Social media changes childhoods


Olivia McMinn, Guest Reporter

Nowadays, young children are more prominent on social media than most teenagers are. The kids are often found sitting inside on their devices, versus when we were their age, most of us were forced to go outside and play. While iPhones and iPads were all the rage to us as kids, we were better off without them. The next generation is having an entirely different childhood, and they are missing out on the best aspects of it because of their devices 

Because kids are exposed to social media at such a young age, they suffer negative consequences from it. The perspective that is put forth by influencers is often not realistic or true. To many children, this is hard to understand and gives them a false sense of reality because of it. They also try to fit into the basic teenage stereotypes that are portrayed on the internet instead of just being a kid. There are added stresses and problems they shouldn’t be troubled by at such young ages. Social media easily becomes an obsession for them, as it does for most, they want to be on it 24/7. Their whole lives revolve around it. Children should be able to experience their childhoods before dealing with the problems and drama on social media. 

I know a group of 10 year olds that I look over occasionally; they all have the newest iPhone as well as every social media platform they can get their hands on. If I suggest doing something outside or playing a game, they hesitate to put their phone down, if they do at all. Most times, they are stressed about seeing a celeb’s Instagram post or snapping someone back on Snapchat. They won’t put their technology down long enough to do normal things for their age. Children are trying to grow up quicker to fit in expectations on social media. 

The other difficulty with children on social media is they don’t understand the dangers that go along with it. While a creepy white van following kids around is often the first thing that comes to mind, there are many dangers on the internet that are just as scary.  Along with that, social media can easily become a platform for cyberbullying. Many kids, as well as teens, could take this personally or be offended by it. 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal of social media. I too am a frequent user of many platforms and enjoy its perks. However, I find myself getting distracted and sucked in as it is; I am often happier when taking a break from it. Going outside or hanging out with friends and family shouldn’t require you to use any technological devices. Children do not need to get into the same habit of taking their phones with them everywhere they go. Technology is great, and I am thankful that we have it; however, there is such a thing as too much.  I encourage you to leave your phones at home and live in the world instead of staring at a screen.