Positive and negative effects of social media on children (2023)

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Throughmrunal- Updated: July 4, 2022

Positive and negative effects of social media on children (1)

In this article

  • Positive effects of social media on children
  • Negative effect of social networks on children
  • How can parents help kids learn about social media?

Social media is a rapidly developing platform for young people to communicate, express themselves and share all kinds of content. It has led to a new cultural paradigm that is driving technology and business while transforming the way people interact. As a tool, social networks are a double-edged sword. While it has many benefits, it can also affect youth in unhealthy ways.

Also read:Effects of television (TV) on children: positive and negative effects

While social media is mostly talked about in a negative light, there are some strong positive arguments in favor of it. These are the advantages of social networks for children:

  1. Spending time online is important for the younger generation to acquire the necessary technical skills they will need to navigate in the future. It enables them to be competent citizens in a digital age, where they can fully participate in society at large and learn the social skills of this generation. You will also learn to get used to a sophisticated online network of friends and acquaintances.
  1. Young people are using social media in positive ways that were previously unthought of. Not only is it a medium to socialize, but children and young people have found a new way to express themselves creatively, interact and learn with a wider audience. Students use it to form study groups where they can easily and instantly share ideas and learning materials.
  1. Social networks have also changed the way children learn. It has adopted a more peer-based approach to learning, where students are motivated to learn from their peers. They constantly interact and give each other feedback, which refines their learning process. They also learn more from each other than from adults. Learning can now come from newer sources and not just from your parents or teachers.
  1. Social media is not only a communication tool, but also an important part of the lives of adolescents and young adults. It gives them the opportunity to stay connected with their peers on sports teams, activity clubs and classes, while also allowing them to network with others who have similar interests.
  1. Social media has been observed to make people more empathetic, considerate, and relational. They express their feelings by commenting on or liking a picture, video or status update posted by their friends. They also wish more people than ever on their birthdays.
  1. Children cultivate long-term friendships with others by staying in touch with them online, even when they can no longer meet in person.
  1. It has been observed that the virtual empathy displayed by adolescents is positively received by their distressed friends on social media. Social networks improve their mood and help them find solutions to problems. Virtual empathy can also extend to the real world, teaching young people to be more compassionate.
  1. Social media offers young people a platform to connect with others who share similar interests. It can be anything related to hobbies or professions related to music, art, gaming and blogging.
  1. Children can also influence their community through social networking groups and help bring about positive change. Some of the examples are fundraising and participating in political events and debates.
  1. Social networks allow young people to connect with people from all over the world and expose them to cultures and ideas that they would not otherwise be aware of. It helps them gain a broader perspective on life and people in general.
  1. Social networks give introverted children the opportunity to open up about the Internet and give them aconfidence boost. Many young people find it easier to talk to people in person after interacting with them on social media platforms. It also helps them interact with people from all over the world, understand other cultures, food, music and more.
  1. Many young people like to keep up to date with current events and with multiple news accounts to follow on social media it has become a powerful tool for bringing concise and relevant news to children. This helps them increase their general knowledge and keep them in touch with the latest happenings around the world.

Positive and negative effects of social media on children (2)

Negative effect of social networks on children

A common belief about the impact of social media on children is that it does more harm than good. Here are some negative effects of social media on children:

(Video) Impact of Social Media on Youth | Katanu Mbevi | TEDxYouth@BrookhouseSchool

  1. The most well-known disadvantage of social media is the addiction it creates. Constantly checking the news from the various social networking sites becomes an addictive habit. Experts believe that functions like liking and sharing activate the reward center in the brain. This reward circuitry is highly sensitive during adolescence and may partially explain why teenagers are more interested in social media than adults. These traits further influence our mood. As social beings, we value interaction and connection, both of which determine how we think about ourselves. This drives much of our daily behavior that revolves around social media.
  1. Young people addicted to social media spend hours every day watching videos, photos and other content posted on the accounts they follow. This addiction interferes with other activities like schoolwork, sports, studying, and other productive routines. They end up wasting a lot of time every day, resulting in bad grades in school. Some heavy social media users admit to checking their feeds up to 100 times a day, sometimes even during school hours. Some of the kids also realize that they waste a lot of time on social media, which has a negative impact on their mood. It also builds in them a defeatist attitude.
  1. Psychologists have long observed the negative impact of social media on children's mental health. One finding suggests that children who spend more than three hours a day on social media are twice as likely to have mental health problems. Your immersion in a virtual world delays yoursemotional and social development. The effects on young people are much stronger. A report by the IZA Institute for Labor Economics suggests that a teenager who spends just an hour a day on social media can make them miserable. This could be due to the influence of social comparison, cyberbullying and reduced in-person interactions.
  1. It is also known that the use of Facebook leads to a decrease in the subjective well-being of young people. The more they use Facebook, the more dissatisfied they are with their lives overall. It is also observed that teenagers suffer from "Facebook blues" after spending too much time on Facebook or other social networking sites. Some also become anxious and moody because they see their friends' lives better than theirs, even though they may know their portrayal is idealized. However, vulnerable teenagers are more prone to it than their trusting peers.
  1. On-screen relationships also distract from real-world relationships and social skills in children and adolescents. This happens because they grow up without learning to read people's non-verbal cues and facial expressions. Social interaction is critical to developing the skills needed to understand other people's moods and emotions. Therefore, children who primarily interact with social media can become empathetic and also have difficulty communicating both verbally and non-verbally.
  1. While some teens feel pressured to respond to friends' posts or text messages, others experience a fear of being out of the social circle, known as FOMO (fear of missing out). Teens obsessively scan their media sources for updates from friends because they don't want to miss out on jokes, activities, parties, and gossip. FOMO is also known to cause thisDepressionand fear, while also making a significant contribution to the intensive use of social media by adolescents.
  1. Self-obsession and endlessly posting updates and selfies on social media increases narcissism in young people. Their mood is heavily dependent on how appreciated their photos are on social media, and they get upset when they don't get the attention they expect. Having their own sides makes kids more self-centered. Some vulnerable children would then live with the idea that everything revolves around them. This is a precursor to dysfunctional emotional states later in life and a lack of empathy for others.
  1. Selfies became all the rage with the advent of camera phones. Taking hourly selfies and posting them on social media is strongly associated with narcissism and can trigger obsessions with appearance. Some selfie addicts have been known to do dangerous things like scale skyscrapers, pose with wild animals or weapons, or stand near moving vehicles like trains to take a "cool" selfie that ended fatally. Risky behavior is also observed in teenagers when they face massive social media challenges that involve absurd or dangerous activities while filming themselves.
  1. Facebook and other social media platforms have had a negative impact on young people's brains. It puts their brain in a similar state to a child being drawn to bright colors and buzzing noises while having a short attention span. It is not surprising that this is happening, since it takes little concentration or thought processes to navigate social networking sites.
  1. When it comes to the effects of social networks on child development, it is often the case that children who have grown up with superficial stimuli lack the ability to identify deeply with others and with themselves. They end up looking for that perfect Instagram photo while missing out on the real experience of the event, which can be a vacation or a lunch with friends or family.
  1. Other dangers of social networks for children include cybercrime and cyberbullying. Harassment is easiest on social media platforms in the form of threatening messages or subtle posts with objectionable content aimed at a specific individual. Younger children can also be victims of bullying by predatory individuals who aim to cause harm.
  1. Offensive, explicit and violent content is easily accessible on the internet, affecting young minds. This content can misshape their minds or cause them to become mentally disturbed, which then impacts other areas of their lives, from education to personal relationships and more.

Positive and negative effects of social media on children (3)

Parents always want the best for their children while protecting them from the worst. Parents try to allow children to deal with bad situations while advising them to stay away from them in the first place. Here's how parents can use social media to be smart with their kids:

  • Start by examining the impact of social media on children and explain the pros and cons to them. First, set limits on where and how long they can stay.
  • Encourage your children to engage in more real communication with people instead of networking online. They need to be taught the importance of spending more time on real life activities and friendships.
  • Instead of constantly lecturing them about the bad influence social media has on children, encourage other interests or passions they might have. Could behobbies,Sport, social work or anything that is not virtual.
  • Suggest they use social media platforms constructively to enhance their learning or collaborate with others who have similar interests. Teach them to distinguish between what has substance and what is not worth investing time in.
  • Monitor their online activity so you can teach them how to protect themselves from online predators and bullies. Give them plenty of freedom, but make sure they know you're conscious of their online habits.
  • Join your social networking site so you can learn more about how it works. If possible, follow them around the site so you can see their posts. However, please refrain from commenting on or interacting with their posts.
  • If your child often gets upset after looking at their phones or their time on the internet, talk to them about it. They may need guidance on how not to take things that happen online seriously.
  • Make sure they spend just enough time on it as it's useful. You can even allocate time on social media as a reward for good behavior.
  • Make them understand that 500 friends on Facebook doesn't mean they're cool, sociable, or popular.
  • Emphasize the difference between social media and real life.

As with almost everything, social media should be used sparingly to keep up with the times and trends. The problem only begins with overindulgence.

Also read:Internet safety for children

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What are the positive and negative effects of social media on children? ›

Therefore, it becomes essential to discuss the effects of social media on children. Social media, if used wisely, is a good platform to interact, learn, communicate, and have fun; however, if misused or excessively used, it may lead to cyberbullying, anxiety, and health problems.

What are the positives and negatives on social media? ›

Pros & Cons of Social Media
Put yourself out there in a good wayPosting inappropriate statuses/pictures
Connect with students in other educational systemsMaking people feel bad about themselves
Make new friends/communicate or connect with old friends/familyCyberbullying
15 more rows

What are the effects of social media on children? ›

In addition to problematic digital behaviors, there may be changes in children's daily behavior at home like: Increased irritability. Increased anxiety. Lack of self-esteem.

What are 5 negative of social media? ›

The negative aspects of social media

However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.

Is social media good for children? ›

Social media can also pose risks. For your child, these risks include: being exposed to inappropriate or upsetting content, like mean aggressive, violent or sexual comments or images. uploading inappropriate content, like embarrassing or provocative photos or videos of themselves or others.

What are positive media effects? ›

It is the best source of information, entertainment, and inspiration. It provides us with effective means of communication, making the world a smaller place. Advanced technology has only multiplied its effects. In this OpinionFront article, we talk about how media affects us positively.

What are the positives and negatives of media? ›

Comparison Table for Advantages and Disadvantages of Media
Media allows cultural diffusion among people from different parts of the world.Creating fake profiles and sending threats or bullying or such acts can ruin the mental health and reputation of targetted individuals.
7 more rows
7 Jan 2022

What are 2 negatives of social media? ›

The more time spent on social media can lead to cyberbullying, social anxiety, depression, and exposure to content that is not age appropriate. Social Media is addicting. When you're playing a game or accomplishing a task, you seek to do it as well as you can.

What are 7 advantages of social media? ›

Here's a quick summary:
  • It's cost-effective.
  • It provides authenticity.
  • It compliments advertising.
  • It fosters your creative voice.
  • It provides a forum for customer care.
  • It builds engaged communities.
  • It helps search engine optimization.
12 Oct 2020

Is social media bad for child development? ›

Too much time on social media can lead to bullying, depression, and anxiety. Spending more than four hours a day online significantly increases a child's risk of becoming hyperactive and inattentive, and decreases feelings of self-worth. Social media may be one of the main factors affecting children's mental health.

Why should children not use social media? ›

Social media can negatively affect teens by distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, and peer pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are also correlations between high levels of social media use and anxiety and depression among teens.

How social media Affects students Education? ›

Past studies have found that students who spend more time on social media sites are likely to demonstrate poor academic performance. This is because they spend time chatting online and making friends on social media sites instead of reading books.

What is negative about media? ›

The negative effects of mass media on society can lead people towards poverty, crime, nudity, violence, bad mental and physical health disorders and others as such severe outcomes. For example, mob hitting innocents by getting carried away from the rumors spread on the internet has been common.

What are three negative effects of media? ›

Why limit media use?
  • Not enough sleep. Media use can interfere with sleep. ...
  • Obesity. ...
  • Delays in learning & social skills. ...
  • Negative effect on school performance. ...
  • Behavior problems. ...
  • Problematic internet use. ...
  • Risky behaviors. ...
  • Sexting, loss of privacy & predators.
20 Jul 2022

What is a positive to social media? ›

Social media may provide individuals with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others and thereby expand and strengthen their in-person networks and interactions.

What are 3 reasons why social media is good? ›

Social media helps people strengthen their relationships, create new connections, and find social support in tough times. Nowadays, most of us use social to keep in contact with friends and family. One study found that 93% of adults use Facebook to connect with family while 91% with friends.

Is social media good for students? ›

It helps students to share their thoughts without any fear. Social media allows students to express in many ways, like by posting photos, blogs, individual articles, videos, audio clips etc. This helps students to come out of the box and explore their talents.

How important is social media today? ›

One of the most important impacts of social media in today's world lies within its ability to distribute information to the whole world. With most people on some other social media platforms today, no news of importance cools down without proper discussion.

How important is social media? ›

It is a valuable communication tool with others locally and worldwide, as well as to share, create, and spread information. Social media can influence consumer's purchase decisions through reviews, marketing tactics and advertising.

Why is social media important essay? ›

Social media allows the social growth of society and also helps many businesses. It provides tools like social media marketing to reach millions of potential clients. We can easily access information and get news through social media. Social media is an excellent tool for creating awareness about any social cause.

What is positive effect? ›

Positive effect means that the cumulative effects of an alternative are expected to improve the status of the resource relative to its current status under past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions.

What are positive effects examples? ›

It refers to the emotions or feelings that we experience and display, especially in terms of how these emotions influence us to act and make decisions. Positive affectivity refers to positive emotions and expression, including cheerfulness, pride, enthusiasm, energy, and joy.

Which social media is the most positive? ›

10 Positive Social Media Accounts you should Follow Right Now
  • 1) Animals Doing Things. If you are an animal lover, then this is the account for you! ...
  • 2) Power of Positivity. ...
  • 3) Hello Giggles. ...
  • 4) David Attenborough. ...
  • 8) Happiest. ...
  • 9) TED. ...
  • 10) LADBible.
6 Oct 2020

How is social media harmful? ›

Although there are important benefits, social media can also provide platforms for bullying and exclusion, unrealistic expectations about body image and sources of popularity, normalization of risk-taking behaviors, and can be detrimental to mental health.

What is the most negative social media? ›

Instagram was found to have the most negative overall effect on young people's mental health. The popular photo sharing app negatively impacts body image and sleep, increases bullying and “FOMO” (fear of missing out), and leads to greater feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Why is social media good for teens? ›

Social media allows teens to create online identities, communicate with others and build social networks. These networks can provide teens with valuable support, especially helping those who experience exclusion or have disabilities or chronic illnesses.

How does media affect early childhood? ›

High media usage in children is related to poorer cognition, language, and social–emotional skills. More frequent parent–child interactions are associated with better body motor, cognition, language, and social–emotional skills in children.

How can we keep children safe from social media? ›

Tips to help children stay safe on social media

Review the location settings - Remind them, and explain why, they shouldn't share location on posts, or public forums and chats, videos or with people they don't know.

How many children use social media? ›

These worries aren't confined to the parents of teenagers. The survey found that 64 percent of tweens reported watching online videos every day, and 65 percent reported watching TV each day. Among tweens, 38 percent of survey respondents said they used social media, an increase from 31 percent in 2019.

What is social media for students? ›

Social media is any digital technology that allows people to share ideas, information and thoughts via online communities and networks. Social media provides students with multiple ways to connect virtually with others (family, friends/peers, teachers, members of interest groups, and even strangers).

How media affect education? ›

Using media engages students and helps keep their attention focused on the lesson. That is, it helps them stay engaged and interested in learning. Aids student retention of knowledge because it allows students to read, watch, or hear information multiple times in different contexts over time.

How does the media negatively affect children? ›

Media use also can expose kids to cyberbullying, which has been linked to depression and suicide. And media use can distract kids from important tasks, interfere with homework time, and hurt school performance. It can limit quality family time and make kids feel lonely or isolated.

How does social media affect children's education? ›

Social media may also become a major distraction and lead to lack of sleep and poor academic performance. If technology use is unmonitored, kids may stay up late without their parents realizing they are not asleep. Ultimately, it is difficult for kids to unplug from technology at all times of the day.

What are positive social media effects? ›

Social media may provide individuals with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others and thereby expand and strengthen their in-person networks and interactions.


1. Positive And Negative Effects of Social Media
(Live On Purpose TV)
2. Teens noticing the negative effects of too much social media
(ABC 10 News)
3. Negative effects of social media on children
(marco in control)
4. How Media & Technology Affects Children | Child Development
5. Social Media & Children's Mental Health
(American Psychiatric Association)
6. How social media has a negative impact on body image in children


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