Is social media ruining kids’ childhood?

A Gen-Z teenager's views on social media's effect on today's children and childhood.

Do you remember when you were a kid and the only technology was a common landline, a tv, the cars radio? Being outside and playing with your friends? Do you remember those days of going to the play games at the arcade with pennies filled in your pocket? Those simple times? How did that feel? Pretty nostalgic. Would you say that your childhood was fun? Yes. As a teenager today, I remember my childhood revolved around that. Living in the present and experiencing, learning, and growing through sports, camps, and playing board games; all had a huge part on the person I am today. And if I could trade going back, I would.

Every day seeing my younger sibling scrolling through social media makes me sad as to what memories she would ponder upon about these days when she grows up. Will there be something worth remembering? It makes me mad how these software’s made by humans can take over humans themselves. As someone who had a great childhood, it would be terrible if my own sibling’s or any child’s childhood got ruined because of those platforms. Instead of allowing social media at such a young age, It’s a thousand times more important to experience actual things and moments that help in both emotional and social development, as well as make memories worth remembering.

Firstly, it takes away creativity. Children have imaginations that run wild. They are as curious as cats and eager to learn. Social media brings in the dark cloud of reality. It’s disheartening how their curiosity is killed, imagination is gone, and there is no creative development. It’s like a jail set in their tiny brains of fun.

Secondly, it can affect the children’s health. This immersion in the virtual world can as said before affect their development. Allowing social media can influence kids so early that one can see negative changes in the kids’ personalities. There’s a higher and an earlier risk of anxiety, ruined sleep and aggressive behaviours. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is common which can lead to depression. It’s easier for these unknown backbiting predators to bully and put negative opinions that shatter the young creative minds with hopelessness. Toxic news and adult influences can bring psychological changes to a child’s mind and in rare cases make a child “crazy”. There was a story about this young girl who deliberately broke her phone because she couldn’t take the distress of social media.

Social media is like poison and we are allowing it on those hands which can slowly turn them into “psychos” we see in cartoons and horror movies. Do you want this for your child/sibling? The answer is no, so get your children off those platforms and engage them in board games, sports, activities to help them experience.

Speaking of real life, it sets these unreasonable standards and causes changes in friendships and relationships. Initially, social media was about sharing pictures and ideas, but now it’s about likes, followers, this unnecessary complexity and insecurities.

It causes competition among friends and they don’t even realize when their heads are in the clouds; they become mean, they like the attention, they become overbearing and self-conceited. How would you feel if your child who was confident and happy was picked on for looking a certain way? Actually, think of how the child would feel because of those absurd reasons. It would bring down the child’s confidence and self-esteem. One wouldn’t want to be friends with people who influence that and definitely wouldn’t want our children to become like them or even be around them.

As parents and siblings, we love our children and younger brothers & sisters as deep as the ocean and want nothing but the best for them. As parents and siblings, YOU have experience and knowledge and can help bring that curiosity and imagination, help children grow. When they grow up, they’ll be thankful for the choices you made for them- memories filled with happiness and childhood they would want to run back to.

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