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The influence of social media on children’s development

By Ana Niculae July 15, 2021

This blogpost will be about the impact of social media on children’s development

Social media can have a lot of effects and consequences on children and we will tackle some of them in this article.

First, we will be focusing on mental health. Social media can be a very positive place, but if you use it in the wrong way it can also become a very ugly and negative place. Especially since social media can be very addictive and young children are more vulnerable than adults. So what happens when young children spend a lot of time online? A consequence of this can be that young children are eventually going to compare themselves to the lives of other people they see online. More about this will be discussed later on in this blogpost. Of course, adults know that not everything you see online is true. However, this is not something young children have learned yet. Because of this constant comparison, it can have negative effects. Such as, causing bulimia, depression, anxiety, low empathy etc. This can happen when a child has been exposed to social media for too long.

Credit: Kids vector created by brgfx -

Another issue that can occur is cyberbullying. Being immersed in negativity the whole time naturally causes a negative effect on the child. Cyberbullying can also follow a child in real life. For example, when it is about a child who goes to school, and everyone knows they are being cyber bullied,

then it can continue in school as well. Thus, the consequences can turn out to be very negative. Furthermore, social media is giving children a literal wall, meaning that many other children feel more comfortable saying bad things about somebody online. Over time, when somebody is being cyber bullied it can even leave a traumatic mark and, as they grow older, will develop the aforementioned symptoms. 

Another impact that social media has is the exposure of its content in general. Let’s take TikTok as an example. The content that is shown on this platform is actually not suitable for children under the age of 13. Though it has not been proven that children under 13 should not see it, the content of TikTok can be quite provocative at times. Though it is important to know that TikTok does have a section that is only for 13 year olds and younger. 

However, looking at social media in general, it can have an impact on children. Since they are still very sensitive and impressionable, social media can become a dangerous place. For example, comparing oneself with the people you see on social media is something children do unconsciously very quickly. For example, wanting a product because a known person has it, so they want it as well, or all your friends have it so you also want it. Social media can create a false sense for children to need or want everything other people have as well to be socially accepted by either friends or the social environment around them. A consequence of this is that it puts a stop on their own character development. Due to the fact that they think they should like a certain somebody to fit in, instead of developing their own sense of what to like and what not to like. 

Of course, social media is not all bad. It brings friends and family together, and not only can have entertainment value but it can be educational as well. Therefore, it is best to inform yourself and your children on what is possible and what is not. This way you can create the safest environment for your children to be online.



Kids and social media: Online safety tips every parent should know By Norton

The Impact of Social Media on Children By Carly Bizieff

Social Media Harmful Effects on Youth Mental Health By Nursing Answers

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to TikTok by Frannie Ucciferri

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