In addition, social media may be a distractionfor some parents as they often end up over invovled. They can become too busywith their noses in their phones, posting and boasting about their childrenwhen they should actually be paying them attention in the real world.
Childrencan feel abandoned and rejected as they may want to spend time with theirfamily but their parents are too busy checking the notifications on theirphones. Lack of attention can lead to achild behaving in a way they would not normally in order to gain a parent’sattention. With the increased use of social media, parents can also be accusedof under stimulating younger children by not playing with them or rarely takingthem outside. This can delay their development with them not being able tospeak, walk or relate to others due to lack of interaction.
Of course, thisthen impacts upon their ability to achieve academically and in social relationships. A head teacher stated, “There is limitedparent child interaction. Four year olds know how to swipe up a phone but haveno clue about conversations”. This shows the underdevelopment of children dueto the overuse and rise in the use of social media in both parents andchildren. Perhaps the parents should not allow such long periods of access atsuch a young age.
Furthermore, parents appear to think theirchildren are being influenced by sex, drugs, alcohol, bullying and violencesolely through social media. This is not the case as these issues are allaround them and existed before any social media platform was invented. Dare Isay it, even when our parents were young! Parents are influenced by socialmedia as they seem to believe everything they see online. Without question,this leads to the assumption that their teenagers must automatically beinvolved in that same behavior. Viewing teenagers smoking drugs online often leadsto the parent asking if their child smokes cannabis or take legal highs. Theanswer 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 reallyembarrassing photo of them and been tagged in it? Parents are renowned forembarrassing their children but it has reached a worrying new level. It iscruel to post photos or information on social media without the consent of thechild as it is disrespecting of that individual’s rights. Social media may bethe only place a teenager believes they have privacy in their life and mayproject a certain image of themselves. This can be blown apart by an embarrassing or silly photograph, whichare supposed to be funny but instead can be extremely damaging to the emotionalstate of the teenager.
These types of posts may also show a happy, amazingfamily life, which could lead to jealousy and bullying. It is possible to screenshot photos, oraspects of these, and spread them online in a split second. The photos couldeven become viral. It is not uncommon for images or videos to reach 1 millionviews, often accompanied by negative or abusive comments.
The teenager has nocontrol when this happens nor does the person who posted the image. No wonderthe 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 ifa parent is to post intimate photos or information of their children or evenothers without their permission they may face consequences like prisonsentences and fines. This can be up to a year in prison or a 45,000 euro fine (35,000English pounds). Should the UK considerthe same thing? Teenagers have rights, privacy being one ofthese. Growing up is fraught enough without having to worry about their parentsmonitoring their social media or posting embarrassing photos of them online.
Growingup is hard enough as it is. Trying to navigate a path in the world and strivingfor independence, developing physically and mentally with a multitude ofemotions present all the time. Teenagers use social media to post their innermost feelings and creative thoughts which they would not want their parents tosee. It is used as a getaway, an escapeand a distraction for most. This is impossible when you are aware your parentsare monitoring your social media use.
Astudy demonstrated that 60% of parents had checked their teenager’s socialmedia profile, which illustrates that their children’s privacy is not being respected.Teenagers need to be given freedom to develop and be trusted with greaterindependence in order to grow and thrive. Parents who intrude on their privatelife in this way are not trusting of their child’s ability to make the correctdecisions in life. This is unfair and a clear demonstration of a lack ofboundaries.
Parents and social media is a minefield. Postingphotos of their children without their consent and then ‘stalking’ theiroffspring’s social media. This is a complete invasion of the child’s privacy.Consider this scenario: a mother spy’son her twelve-year-old daughter’s Facebook page to find out who she is friendswith and what photos she is sharing online. No child on planet earth wantstheir parents to read what they post online to a friend. Would anyone reallywant their parents to investigate their Facebook, Instagram, twitter and snapchat?I think not! This behavior from parents can be viewed as disturbing andvoyeuristic.
It is a worrying trend that is very unhelpful for family relationships,particularly regarding the concept of trust.