Let the Children Have Social Media Account, but Parents Do Not Lose the Control
Sunday, 18 October 2021 - 13:35 WIB
Let the Children Have Social Media Account, but Parents Do Not Lose the Control

Tribratanews.polri.go.id - Jakarta. We know that gadgets cannot be separated from social living to do daily life, and the gadget usage itself also reached into kids. Even though some parents may have realised the effect or danger of gadgets for the kids, overuse could cause harmful effects, either for children's physical or mental health.

Besides houses and schools, social media is a place to socialise for the kids. Through social media, children could have more friends, and it seems limitless. These are what parents find when their children have social media accounts.

Looking towards its negative effect, restricting children to social media accounts is always deemed the best solution. However, social media also has a positive side: kids can learn to expand relations, insight, and ways of socialising. So, must the parents prohibit their children from having social media accounts?

1. The danger of gadget overuse for the kids
An Associate Professor of Paediatrics in Bangkok, Dr Rawat Sichangsirikarn, stated that cellphones had been a part of daily life. With gadgets, we can gather new information and communicate quickly. However, on the other side, they have dangerous side effects. It is so serious when the parents allow their children to use gadgets, including cellphone or tablets, for the long term. This could cause gadget danger for the children. Excessive screen time could result in serious risks for the children physical or mental health. Using a less safe application for kids and limitless internet access could also harm them. For example, they could access a dangerous social network or be exposed to pornography or paedophile threats.

2 How gadgets influence children development
The gadget's danger for the children could be felt when they use the gadget for too long. The gadgets may influence children's physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in many ways.

3. Physical health
Staring into smartphones and gadgets for too long could increase the risk of eye disorders such as myopia and eyestrain. Kids may experience insomnia and less focus. This could lead to an unhealthy sleep cycle because kids could feel sleepy in the afternoon and sleep less at night. Moreover, if every 15 minutes kids using the gadgets. This means they could lose 60 minutes of their sleep time. Younger kids could experience more severe speech delays along with the increase of screen time. Kids may get physical disorders such as obesity due to less physical activities, insomnia, headache, inadequate nutrition, and eye disorders

4. Mental health
Gadgets for the kids could affect their mental health, such as behavioural change and depression. They may also become aggressive and easily offended if their parents do not grant them access to cellphones or tablets. Irritability would also influence other skills, especially in self-control, thinking, and controlling emotions, although those skills are the basis of their success in the future. Kids may develop mental problems such as anxiety, loneliness, guilty feeling, self-isolation, depression, and mood swings. Expose to gadgets also may increase the risk of ADHD and autism in children.

5. General skills
Kids exposed to gadgets for a long time could lose the chance to develop other basic essential skills. For example, they do not study or play by themselves or with their friends. They also could lose their learning chance to think by themselves. This is an essential social skill for the future development
6. Not prohibiting. Parents should supervise the children.
Social media is the term for online platforms connecting to other people, media content, and forming social networks. Several popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Skype, YouTube, and TikTok.

There are also online multiplayer gaming platforms such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Clash of Clans, and The Sims, which also could be a social media room because, by playing this game, someone could connect with other players and chatting while playing. The game chatting site has become the most popular way for children and teenagers to link to other people who have the same gaming interest.

The many kinds of social media close to the kids may confuse parents and prohibit them from accessing social media. The best way parents can do this is to prepare the kids to use all-age technologies deemed necessary and fit for them. The way to do it is to foster respecting other people and reflects positive values learned in school and family.

Prohibiting or scare the kids in using social media is not a good thing to do. Prohibiting cannot prepare the kids to live in the world they are living in: the reality and online world. The negative effect that could appear is the kids using social media carelessly and riskily.

It is not wrong if the parents introduce responsible technology and social media utilisation. It is just that preparing the kids should be step-by-step in accordance with the kids' time, growth, and maturity. The usage of social media should be one of the latest things that could be accessed by the kids from all learnings introduced.

There are many strong reasons to delay kids accessing social media. But, when the time comes, and parents let the kids enter the online world, there are guidelines that parents could use to inform the kids when supervising them.

7. Tips on keeping children's security as social media users
If you want your kids to own social media accounts, you should have ways to keep your kids' security as social media users. Here are some tips for you:
• Being friends with known people
In social media, teenagers usually compete to collect followers, and they are not cool enough if they do not surpass 1,000 followers. It would be best if you reminded them to limit the followers and follow the essential users only
• Being transparent with the parents
The parents should know what their kids do on social media by enabling parents to access the teenager's account. This is the best way to control your beloved's social media account.
• Limit the communication with strangers
No need to explain your kids' background to strangers. Sometimes, unconsciously, because they used to communicate with strangers, we then unconsciously tell them our daily activities. This must be controlled and avoided. Make sure the ones knowing your kid's activity are the closest ones.
• Do not meet strangers.
There are many people introduced to each other and invited them to meet. Started from the online world and moved to the real world. Do not let your little kids meet strangers outside parental supervision.

Those are the things you can do to protect children from disturbance. This could be the way that kids use social safely. What parents' type are you? Are your kids have been allowed to have their own social media account?

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