Social Media Not Recommended Under Age 13
It has recently been in the news that the Surgeon General gave the opinion that children under the age of 13 should not be taking part in social media. This recommendation was noted to be based off the data he had. Diving a little deeper into the statement we need to know what social media platforms have been deemed unsafe for children and why.
There are many different platforms kids can waste their time on throughout the day, but the platforms of concern have been labeled TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. According to Pew Research Center at least 95% of teens 13 and older have smartphones and 97% use the internet daily. Kids from the age 13-14 using TikTok is 61% and 51% utilize Snapchat. Moving into the next age group, 15-17 yr. olds use TikTok at 71% and 65% for Snapchat. These apps and platforms are often a misrepresentation of reality. It is a distortion that is full of filters and can bring the pretend life of toddlers into the teenage years. Kids of the age 13 should be developing self-worth, relationships and interaction with others. Social media distorts all these important developmental stages. Teens are more susceptible to the health and mental impacts of social media. Living in the age of unlimited information, this becomes an overload for younger kids. Growing up as kids we typically do and learn things one step at a time. This is often skipped when you have every piece of information you need from the start. Facebook started to use AI technology to protect younger users from improper contact with adults. This can protect children from contact with adults, but that is only a small part of the problem. The t’ween years are often difficult without the use of social media. If introduced into children’s lives, you lose a certain amount of parental control and lessons that should be learned at a slower pace. With social media you will only see what people want you to see. You will think everyone has the newest and shiniest things. Most will seem to have an abundance of happiness. Children under the age of 11 using Instagram and Snapchat have problematic digital behavior. They are not mature enough to handle the stimulation. They may end up clicking links that parents disapprove of, experience online harassment, have increased anxiety and a decrease in self-esteem. Children utilizing TikTok can be prone to developing actual tics and tic-like attacks. If you notice your child experiencing movements that are abnormal and increase with stress, anxiety or increase when the apps are used, you should take note and immediately change their environment. This will arise from the habitual stimulation that checking social media causes. This can alter chemicals in the brain in adolescents. It has been shown that students checking social media throughout the day can develop greater neural sensitivities that will make them more sensitive to social consequences over time. This is a social media dopamine dump that affects the brain. Young children will suffer with poor literacy skills and inability to use expressive nature.
Social media has its place as a form of social entertainment, but should be monitored carefully within your household. It can be addictive and damaging as sugar in your child’s diet and should be treated as such.
— This article is written by Aaron Workman, DC one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.
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