What is Tech? Dangers of social networks | Entertainment
On Tuesday, the US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, issued an advisory on the risks social media poses to children, tweens, and teens. The report cites several research papers and calls on parents and children to be aware of the risks.
“I thought it was a little late,” said Tatania Jordan, parenting manager at Bark, a company that makes kid-safe smartphones.
Jordan says this is a warning that should have been issued years ago because most parents and mental health experts knew that social media is often linked to serious mental health issues. Jordan says that for many families, acting after a teenager has been using a smartphone for years is also too late. But bringing attention to the problem should give parents of young children a reason to be proactive.
“For parents who haven’t yet given their kids access to social media, listen up: you don’t have to give your child access just because all of their friends have it,” Jordan said.
Bark has released the results of an in-depth review of more than 4.5 billion messages shared by young Bark phone users. Among the statistics he found are these:
● 88% of teenagers have experienced violence.
● 66% of tweens have started conversations about alcohol and drugs.
● 64% of teens have been involved in self-harm or suicide
● 82% of teens and 62% of tweens have encountered nudity or sexual content.
“You name it, kids experience it, and it’s way higher than any of us can imagine,” Jordan said.
But the Surgeon General’s report imposes on us, or the responsibility, on parents and children to avoid this type of content. The only way to do that, says Jordan, is to prevent access to the devices. Easier said than done when they and their friends already have access to Snapchat, Instagram, online video games and other platforms.
“It’s normal to be late. I’ve never heard a parent say, “I should have given my child access to XYZ sooner. Not once. On the other hand, I’ve heard far too many parents say I wish I had waited. I would have liked to wait.
Jordan, who is the mother of a 14-year-old, wants to remind parents of children and middle schoolers that giving them a phone and approving a social media account shouldn’t be a given.
“Just because social media platforms say you have to be 13 or older to use it doesn’t mean that when you’re 13, go ahead and give your kids everything. Some kids still aren’t ready to this age,” she said.
What can parents of young children do when their children say, “But all my friends have phones, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. »? Some parents have found strength in numbers by banding together to establish community rules for devices and platforms.