In the last few years, social media has become increasingly popular, especially among kids and teens. They spend most of their time on social media, browsing feeds, discovering new people, making new friends, and communicating with them.
A recent survey has reported that 85% of teens between the age of 13 and 17 use YouTube, 72% of them use Instagram whereas 69% of them use Snapchat. They do use Facebook as well but the other social media apps have seemed to overshadow this platform. Other stats revealed that 95% of teens own a smartphone and 45% of them stay consistently online.
There is no doubt that social media use improves your kid’s connectivity and opens more doors for awareness, education, and entertainment, but, at the same time, the dangers of social media can also lead them to damaging consequences. Parents can turn to WhatsApp spy apps for Android and iPhone or any other parental and monitoring app to keep a check on their kid’s online activity but a healthy discussion about internet safety also plays a pivotal role.
Similar to other compulsive behaviors, social media dangers can also lead kids to develop a psychological addiction. Another major downside of using too much social media is that it can make your kids experience cyberbullying on the internet, which is one of the rising online dangers for kids at the moment. In fact, almost every other teen has experienced cyberbullying on social media. Let’s discuss social media dangers in detail.
Dangers of Social Media for Kids and Teens
In almost every country, social media has become one of the most popular methods of communication and entertainment. While social media has helped people connect and communicate with friends and extended family members and users from all across the world, it has also become a host to several harmful online dangers including cyberbullying, pornography, sexting, and online predating.
Let’s start with cyberbullying. This is one of the most severe social media dangers for young users. Kids and teens are mostly affected by bullying on the internet because it is easier for bullies to target them outside of school hours. There was a time when bullying used to happen only in the school backyards and classrooms. Now, it takes place on different online platforms, thanks to the easy access to the internet and social media apps.
Besides cyberbullying, online predating is another major social media danger for your kids and teens. As most social media apps are free and open to the public, any random person can create an account and reach out to your kids anonymously. They can stalk them, hoard their photos and videos, get access to their mobile numbers and even home addresses. Online predators can lure innocent kids on the internet and make them meet somewhere outside.
Social media addiction is another danger that you must be aware of. Social media addiction causes kids and teens to compulsively use social media for extended hours. When kids develop social media addiction, it can become slightly difficult for them to halt or cut down their social media use. Becoming addicted to social media can interfere with their daily life, affect their school grades, and even impact their social life.
When kids spend too much time on social media apps, they start isolating themselves from the rest of the world, including friends and family members. This can deeply impact their social, communication as well as interpersonal skills.
Among the other top dangers of social media is becoming involved in sexting. Online relationships can lead teens to have romantic conversations with their partners that often end up in sexting. Sexting involves the exchange of sexually explicit instant messages between two people. Often when something goes wrong in a relationship, the other person can end up exposing those intimate photos and videos of their ex-partner and humiliate them in front of the public. This is how revenge porn germinates and that’s why teens are not recommended to exchange intimate photos or videos with anyone online.
Most teens also obsess about what others are posting on their social media accounts. This extreme obsession can cause them to have feelings of envy, depression, and anxiety. A monitoring app can help you know how to spy on someone, especially your teen’s online activities, but first, you would need to observe the signs of social media addiction in your teen’s behavior.
Here are some of the common signs of social media addiction:
- When your teen spends the majority of their time using social media
- When your teen feels restless or anxious when they aren’t using social media
- When your teen neglects other responsibilities including school homework in order to spend more time on social media
- When your teen becomes upset when they can’t access social media due to some problem
How to Limit Your Teen’s Social Media Use
Do you want to prevent your kid from using too much social media? Do you want them to focus on other activities as well besides always thinking about and using social media? The only way is to somehow reduce their social media use.
When you realize that your kid is slightly becoming addicted to social media use, it is important to look for ways to limit their social media use. If you feel that your kid has begun spending much of their time on social media apps, you can try setting time limits on their internet use with the help of the Mobistealth monitoring app or simply delete those apps from their smartphone. However, we wouldn’t recommend going for the second option. The best thing would be setting time limits on their social media use.
Excessive use of social media can also lead to a psychological addiction. When your kid shows signs of social media addiction, you need to give them early treatment. Just like an addiction to a substance is harmful, addiction to social media is also equally dangerous to their mental health and overall wellbeing.
Start detecting signs of social media addiction in the beginning and do not delay in providing early treatment to your kids. This is the only way to curb social media addiction.