Technology is something that has definitely changed how children live their lives. Children who spend their childhood surrounded by social media are at risk of cyber bullying and unhappiness; however, social media also helps the students communicate with their friends. This bring us to the debate topic for this week.
Is social media ruining childhood: Agree or disagree?
I stand heavily on the agree side of this debate topic, as this was the side that I had to debate; however, Cassidy did raise some great arguments that swayed some of my opinions. Although I still believe social media is ruining childhood, I am going to explain some of the arguments Cassidy made that made me question my own beliefs.
Cassidy mentioned that social media can help children who are somewhat marginalized find others who are interested in what that child is doing. In the article The upside of selfies: social media isn’t all bad for kids that Cassidy mentioned, it states that children, “… can just find other kids who are superexcited about the same thing, so if you are living in a small town and you’re the only kid who loves musical theater, instead of feeling like a freak about it, you can go online and find all these other kids that love musical theater,”. This is definitely one of the upsides of social media because it allows children who feel isolated to find other people who will support them. Another example of this could be if a child was coming out as gay, bi, trans, etc, they could find a supportive community online to support them during this huge step in their lives, as opposed to being made fun of by people in their town who do not support this. This is definitely one of the positives of social media.
Another positive that Cassidy mentioned about social media is that it just overall allows for a greater way to communicate with others around the world. As mentioned in the other article that Cassidy provided, it states that, “social media is a step in making new friends”. Brian brought up that social media allows him to meet new people who are into the same sports he is into, and to keep up with friends from far away. Noah mentioned that he uses social media to stay in contact with his family who doesn’t live in the same province as him.
Social media is definitely a huge help in communicating; however, there are still other ways to communicate with people. Personally, I keep in contact with my friends and family by calling them or texting them. We never communicate over social media, heck, half of my friends and family don’t even use social media. A perfect way to communicate with someone is just picking up the phone and calling them, because hearing their voice is way better than reading a 10 second Snapchat message. Who doesn’t love just laying on their bed and having a two hour phone call with their best friend? I know I always look forward to these phone calls.
If you are constantly communicating with others over social media, you have most likely seen all the negative comments that come along with communicating this way. Katia mentioned that social media has immensely helped the protests happening in the US right now; however, even with the positives surrounding this protest, you still see all of those negative comments. There are many people commenting that what the youth are doing is stupid, or that their protest is useless. So even though there is this positive of social media, the negatives still have a way of emerging.
Cyber bullying is another negative that emerges when using social media. People seem more inclined to say mean comments and bully others when they can hide behind a screen, whereas, if we didn’t have social media, these people wouldn’t have that screen to hide behind, and they most likely wouldn’t bully others. According to the article the impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families, cyber bullying can result in depression, anxiety, social isolation, self harm, and suicide, which is something we do not want our children, or anyone for that matter, to go through. To give you a snapshot of just how many children are affected by cyber bullying, the article is social media ruining childhood, states that more than 1 in 5 children ranging from ages 10-12 have been affected by cyber bullying – which is absolutely horrible. Social media also causes people to become more unhappy with their lives because they are constantly seeing other people living “a happier and more exciting life” than they are. This results in the new acronym called FOMO which is explained in this article.
Although social media can greatly benefit those who are marginalized and can help others communicate with people all over the world, there are still so many negatives surrounding it. I definitely think we need to enforce the 13 years old age limit because it is shocking when we hear that 10-12 year olds are being cyber bullied, and I definitely think we need to educate children on how to use social media in a positive way. Social media can be used in a positive way; however, there are too many negatives associated with it. Therefore, I firmly stand on my side of the debate, and I still believe that social media is ruining childhood.