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Shielding the Innocence

Why Kids Should Not Be Exposed to Social Media

Photo by AI Image Creator on Wix

Social media is a prominent part of most teenagers’ and adults’ lives. It allows people to share things with loved ones and connect with others. As time goes on, and the popularity of social media continues to rise, more young kids are being exposed to it early. Most social media platforms have an age limit of 13 years and older, though these rules are often easily overruled and broken with little consequence. Since social media platforms can be filled with dangerous content, kids under 13 should not be exposed before they understand how to be safe when posting or consuming social media posts.

 Influencers, someone with a large following on their social media platform, are one aspect of social media that shouldn’t be accessible to young, impressionable minds. If exposed to social media too early, influencers that set unrealistic standards may impact the way kids view themselves. According to a national survey, 33% of girls 11 to 15 years old felt addicted to social media and more than half said it would be hard to give up social media. For young kids and pre-teens who are still finding themselves and learning who they are, social media influencers that set unrealistic standards can be very harmful to their development.

It is well known that the internet doesn’t always have a filter, and inappropriate pictures or videos are sometimes easily accessible to young kids who should not be exposed to certain things that adults wouldn’t be affected by. Social media content can include violence, self-harm, discrimination and eating disorders, and though most platforms have methods in place to filter harmful content, they don’t always work. Kids under 13 shouldn’t be engaging in content like this before they have the life experience to process it.

Additionally, being glued to a screen all day is not good for kids, which is what happens when you start using social media. It's easy to get addicted to social media. Studies have shown that social media platforms drive surges of dopamine to the brain which makes people keep going back. This is harmful to everyone, but kids especially, as they need to spend their time learning how to socialize with their peers, playing outside and learning new things about the world. This is hard to do if all their time is spent inside, scrolling on social media all day.

Some may argue that social media offers can be good for kids to make friends and be a creative outlet for them. While this may be true, there are many alternatives that are offline. Kids can strengthen friendships through school and extracurriculars and can find creative outlets in anything they are passionate about. They don’t need social media before they can process the dangers of it.

Parents, guardians, teachers and other adults that work with children should refrain from exposing kids under 13 to social media platforms, or heavily monitor their usage so that they do not go too far and risk receiving harm from it. Though social media has many good aspects, it is important to have lived long enough to know how to take advantage of the good and avoid the bad.


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Andy Poll

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