Social media is an inescapable presence in our lives. It allows us to see what our friends are doing at 3am. It allows us to maintain our connection with that person we met on the plane to China. It allows us to become famous, to get noticed, or to get a job. The possibilities of social media are endless, and each day, each minute, millions of people are discovering new ways to use it.
But at what cost? Too much of one thing is never good, and children spending so much of their lives on social media is having some not-so-good side effects.
Social media is a new means of communication. But while teens and tweens become more adept at screen-chatting, scrolling, and double-tapping, they lose the communication skills they might otherwise learn if they spend their time outside, interacting with real-life people and situations. Communication is key, even in a world dominated by social media, and less and less children are learning this important skill.
Before the internet, we had books. With books, somebody, or maybe dozens of people, revised the work, cross-checked everything, and made sure it wasn’t a pile of paper-bound garbage. But with social media, you can get a jumble of words out on the internet without so much as having to think. As a result, the internet is riddled with lies, false information, and propaganda. Children are reading these and believing them as true. Studies show that people are more likely to re-circulate a lie than the truth. So be cognizant of what your child (and you!) are reading and think twice before you believe something on Facebook that says Jurassic Park is a documentary.
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