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Three reasons why social media should be banned for children



Kirjoittanut: Anni Pilvinen - tiimistä Kipinä.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Three Reasons Why Social Media Should Be Banned for Children

 

The negative impact of the widespread usage of social media on children is something no one fully understands, which is why children should not be exposed to it. Risks that social media usage poses to children include: the affects social media has on children’s health, dangers regarding children using social media and inappropriate content social media provides to children. (Devon, 2015). However, social media is not all bad. For example, social media can help children learn about current events, meet and interact with others and enhance their creativity by sharing ideas, music and art. (Ben-Joseph, 2022).  Therefore, many people are discussing this issue and trying to find a suitable solution. Nevertheless, this essay argues that social media should be banned for children because of the negative affects social media has on children’s health, dangers regarding children using social media and inappropriate content social media provides to children.

 

The first reason why social media should be banned for children is the negative effects it has on children’s health. To begin, the negative effects of social media on children’s health include headaches, back pain, neck and shoulder aches, low physical activity, decreased sleep quality and quantity, addiction, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, and impaired concentration while doing schoolwork (Santamäki & Vainio, 2021, p. 27). A second example of the risks social media has on children’s health is how children who use TikTok are developing tics and having tic-like attacks, which are brought on by stress and anxiety (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). These serious health problems are worrying and good enough reasons why children do not belong on social media. Finally, a further argument why social media should be banned for children is provided by changes in children’s daily behaviour at home that involve: increased irritability, anxiety and lack of self-esteem. (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). In summary, given the examples of the negative effects social media has on children’s health, banning social media for children should be more widely discussed.

 

Secondly, there are some dangers regarding children using social media, which is why it should be banned for children. First, one of the biggest threats is represented by predators hiding under fake social media profiles. It is easy for predators to pose as another child having the same interests as children. But if a child accepts a predator as a friend, they can easily find all the information they want to know, such as age or the real home address. (Pitic, Moisil & Bucur, 2013, p. 89-90). A second argument of the dangers of social media is child identity theft, which is increasing at a high rate in the last years. Setting up a phishing scheme is much easier when aimed at a child, especially if they have access to a credit card or if the parents use their credit card information using the children’s account, for example to buy some online game items. (Pitic, Moisil & Bucur, 2013, p. 89-90). In addition, further dangers of children using social media is provided by cyber bullying and social media harassment that represent dangers that appear mostly because there is no physical presence, making children less inhibited to say inappropriate things. (Pitic, Moisil & Bucur, 2013, p. 89-90) To sum up, given the dangers of children using social media discussed above, it would be better for children’s safety to ban social media from them.

 

Finally, social media should be banned for children because of the inappropriate content on social media. Firstly, there are increasing amounts of violence on social media. Violent or self-harming act is usually committed due to some social media challenge. Consequently, children are at risk of being exposed to harmful content or contacts that parents are not aware of and therefore are unable to regulate.  (Kärkkäinen, 2022, p. 5). A second example of inappropriate content of social media is sexting, which can be defined as “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images via cell phone, computer, or other digital devices.” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). For example, some teenagers who have engaged in sexting have been threatened or charged with felony child pornography charges in the United States. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). Finally, a further argument of the inappropriate content of social media is the influence of advertisements on buying. Many social media sites display multiple advertisements such as banner ads, behaviour ads, and demographic-based ads that influence not only the buying tendencies of children, but also their views of what is normal. Many online venues are now prohibiting ads on sites where children are participating and children are not understanding how easily advertisements can manipulate them. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). In summary, given the examples above there are many different types of inappropriate content on social media, which is why social media should be banned for children.

 

In conclusion, while there are many children using different social media platforms daily, there are many negative affects social media provides to children including, negative affects social media has on children’s health, dangers regarding children using social media and inappropriate content social media provides to children. Therefore, banning social media for children should at least be more widely discussed topic.

 

 

 

References

Ben-Joseph, E. (2022). Teaching Kids to Be Smart On Social Media. Nemours KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html

 

Children, Adolescents, and Families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804.

 

Cleveland Clinic. (3.12.2021). Effects of Social Media on Children. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/dangers-of-social-media-for-youth/

 

Devon, N. (21.12.2015). Why social media should be banned for under-16s. Tes magazine. https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/why-social-media-should-be-banned-under-16s

 

Kärkkäinen, J. (2022). Väkivalta sosiaalisessa mediassa. [Violence on social media] [Thesis, Karelia University Of Applied Sciences]. https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/784878/Karkkainen_Jonna.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

 

Pitic, A., Moisil, I & Bucur, C. (10.10.2013). The dangers of Social Media. A case study on children age 10 to 12. https://conferences.ulbsibiu.ro/mdis/2013/papers/pg88.pdf

 

Santamäki, S & Vainio I-S. (2021). Sosiaalisen median käytön vaikutus nuorten terveyteen. [The impact of social media use on young people’s health] [Thesis, Turku University Of Applied Sciences]. https://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-202105046835

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