It would not be incorrect to narrate social media as a dual-faceted technology. While it provides a gateway to communicate with the people across the world, it also carries several risks for the teenagers exposing them to bullies and predators. The unsupervised use of the Internet-connected mobile phones can negatively influence kids’ physical, mental and psychological health. This article discusses the potential dangers of social media and the ways to protect kids from the threats prevailing in the online world.
Cyber-bullying is the most common online danger at the time. More than 13 percent of teens admitted being threatened or humiliated by someone on social media through direct messages. The online bullying is a form of traditional face-to-face bullying but it is more dangerous in some cases. The anonymity and omnipresence of the online bully can put the victim under unceasing pressure, depression and anxiety.
Suicidal and Violent Behavior
Social media is nurturing suicidal behavior among teens. The violent self-harm games are getting popular on various social networking platforms. You might have heard about the dangerous Blue Whale game which took several lives encouraging youngsters to crave their bodies with the razor and jumping from heights.
Online Child Predation
The child online predators use social media sites to collect information about their target. For example, the platforms like Facebook help them know the name, location, contact number and email address of the victim. Also, it provides detail of liking, disliking, habits and routines of the target. The predators use this information to inspire and trap the target for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The self-deleted messaging apps such as SnapChat and Telegram are encouraging teen boys and girls to exchange objectionable text messages, photos and videos. The stuff you transmit via SnapChat gets automatically deleted seconds after being viewed. This makes the sender feel safe to sext via these social media apps.
Majority of the content accessible on Instagram and other photo-sharing app is adult-oriented. These social media apps are forcing teen boys and girls to get exposed to objectionable stuff over the internet.
There is no concept of privacy in the online world. Whatever you post on the internet remains there forever. Even the social media applications offering self-deleted messages cannot protect their users’ privacy. The messages you exchange via these apps can be stored and distributed with the help of screenshots. Though the message sender gets the notification if the receiver captures a screenshot of the message, it cannot prevent the latter from doing this.
How to deal with Social Media Dangers
Parents are responsible to protect their kids from the menaces of the online world. Have frequent discussions with your children and educate them about the secure and responsible use of the social networking platforms. Talk to them about the child predators and the ways they use to trap adolescents. Discussions can help a lot in strengthening the parent-kid relationship. Also, it makes it convenient for the kids to share their problems and experiences with parents regarding the social media.
Use Privacy Settings
Every social media app offers some sort of privacy settings. Make sure your kids know and use these settings. For example, you can make your social media profiles private to prevent unknown people from watching your posts. Similarly, you can block messaging and friend requests from unknown social media users. You can learn about the privacy settings of the social media apps putting your queries on the Google.
Use Parental Control App
There are a few mobile phone monitoring and parental control apps intended for parents to supervise their kids’ social media activities. Once you install the cell phone spy app on the Android or iPhone device of your kid, you can monitor and manage that device through the online account of the spy app. The tracking application gets access to the messages of your kids exchanged via social media and instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, Instagram, Skype, Line, Viber, IMO, Tumblr, Telegram and Yahoo Messenger. Meanwhile, the cell phone spy app lets you track the photos, videos and audios received and sent via social media and instant messengers. All this information and data keeps you updated about your kid’s online and offline activities, and helps you stay prepped up for the potential dangers.
Hope you would have found this article helpful in learning the social media dangers and the ways to deal with these endangerments.