Is Social Networking Making Our Kids Unhealthy?
This is America. We like to place the blame on something we can control – something that doesn’t involve our own self-control, that is.
When Columbine happened, we had a moral crusade against Marilyn Manson and guns; we decried black trench coats and video games. New studies reveal that social networks are contributing to a number of problems for pre-teens and teens alike, including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of physical activity
- Inability to finish homework or concentrate
- An increase in cyber-bullying
- Increased sexual prowess
Perhaps the biggest problem is not the social networks’ existence themselves, pollsters say, but rather, the fact that there is a huge disconnect between parents and their children. While 80 percent of parents said they saw their child’s profile at least once, only 4 percent were aware that 1 in 4 teens checks their social media page more than 10 times a day. Worse yet, 22 percent of teenage girls and 18 percent of teenage boys admitted to posting nude or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves online. While 39 percent said they had posted “elicit messages,” 68 percent said the disappointment of family members would be a cause for concern.
Parents can do their best to limit inappropriate use of social networks by first having a discussion with their child. Usage should be restricted for kids under the age of 13, which coincides with federal privacy laws. Parents should explicitly state which types of pictures and messages are appropriate or inappropriate to post. They should also warn their children about social networking ads and discuss the importance of setting privacy controls. Lastly, parents should have a presence on these sites and restrict the amount of time their children spend posting if it’s getting in the way of eating, sleeping and preparing for school properly.
|Article: Jennn Fusion