There are however, a large number of advantages to children (of the appropriate age) using social media. Just with any one else social networking, it allows children to strengthen relationships (especially long-term) and keep up-to-date with the world’s news.
Many children who may have confidence issues in the ‘real world’ can benefit from using social media to interact with others and bring online conversations and experiences into daily life, feeling more secure – especially when going into new situations. Children are able to use this safety of distance to benefit them. Similarly, many children can seek advice and support through social media and as well as actual organisations online that can assist them, they can find other children who have similar interests or are possibly dealing with the same issues.
Despite what many people think, children actually use social media to aid their ‘real world’ experiences and relationships rather than replace or ruin it. Social networking is becoming increasingly more popular in the workplace and in schools and so it can prepare them for the future. It can make the child more proficient with technology and aid both their communicative and creative skills.
Many schools and institutions are now creating and using forums on sites such as Facebook or Moodle (RGU being a prime example) for the purpose of extra teaching, discussions and as an additional method of communication. School communities and staff-to-pupil (as well as pupil-to-pupil) relationships can improve and become tighter by these means. Children may also be able to interact with other kids to exchange knowledge as they may not have previously been able to do.
In an interesting article in The Huffington Post, another benefit reported was that it may even assist children who are dealing with stress. This is down to the fact that social media provides children with the opportunity to express their feelings more openly where previously they may have just bottled them up. In addition, more immediate support can be received through the likes of instant messaging and information sought online can also help them. Finally, the article reports that social media can be seen as a distraction and may act as a temporary block from the stresses in their life, giving them time to be able to better cope.
So basically, what I can conclude from this particular post is that with the right purpose / incentive, and used by the correct individuals, social media can potentially be extremely useful, if not vital, to many children.
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