Impact of Social media
Social media has revolutionized the new age of sharing information. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & WhatsApp have become avenues for people of all age groups to consume information of all kinds. Be it, content that is entertaining, humorous, informational, or of a particular vocation, the average user is well informed on many levels. But like many things, nothing is ever perfect, along with the good comes the bad if not properly managed. These platforms are also a minefield where you can come across the wrong kind of information which can be detrimental if seen by children and might affect their way of thinking & living. So as parents it is very important to keep an eye on what your children are doing on social media, what kind of messages are being shared, & the kind of people they are following on the respective platforms because children at a very young age are very impressionable.
4 kinds of negative content circulating in social media.
Offensive memes of infamous political figures and their associations.
- Apart from all the right kind of information being circulated on social media, sometimes children can be exposed to questionable and indecent content online. Memes related to the Holocaust were doing the rounds on social media when BBC reported that Tiktok was promoting a song which was seen on the app by the name of "We are going on a trip to a place called ''Auschwitz'', its shower time. There were also videos of a giant scorpion with a swastika symbol crushing people that were referred to as jews.
- Ideally, historical references should be used so that kids can develop their knowledge about old events of great significance. Shedding light on the unfortunate incidents that took place before, should be done in a very careful and considerate manner, a manner in which our children can sympathize and also learn as to not be influenced by those in any negative way.
- Memes related to Hitler are also found on social media, albeit the intention of those is not to hurt sentiments, but we aren't quite sure how our children might receive those kinds of messages. So as a parent its very important that you keep tabs on what your children are sharing on these platforms and also whether they are indulging in the spreading of such cheap content.
Racial and homophobic remarks.
You will also come across racist remarks made by users on social media to make fun of someone or to abuse them. Monkey jokes, jokes on blacks are some of the common kinds of online abuse that people are subjected to. Demeaning people on their culture and race has become very convenient since the inception of social media, where a single message, symbol, meme has the power to insult you, based on the negative content it represents.
In order, for your child to keep away from such nonsense, strict & careful education is necessary so that they are privy to such behavior on social media. Whatsapp forward related to racism is also a trend nowadays.
Videos of Animal Abuse.
- There are some people who take sadistic pleasure by abusing or killing animals and then upload those incidents on social media platforms. Disturbing images and videos of dead animals or them being slaughtered in broad daylight are found. Such images and videos should not fall into the hands of your children. because of the sensitive and outraging nature of the content.
- Nowadays, These platforms are censoring such videos as they are only available for a short period of time after they are uploaded. So the implementation of quality control programs in these platforms has helped them detect and remove such content at the very beginning or they advise viewer discretion to the user before viewing the video.
Following the right people on social media.
- Children at a very young age are very impressionable. They might have developed a liking towards a certain individual, celebrity, or figure who is of a polarising nature or is controversial. As part of being impressionable children are very innocent and wouldn't know what kinds of information they should consume or not consume. It's very similar to hanging out with people who are on the same wavelength as you in terms of understanding, behavior, and simple social standards.
- Children might get influenced by their lifestyles, ideology and they might start following and implementing that in their own life. If the influence is coming from a good figure, celebrity then it should not be an issue because that will have a positive impact on the child.
Your child is being treated to all kinds of information on the web and social media, but if careful attention & timely guidance is given to them as to how to interpret such content, then it will help them to make the right judgment when they come across such harmful & negative content anywhere, especially social media.