The society today thrives through social media. Everyone today is connected via MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram among other social media platforms. While social networking has helped many businesses realize massive sales through e-marketing, it is hard to ignore the increasing number of dangers children face when using thoe networks. Additionally, while social media have opened a reliable platform for families and old friends to stay connected, it has also created an excellent transmitter for bullies to agonize their victims.
To safeguard their kids, parents need to be aware of these dangers, which mostly go unnoticed or ignored. Below are six dangers that children are exposed to while interacting via social platforms.
Cyber-bullying and Online Tormenting
Cyber-bullying is the most common form of social media danger faced by kids. It includes any deliberating posting of false information about someone with the aim of embarrassing or hurting him or her. Unfortunately, unlike the good old days when the home was the best place to shelter from bullies, with the social media use, the victim will feel surrounded from all angles. This form of harassment is quite dangerous and can lead to the victim feeling rejected, withdrawn and sometimes can cause suicide.
This involves the use of digital gadgets and social platform such as Facebook to exchange explicit pornographic messages, pictures, and images. Sexting is a common trend among teens, and according to different surveys, at last, 20% of teens have used the social media to share their nude or half-nude photos. This is a dangerous habit because kids involved can face felony charges or suspension from school. In most cases, however, sexting only happens between couples or a small group of selected individuals.
Social Media Depression
Spending a notable amount of time surfing the social sites can easily lead to social media depression. The victim tends to isolate themselves from other people. Doing so might tempt the teen to turn to other harmful sites seeking for help. In return, the kid might find themselves involving in drug abuse or irresponsible sexual behaviors. Consequently, constant addiction to those sites might make it hard for kids to develop real life socializing skills. This addiction results in them feeling withdrawn and isolated whenever they are in a social gathering.
Encounter with Cyber Predators
The social media creates a perfect platform for cyber predators to stalk innocent kids, abuse their innocence, and lure them to involving in dangerous activities. In most cases, the child predators will use sites familiar to children such the social media and gaming platforms. Another unprotected exposure that use similar platforms to trick kids is phishing, whereby cyber criminals tempt kids to click malicious links or attachments. This time of crime can also do via text messaging in which case it is known as smishing.
Sexual Media Exposure through Gaming
Online gaming consoles are fun and educative to the youngsters. However, they also harbor hidden dangers such as violence, crude language, and sexual content. This risk is imminent considering kids can have access to game consoles, which are mature-rated. Some strangers that children interact with while playing online games may be mean or influential in a negative way.
Violation of Their Privacy
While social media allows children to share their daily lives with friends, they can also expose their private lives without realizing it. In some cases, kids tend to share their photos taking beer and even passing out. What they do not realize is that the internet does not have the delete button and one day what they are posting them will haunt them. Such images might pose a danger when a prospective spouse or future boss reacts to such posts.
Parents have the responsibility of monitoring their kids online activity to avoid the above dangers. Even though it is hard to deny them an account, you should warn them about the possible dangers associated with being active on social media platforms. Warning them is your responsibility, so do not wait for someone else to do it. Put a limit to what they post by explaining the impacts it will have in their future. Also, warn your kids against displaying their name and address online. Doing so will make it hard for strangers to locate them.