platforms, indeed, a lot of the curriculum is delivered electronically, social media interaction is actively encouraged and for the kids, is an accepted way of keeping in touch.
Monitor your Child’s Internet Activity
The World Wide Web offers a universe of digital pages, therefore, children should be monitored when accessing the Internet. The following activities should be encouraged:
- Searching for information with Google
- Learning about software
- Communication with friends
- Playing educational games
Things they should not be doing include:
- Playing violent games
- Talking to strangers
- Joining forums
Spending too much time on any one aspect of the Internet is not good for a child, and make sure to include some healthy outdoor activities, as growing children must exercise and spend time in natural surroundings.
Looking to the Future
One thing is for certain, the pace of tech development is not slowing down, and every child should incorporate this into their life, however, parental guidance is essential, so make sure you take a sneak look at what your child is doing now and then, plus you can discuss the Internet, which will reveal any issues.
It isn’t social media we should be concerned about regarding our children, rather it should be restricted to chatting with people they know and avoiding any new online relationships. It is very easy to create an online profile that is completely false, and we’ve all heard horror grooming stories on Internet forums, but with some parental guidance, your child can reap the many benefits of digital technology.
Keeping a watchful eye on your child’s Internet activity will ensure that all is well, and if you have any tech difficulties, your son or daughter can fix it for you.