Social Media. Just about everyone I know has some form of social website or app that they use to stay in contact with friends, use for their job, or just like to have fun with. Social media sites can be either good or bad. It all depends on the user. An adult using, for example, Facebook can have a surprisingly different consumer experience than a child. Depending on someone’s view of what is apropriate or not for people under the age of 18, a child can have a great experience on Facebook versus a horrible experience that exposed them to things that they should have discovered at a different time.
Some pros of having an account to a social networking site for children are:
- Having the advantage of staying in contact with old and new friends
- Being up to date on what is happening in their friend’s social life(if they spend all their time on the internet)
- They won’t feel left out when everyone’s like “Hey did you see that tweet that Rob posted?!” and they’re just like “Yeah…. I don’t have a Twitter…”
- They get a chance to be familiar with these new websites and apps which could be important, after all, this is the age of new technology and it’s just part of life now
- They can express themselves through their account and this can be a good thing if they’re shy in person
The cons of social networking are:
- Depending on how valuable their time is, they might end up spending a lot of time on these sites and in my opinion it’ll end up being a waste because they could have been out literally living their life instead of telling others what they’re doing
- They can be exposed to things such as bullying, “R/X-rated” things, or be influenced by the trends being spread around through the internet
- They might start meeting people through the internet and try to meet them in person. Who knows what will happen then, if that person isn’t who they say they are
- Children can go behind their parent’s back and create another account on a different site because all social networking sites are gateways to each other
- Kids could get addicted and actually form something called internet addiction and people are actually diagnosing it as a disorder now, along with its symptoms
The difference with adults versus minors is that whatever they do, it’s on them. They’re parents won’t be dealing with their consequences and it’s less likely for an adult to be taken advantage of because they know better and have gone through more life experiences. Also, most adults know how to manage their time better and by their age have learned almost everything they need to know. So, I think older people won’t be as affected by the effects of social networking, unlike children, who are susceptible to influence and peer pressure. Then again, everything boils down to the type of person someone is. If a child is trustworthy and knows what they should and shouldn’t be doing then by all means, they should be able to enjoy social networking. On the other hand, if the kid has been known to be mischievous and has never been able to subdue the temptation of risk taking, then maybe parents should think twice about letting their child join the new world of social networking.