Social networks increasingly attract the attention and participation of children. Parents have the responsibility to establish the rules of use and monitor the performance of our children.
The children of the 21st century live with a reality that their parents and grandparents probably did not live: social networks. Although these communities are not designed for children under 13, it is increasingly common for children to interact with social networks.
Children are not always prepared or adequately supervised when they enter the internet and begin to interact with other people through social networks.
There are dangers when children and social networks start their relationship. Dangers that can damage your healthy development and happiness in multiple ways. In light of this, it is up to the parents to be attentive.
The indifference of parents in front of children and social networks
While at present the relationship between children and social networks is a growing reality. Many parents do not supervise the content their children use on the Internet. Sometimes they do not even know how social networks work, do not use them, nor set standards for their children to use them.
Social networks are not designed for children under 13 years of age; even to enter some it is necessary to be of legal age. In fact, to open an account they request an email address that can also only be opened if you have, at least, the age mentioned.
So children falsify their identity to have an email address and to open an account in any of the most popular social networks. And most worrying: parents allow it, encourage it and then do not supervise it.
The social networks dangers
When the relationship between children and social networks begins, without their parents having established basic rules for their use and protection, they are exposed to serious dangers. The most benign can be that they lose concentration for studies because they are connected to social networks.
However, there are greater dangers. They can be victims from other aggressive or abusive children, or worse, from adults who cheat and manipulate them with very dark purposes. To understand the magnitude of the danger, we present some of the most alarming situations that our children can face.
Social networks reinforce values such as fame and popularity. The child becomes addicted to accumulating “likes” of friends and strangers. You can not live without looking at your social networks for a second.
The child addicted to social networks not only loses his privacy. Because he wants to register every moment to make it public. He also begins to prefer and privilege virtual relationships, about face-to-face relationships with children of his age. This can lead him to isolate himself. If your child is lazy, discover the best tips.
Incitement to hatred
In social networks, messages of hate, intolerance, and calls to violence against a person or against groups of people circulate massively. Hate is justified in causes such as race, religion, nationality or political ideas.
These messages multiply and amplify daily. Children who use social networks are exposed to them and their power to convince, especially if parents have not promoted responsible use of new technologies. Children become inciters to hatred, which is known as trolls or haters.
Children share private content of other children subjecting them to cyberbullying or cyberbullying. Bullying has always existed, but now with children and social networks the possibilities of humiliating and harassing the victim in a massive way grow.
The teasing and hatred that is unleashed among those who comment and share the publications can lead the victim to situations of stress, anxiety, and depression. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for your stability, and even your life.
An adult who is probably posing as a minor manipulates the child to send photographs or videos with seductive poses, or even without clothes.
The material is disseminated in a massive and uncontrolled way through emails or digital messaging, with which the child who is the author of the content is exposed to great risks.
An adult develops a set of strategies in order to obtain approvals and even approaches, of a sexual nature. From an approach full of empathy and deceit, the predator first gets the compromising images of the children.
Then, through cruel blackmail, threats, and manipulations, will try to achieve an encounter with the child. Grooming is the beginning of situations such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and child pornography.
When a material that shows a child in an erotic attitude massively circulates. It can reach the hands of an adult who takes the photographs or the video, locates the child and extorts it.
Sextortion is an increasingly common crime. The extortionist blackmails the child with publishing the content through social networks. Press him to send more material. You only need that kind of material and that it reaches the hands of unscrupulous people.
Considerations for parents
Parents, in the 21st century, we can not be indifferent or remain ignorant when our children use social networks. It corresponds to us to be attentive and to give the basic norms for its behavior, number of hours and hours of use of these spaces.
Children who use social networks should know that it is forbidden to share content or private information that they would not show to their parents. Neither can they do it with content from other children?
Finally, children must learn to value their privacy and intimacy. The best thing is that children only make virtual friendships with others who are effectively real-life friends.