Social Media’s Impact on Children
On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Representatives Blackburn and Blumenthal are gathering executives from YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat to discuss the impact of social media on children. Such hearings have been done before and the results have been mixed, so it’s important to look closely into this hearing and the data they will discuss.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the hearing, the data presented, and the potential implications of this hearing.
Background of hearing
Recent decades have seen the rise of the internet and social media, which has created new and unique ways for children to engage, interact, and voice their opinions. The use of social media has become prevalent among children worldwide and raises serious concerns regarding its impacts on them.
Research has found that children’s social media use can have positive and negative implications for their cognitive, emotional, physical, and mental development. On the one hand, it offers improved communication skills and more access to information. But, on the other hand, overuse — especially with insufficient parental guidance —exposes them to various dangers such as cyberbullying, online sexual exploitation risks, addiction risk, depression risks among other emerging issues.
Given these potential consequences of social media use by children worldwide — any lack of adequate parental control or guidance can put them at risk for hazards such as cyberbullying or online predators — it is important to understand what motivates them to often consume excessive amounts of time on these platforms. Furthermore, this information is essential to assess how effective current programs meant to moderate or mitigate usage are.
Blackburn & Blumenthal To Hold Hearing With Snapchat, TikTok & YouTube On Social Media’s Impact On Children
Social media has become a powerful force in today’s society. It has significantly impacted how we interact with each other and how communication occurs. The use of social media among children and teens is particularly prevalent, with many young people having access to some form of it from an early age. However, both positive and negative effects can be associated with its use for those of this age group.
In general, social media can have a positive influence by helping children make connections and become more aware of what is going on in their lives. For instance, it allows them to stay in touch with friends even when physical contact isn’t possible due to geographical distance or time constraints. It also provides an easy way for kids to express themselves creatively and share their interests with others.
Unfortunately, there are also potential drawbacks associated with engaging in social media activities as a child or teen. For example, research shows that extended use of certain platforms can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety if users do not receive the desired amount of attention or validation from the online community they take part in. In addition, youths are often exposed to adult content through certain mediums which can be inappropriate for their stage of development. Moreover, cyberbullying and sexting remain real concerns that exist when minors interact through these channels.
Overall, it is important for parents and guardians to ensure that their children are using social media responsibly and being mindful of the potential dangers associated with doing so otherwise. By further understanding these risks and addressing them accordingly, parents can better protect their youngsters from potential harm while still allowing them to explore the benefits these digital avenues provide.
Social Media Platforms
In light of Senator Blackburn and Blumenthal’s recent announcement about holding a hearing with Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube to address the impact of social media on children, it is important to look at how these platforms are specifically affecting young people.
This article aims to delve into the specifics of the social media platforms and how they impact children in both positive and negative ways.
Snapchat is a trendy social media platform that has become a go-to for many young users. The controversial app allows users to send photos or videos that expire within 10 seconds to friends and followers and post content to their “story” which is viewable to all followers. Many Snapchat features have been found to have a potential impact, both positive and negative, on young people’s lives.
One of the most significant advantages of Snapchat is its ability to encourage communication among friends, even if they are miles away. In addition, because images sent on the app expire, it gives users more freedom in creative self-expression without worrying about future repercussions. This can provide a space for adolescents to express themselves without meaningful judgement from others or anxiety over their content being archived forever. The disappearing nature of information also encourages open dialogue since there isn’t as high of a risk associated with posting things on the app compared to posting something on other platforms that are permanently accessible.
On the other hand, Snapchat has some notable negative consequences for younger users that parents should be aware of. For example, they need to know about possible complications like cyberbullying and sexting, which can happen when using this platform irresponsibly or engaging in risky behaviours such as sending sensual photos and content that others could deem inappropriate. Additionally, hackers pose a risk on this app just like on other social media platforms – making it particularly dangerous for kids who are inexperienced with using digital technology safely. For these reasons, emphasising safe digital use should be implemented with caution when introducing younger children to using Snapchat responsibly and effectively.
TikTok is a social media platform released in 2017 initially known as Musical.ly. Since then it has quickly become a globally popular platform with nearly 800 million users worldwide, mostly people ages 16 to 24.
Users can create and share 15-second videos of lip-syncing, comedy skits, or shares of their daily lives. Videos typically focus on entertaining or funny topics, with popular tags such as #comedy and #cute. In addition, music measures are usually present in many of the videos, creating more users’ fascination with them; some are made specifically for dancing or lip-syncing along to the music.
TikTok has increasingly become part of teens’ lives; from lip syncing stories to prank videos, this app can be said to be subconsciously contagious among youth all around the world due to its incredibly fast growth on all types of personas craving for attention, fame and quick engagement deadlines even if it means at times putting their personal information out there so easily within seconds.
Due to its potential risks posed by user’s reliance on already existing trends and potentially seeing content related to suggestive themes either in video form or related hashtags, parents must ensure close monitoring to ensure that these platforms are used responsibly while also stressing out online safety etiquette at home regarding personal profiles and data sharing within internet platforms from an early age.
YouTube is the world’s most popular video-sharing platform and a valuable tool for businesses, content creators, and everyday people. Young people, in particular, are drawn to YouTube as a source of entertainment, exploration and learning. In addition, through YouTube, they are exposed to different cultures, perspectives and ideas — both positive and negative.
YouTube can be a great resource for children to gain exposure to different worlds and cultures and engage in education-related activities such as DIY projects or science experiments. However, there is potential for harm if children come across content that does not have their best interests at heart. Parents should be aware of the content their children are viewing on YouTube. We must protect young users from inappropriate or dangerous videos.
Some common types of videos that may expose children to harm include:
- Violent videos
- Sexual content
- Exploitative/manipulative videos targeting vulnerable audiences
- Hate speech and bullying
- Fraudulent/inaccurate news reports
- Age inappropriate topics
Parents should also stay up to date with the various social media platforms their children use to ensure they stay safe online, such as setting parental controls or monitoring the amount of time they spend on each app. By providing children with guidance on using these platforms responsibly , parents can ensure their children get all the benefits without any disadvantages when accessing social media networks like YouTube.
Social media has become a prevalent part of our lives and has positively and negatively affected children. As a result, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy held a hearing on December 16 to discuss the impacts of social media on children. This hearing was led by Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
This section will focus on the positive effects of social media on children and their development.
Improved communication skills
Social media use has been linked to an improvement in communication skills, an essential component of healthy development. For example, a study by Common Sense Media of more than 5,000 8- to 12-year-olds found that kids who used social media were better able to understand the feelings and perspectives of others, compared with kids who didn’t use it. This may be due to children’s increased exposure to various global cultures through online platforms. Improved global understanding can lead to a better capacity for empathy and improved problem solving and communication skills.
Furthermore, research has shown that teens who use social media daily reported feeling more socially connected and less lonely than their non-using peers. Some experts believe this heightened sense of connectedness stems from the instant gratification kids receive when they post something online and receive multiple likes or shares in response.
Other studies have concluded that children who interact with their network of family members and friends on social media build stronger interpersonal relationships — which is important for their ability to connect with people outside the sphere of their immediate family or close acquaintances in everyday life. Additionally, connecting with other people on social media can be informative for children as they are exposed to a wide range of new ideas, beliefs, cultures or customs which can shape the development process positively by broadening horizons and increasing resiliency skills.
Increased access to resources and information
Along with providing entertainment and connecting people, social media can provide another important benefit for children: expanded access to educational resources and information. With such a host of resources available on the internet, kids can access knowledge not available to previous generations.
For instance, through social media, children can easily find reliable and balanced news sources, databases of facts and figures, tutorials in a variety of topics, interactive educational materials and activities, as well as career exploration resources and virtual study groups. With only a click or two on a computer or tablet, kids have all the tools they need to gain an education at any level.
Social media also allows kids and young adults to interact with those living in other countries they otherwise would not have the chance to meet. This country-to-country connection is beneficial on so many levels: it increases cultural understanding; allows kids to see how others their age live; also expands vocabulary; provides historical context; encourages learning about other cultures through things like language classes; enables broadening perspectives regarding current events worldwide; as well as supplies engaging ways for young people to learn about other lands in an entertaining yet educational pertinent way.
Overall, social media has given children more access than ever to learning about the world around them – information which continues proving invaluable throughout life.
Social media has been shown to have a positive impact on children. Studies suggest that social media engagement can lead to increased creativity in young people and improved cognitive skills.
Social media allows children to share their experiences with peers, collaborate on projects, and access a wealth of resources to inform their decisions. Sharing stories and ideas on social networks can also prompt children to think more critically as they weigh various perspectives.
Exposing children to new content also encourages them to explore new interests that may have otherwise gone undiscovered. Finally, engaging in thoughtful exchanges across different cultures allows children to learn about different ways of life and makes them more open-minded and tolerant towards others.
In response to the recent Blackburn & Blumenthal hearing concerning Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube’s impact on children, it is important to understand the potential negative effects of social media on kids. Social media can be a powerful tool, but it can also have a detrimental effect on children’s mental health, physical health, development, and success in school.
This article will discuss some of the most significant negative effects of social media on young people.
Cyberbullying is bullying that uses computer and internet technology to send messages or images that are intentionally hateful, threatening or hurtful. It typically involves a bully targeting a victim through email, text messages, chat rooms, social media platforms and message boards. Children who experience cyberbullying can develop feelings of fear, low self-esteem and isolation as well as physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches due to the added stress.
Some cyberbullying behaviour includes malicious name calling, spreading of false accusations, posting inappropriate pictures or information online without the victim’s consent, making fun of someone’s physical appearance or lifestyle choices, publicly embarrassing someone and manipulating people into providing sensitive information or risking their reputation. Cyberbullying can often be hard to detect because it’s done in private spaces outside the view of family and friends.
Victims are often unaware that their peers are targeting them with cyberbullying until they receive notifications from friends or family members alerting them to the behaviour. Cyberbullying can be especially harmful because it is not easily escaped – it can follow victims for days, weeks or even months if steps aren’t taken quickly to stop it.
Exposure to inappropriate content
Children who use social media are exposed to a wide range of content, some of which may be inappropriate. This includes mature, graphic, or violent content which can be accessed when experimenting with different apps and downloading content from the internet. Generally speaking, the younger the child is, the more vulnerable they are to being exposed to such material as they may be unable to differentiate between entertainment and real world situations. For example, young children can view violent video games as realistically as a real life situation instead of simply a form of entertainment. This can lead to an array of adverse effects, including anxiety, aggression or even changes in behaviour.
Hence parents or caregivers need to take necessary measures such as setting up parental controls or actively monitoring their child’s activities online to ensure that they are not being subjected to age-inappropriate material. Parents must also employ stringent usage time rules to ensure that their children’s screen time is kept at a minimum and strictly enforced when required.
Increased risk of online predators
With the advent of social media, there has been increased awareness of the dangers posed by online predators. Online predators exploit the natural curiosity of young people and use technology to target, groom and eventually meet with their victims. Unfortunately, many teens are unaware or underestimate the risks posed by online strangers and can easily become victims.
This is a major concern for parents and caregivers – according to recent statistics, one in five children between ages 10-17 have received a threatening message online. In addition, one in seven has been exposed to unwanted sexual content. This creates a dangerous situation that can have lasting psychological effects on children and teenagers who are already vulnerable due to their age.
In addition, teenagers often post personal information such as their full name, date of birth, hometown and even their address which predators can use to find them more easily. This type of information should never be shared publicly on any social media platform to reduce the risk of predator interactions. Parents should inform their children about not talking to strangers online, using caution when sending pictures or sharing personal details online so predators or cybercriminals do not target them.
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