Social media – boon or curse? For children, social media apps and online chat and gaming sites are an enticing digital jungle: exciting to explore, yet fraught with unseen hazards. Do you (sensibly) keep screens and technology in the family spaces in your home, or have you succumbed to screens in bedrooms? Are you sure that your children haven’t signed up for any of the age-restricted apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Facebook? Are they sharing and engaging with online surveys that are aimed at adults? Do you really know where they go online, and for how long?
Peer pressure, including FOMO (fear of missing out), body image issues and cyber-bullying are pernicious – all are clear and present online hazards for children. Children who play online unsupervised and with no parental controls in place are at risk of all of these. The number of documented mental health cases and the number of children reporting nationally that they are on social media for hours every day are both on the rise. A coincidence? I doubt it.
Happily, restricting and limiting access is easy if you know how. Apps like Qustodio, recommended by one of our parents, help you to monitor and limit your children’s online activity. I also recommend the Childnet website to all parents:
There is a place and time for online fun, but we all need to regularly put our devices to one side and go and do something different instead. Have a lovely weekend!