Best Age for Children and Teenagers to Start Using Social Media

FamilyKids & Teens

  • Author Opeyemi Julia Idowu
  • Published June 18, 2024
  • Word count 590

The question of when children and teenagers should start using social media platforms is an equivocal topic. Some argue in favour of early exposure aiding digital literacy and social skills; I firmly advocate placing a later age limit for accessing social media platforms. In my opinion, the right age should be at least 16 years old. This belief is based on worries about mental health, privacy dangers, and the importance of maturity required to handle the challenges of online interactions.

A new report from PrivacyHQ.com, reveals that 63 percent of parents allow their pre-teens to use YouTube, 54 percent permit the use of Instagram, and 49 percent let their children use TikTok. Moreover, 64 percent of parents reported their child's desire to become an influencer on Instagram or a YouTube content creator in the future, in comparison 81 percent of those parents surveyed said they would support that decision. As exciting and straightforward as it seems, we should ask whether kids truly grasp what it takes to build a following or realise that not everyone will become influential in the long run.

Here we will discuss the impact of social media, highlighting its potential to shape children’s personal development and societal norms.

Firstly, social media can mould attitudes, minds, mental health, values, and behaviours, having both negative and positive consequences. This is a result of the lack of universal ratings for content on social media platforms, unlike TV, movies, or video games.

Although educational videos and content are available online, we cannot rule out that there are still contents inappropriate for children under the age of 13, and this puts children and teens at risk of cyberbullying, discrimination, hate speech, and posts promoting self-harm.

Moreover, exposure to social media before the age of 16 can put children and teenagers at the risk of predators. This can result in oversharing, social isolation and social media over-dependence.

In addition, younger users may not fully comprehend the long-term consequences of sharing personal information online. Waiting until they clock 16 allows for more mature decision-making and better understanding of privacy settings and online safety measures.

In counterargument, we may agree to the expansion of learning opportunities and digital literacy for older children facilitated by social media homework. This can be cultivated through other means like supervised internet use, educational programs, and guidance from parents and educators.

Additionally, children below the age of 16 can only be introduced to social media platforms if certain policies are put in place. First, the provision of a safe environment or better compliance policy with age restrictions to certain features and websites. Removal of inappropriate content and items, commissioning, publishing, and implementing research on how to make platforms safer, friendlier, and healthier for children of all ages, are good options that should be implemented.

Also, parents must have open and honest conversations with their kids about the healthy use of social media. They must lay emphasis on how social media isn’t real– and can be misleading and highlighting the importance of using social media to engage in genuine conversations with friends.

In conclusion, setting the appropriate age for the use of social media to 16 or above prioritises the well-being and safety of children and young adults which allows for more mature decision-making and reduces psychological risks.

Reference

Suciu, Peter. “What Is the Right Age to Let Kids Use Social Media?” forbes.com. Forbes, 3 Mar. 2022. Web.

Tom, Huddleston Jr. “Is there a right age for kids to be on social media? I certainly don’t think anyone under 13’ should use it, expert says.” cnbc.com. CNBC, 26 May. 2023.

I am Julia, a writer passionate about the vastness of life. I write stories, research and also technical documentations.

Mail: - idowujulia56@gmail.com

Here is a link to my portfolio: - https://my-portfolio-opal-three-17.vercel.app/

Article source: https://articlebiz.com
This article has been viewed 192 times.

Rate article

This article has a 4 rating with 2 votes.

Article comments

There are no posted comments.