By Juliana Blatzheim Posted March 10, 2023
What motivation does a child have to pick up a hobby or make a new friend when they can find any type of entertainment on the internet? Adolescence is being torn apart day by day due to the effects of modern culture. Technology makes so many things possible; however, it also prevents users from living a true life with fulfilling experiences.
It is important that children get out into the real world and make mistakes. People need to make mistakes in order to learn and improve, and this is difficult to experience through a screen. Making a mistake as a child is expected because children have not had that experience yet, so of course they are bound to make mistakes. As an adult, you are expected to have that experience. If children never make mistakes in real life, they will struggle as adults.
Children that use technology also may have less of a sense of privacy. Online, it can be difficult to realize the amount of information about yourself you are putting out there. The low privacy online could carry into real life. If children do not learn the importance of privacy, they may release information that could put themselves in danger.
Technology prevents children from being social. An article on the effects of technology on children by National University explains why this is an issue: “In general, technology use can cause social and behavioral problems in children because it minimizes the amount of time kids spend interacting with others.”
If children don’t learn how to interact with other people at a young age, they will be at a great disadvantage for the rest of their lives. Although children may now be able to create friends online, is that a true human connection? Are children the same person in real life as through social media platforms?
Social media greatly influences children to pursue standardized identities. Children’s brains are much more absorbent of information because they are new to most things in life. With everybody on the internet telling them what’s socially acceptable and what’s not, they are certain to fall into the trail of assimilation.
The widespread use of social media eliminates a lot of originality and creativity from young minds, resulting in a collection of cookie-cutter lives. This is incredibly disheartening as childhood is a time of freedom, a time to experiment and to find yourself. Social media makes it more difficult to do this because of the fear of judgment. It’s saddening to see this, even in yourself, knowing how fake social media can be.
The unreasonable standards on social media for appearance may cause insecurities that probably would not be as prominent without social media. According to a study on insecurities written by Kimberly Wang, girls who grew up with social media remember insecurities starting at nine to ten years old. Wang states, “the younger the generation bracket, the earlier the insecurities [began].”
Social media will not only affect children in their younger years but also as they grow into teenagers. An article by National University explains the effect that social media has on teenagers in particular: “Teens are seeing curated content, a digital highlight reel, which can lead to distress due to teens comparing themselves to their peers.’’ Social media plays such a big role in all children and teenage lives, it is crushing to see the effect it has.
Life experiences may also be portrayed differently through social media. A photo may portray an event completely different than how it actually happened. This can cause people to compare their lives to those on the internet, which are definitely idealized because of the aesthetics that a photo may create. A few photos can not capture an entire event or an entire person’s life, so it’s best to avoid comparison. The best thing to do is find inspiration through social media rather than envy.