In addition, social media may be a distraction
for some parents as they often end up over invovled. They can become too busy
with their noses in their phones, posting and boasting about their children
when they should actually be paying them attention in the real world. Children
can feel abandoned and rejected as they may want to spend time with their
family but their parents are too busy checking the notifications on their
phones. Lack of attention can lead to a
child behaving in a way they would not normally in order to gain a parent’s
attention. With the increased use of social media, parents can also be accused
of under stimulating younger children by not playing with them or rarely taking
them outside. This can delay their development with them not being able to
speak, walk or relate to others due to lack of interaction. Of course, this
then impacts upon their ability to achieve academically and in social relationships.
A head teacher stated, “There is limited
parent child interaction. Four year olds know how to swipe up a phone but have
no clue about conversations”. This shows the underdevelopment of children due
to the overuse and rise in the use of social media in both parents and
children. Perhaps the parents should not allow such long periods of access at
such a young age.
Furthermore, parents appear to think their
children are being influenced by sex, drugs, alcohol, bullying and violence
solely through social media. This is not the case as these issues are all
around them and existed before any social media platform was invented. Dare I
say it, even when our parents were young! Parents are influenced by social
media as they seem to believe everything they see online. Without question,
this leads to the assumption that their teenagers must automatically be
involved in that same behavior. Viewing teenagers smoking drugs online often leads
to the parent asking if their child smokes cannabis or take legal highs. The
answer is typically “No!”. Generally, we are level headed and not that stupid!
Whatever happened to trusting your child?
Has anyone ever had their mum post a really
embarrassing photo of them and been tagged in it? Parents are renowned for
embarrassing their children but it has reached a worrying new level. It is
cruel to post photos or information on social media without the consent of the
child as it is disrespecting of that individual’s rights. Social media may be
the only place a teenager believes they have privacy in their life and may
project a certain image of themselves.
This can be blown apart by an embarrassing or silly photograph, which
are supposed to be funny but instead can be extremely damaging to the emotional
state of the teenager. These types of posts may also show a happy, amazing
family life, which could lead to jealousy and bullying. It is possible to screenshot photos, or
aspects of these, and spread them online in a split second. The photos could
even become viral. It is not uncommon for images or videos to reach 1 million
views, often accompanied by negative or abusive comments. The teenager has no
control when this happens nor does the person who posted the image. No wonder
the particular individual may feel out of control and emotionally scarred. In France,
a law has been introduced under the privacy of children act. It states that if
a parent is to post intimate photos or information of their children or even
others without their permission they may face consequences like prison
sentences and fines. This can be up to a year in prison or a 45,000 euro fine (35,000
English pounds). Should the UK consider
the same thing?
Teenagers have rights, privacy being one of
these. Growing up is fraught enough without having to worry about their parents
monitoring their social media or posting embarrassing photos of them online. Growing
up is hard enough as it is. Trying to navigate a path in the world and striving
for independence, developing physically and mentally with a multitude of
emotions present all the time. Teenagers use social media to post their inner
most feelings and creative thoughts which they would not want their parents to
see. It is used as a getaway, an escape
and a distraction for most. This is impossible when you are aware your parents
are monitoring your social media use. A
study demonstrated that 60% of parents had checked their teenager’s social
media profile, which illustrates that their children’s privacy is not being respected.
Teenagers need to be given freedom to develop and be trusted with greater
independence in order to grow and thrive. Parents who intrude on their private
life in this way are not trusting of their child’s ability to make the correct
decisions in life. This is unfair and a clear demonstration of a lack of
Parents and social media is a minefield. Posting
photos of their children without their consent and then ‘stalking’ their
offspring’s social media. This is a complete invasion of the child’s privacy.
Consider this scenario: a mother spy’s
on her twelve-year-old daughter’s Facebook page to find out who she is friends
with and what photos she is sharing online. No child on planet earth wants
their parents to read what they post online to a friend. Would anyone really
want their parents to investigate their Facebook, Instagram, twitter and snapchat?
I think not! This behavior from parents can be viewed as disturbing and
voyeuristic. It is a worrying trend that is very unhelpful for family relationships,
particularly regarding the concept of trust.