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Are you 18+? Children and Social Media

Updated on November 13, 2015

The Joke

This article was born out of a simple joke that was floating in Whatsapp. A friend of mine forwarded me a joke in Whatsapp a few days back. When I read it I had a hearty laugh.

Son- Daddy I have ten different ID's in FaceBook

Daddy- What are you doing with so many fake ID's?

Son- Remember Mellisa? The lady whom you asked to meet this Sunday evening in Starbucks? That is one of my ID.

This joke made the father look like a fool. Agreed. But it also sent a very serious message. We need to read between lines. These are warning signs of things not going right. If we are not aware of what our children are actually doing and how they are passing their time then we might end up being a party to their mistakes. This joke made me think seriously about the evil side of these social media sites and their effect on our children.

Social Media Sites.. A necessity or a Status Symbol

Even I have a Facebook account. But it is now near dormant. As I rarely go to my Facebook account. I was also part of the social status race sometime back. I felt left out when my friends once asked me how come I was not in Facebook. My immediate reaction was having an account and sharing my details with my friends. Within no time I had a decent amount of followers and a lot of friends. I made it a point to upload all my recent photos and also update my status regularly.

Slowly but surely I became an addict. I was hooked on to my smart phone the whole day. I was socially updated and was very famous in my so called social circle. All my activities were getting reflected in FB.

Children and Social Media sites

It took a lot of self restrain and control to let go of my habit of being hooked to social media sites. More than anything else it was peer pressure. The feeling of being left out in the so called friends circle that made me addicted to social media sites.

If you think that peer pressure is only among the adults then it is also seen among children. In fact it is visible more in teenagers. They want to be a part of their friends circle. They want to be updated with what is happening at that moment. They cannot afford to be left out.

It all starts with a simple ID creation. A few updates here and there and the craze of having multiple friends. Then slowly they start getting into the black hole of social media. At that age it is very difficult for the children to differentiate between right and wrong and usually they prefer going with the flow. They feel being adventurous is the so called "in thing". And even before they know they are trapped.


Where to draw the line?

At their age it is difficult for the children to know where exactly should they be drawing the line. Some are lucky to get the help of their parents. Some are not. And the unfortunate and unlucky ones go to such extremes that they end up taking the extreme steps.

I am not against social media sites. But excessive usage and addiction towards it is what is becoming a cause of worry. Who is the deciding factor as to where the line should be drawn? The children? The parents? Society? Social Media Site owners?

We parents need to think about it seriously. When was the last time we sat with our children and had a talk? When did we set an example to them by showing the importance of family values? We are so busy with our fast paced life that we unknowingly end up ignoring our children. Then blame it on the society. How conveniently have we forgotten that society is made up of us and we are not made of the society.

We are so busy with our parties and friends and our work that we hardly know what are kids are up to now a days. This is not a healthy sign. It is high time we gave it a thought or else it might be too late.

Comments

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    • Siva222 profile image
      Author

      Chandrashekhar Siva 2 years ago from Chennai

      Thanks for the suggestion John. I will do the changes.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I can understand where you are coming from with the title. A lot of adult websites ask "are you 18+?" Before letting you proceed further, but in most instances you only have to tick "yes" without showing any proof, so young people can easily access this. Maybe you could change the title of the hub to "Are You 18+? Children and Social Media (or the Internet)."

    • Siva222 profile image
      Author

      Chandrashekhar Siva 2 years ago from Chennai

      Thanks John Dora for your comments. Do you also think that the title is confusing? Do you suggest that I change the title accordingly?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good joke! Daddy was caught. Seriously, though, I subscribe to parent restraint for teen who lack self-discipline or need help practicing self-control. Very timely message!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I found this to be an interesting read Siva. Social Media can certainly become addictive especially for teenagers to keep up with their peers. It was a good example of parents showing concern over children's use of Facebook etc but in this case, the father no practicing what he preaches.

      We do need to be more aware of our children's online activity however.

    • Siva222 profile image
      Author

      Chandrashekhar Siva 2 years ago from Chennai

      Thanks Kykyssa for your comment. I will make the necessary changes. It was really an eye opener as i never thought that it could be taken in the angle that you mentioned. Thanks again

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Based on the title, I was expecting this hub to be about the age verification process and it isn't.

      The joke you start it off with is actually about the dad being immoral and stupid, the child catching him at it, and then revealing to the dad that he'd been caught when the dad questions the child's online morality and ethics. Using it at the start of your post makes it sound like you're against young people using social media because they might catch their parents doing something wrong. It could also be read to mean you think children are more capable of using the Internet ethically than adults are.

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