This past week has given me time to think about the question: is social media ruining childhood? The presenters did a great job highlighting that this tech trend is causing children to mature too quickly. In talking to teens I know about social media, one girl mentioned that social media is pushing girls to wear make up and look more adult like. Another point that was made was that social media is not providing good role models for today’s children. I agree with this statement, too many silly challenges such as the rotating corn challenge and too many silly kids that are willing to try anything for their 15 seconds of fame. These challenges make children want to be daring and take some unhealthy risks.
Photo Credit: Mike Brown via Brainzooming
I think social media is pushing kids to grow up in a world they are not emotionally ready for. I was strict with my husbands 2 girls as to what the boundaries were when it came to accessing social media. To this day his 17 year old daughter seeks approval when posting photo’s or will show us a friends photo when it is in bad taste. These are skills that we need to teach children.
I 100% agree with Danielle that social media has such an influence on childhood and many children are growing up at a very rapid rate compared to the childhood that I had. She further adds that it is important to embrace the technology, as it is not going anywhere. I think that she did a great job compiling a list of strategies for educators and parents. Sometimes we forget to setup boundaries with little ones or even the big kids too!
Kyle reflected on going back and getting rid of social media, even his colleagues thought it would limit the many problems that stem from social media. I think that moving forward and embracing the technology and social media in a respectful and responsible way is a skill that we as educators can teach children.
Raising 2 girls has taught me a thing or 2. One of the things that is happening so much, and most children do not want to talk about it is cyber bullying. Children can not get away from it as they are so connected to technology 24/7. I have seen first hand the real tears that ask.fm can cause. I believe that social media provides platforms for kids to take risks and often tmes forget about using better judgment. Just this past week in the Leader Post “Teen first to be punished under Regina’s anti-bullying bylaw”. This story comes down to a video being spread on social media of a Down Syndrome student in his underwear as he changed for phys. ed.. The boys who made and spread the video through social media were the first to be charged since the introduction of the bylaw in 2006.
I have begun to take an interest in reading comments that people post in relation to Facebook or Youtube videos. I have quickly learned that the comments should not be looked at in the classroom as anyone can write anything even on a simple you tube video for kids. All in all the internet and social media is about teaching and learning, as we as educators and parents have a duty to do the research and do our best for the children.