Wednesday’s seminar on social media highlighted a few points that are important for every parent to be aware of. I came away with a sense of concern for teens in two areas: the social life, and the pornography. Regarding the latter, it was shocking to realize how young some children are when first exposed to pornography—often accidentally. Then there’s the statistics on how available and extensive pornography is. To quote, “It is inevitable that young people will come across pornography.” That’s definitely concerning.
As a classroom teacher, I was also interested to see how the social life of teenagers is impacted by social media, such as cyberbullying and the extreme effects it can have. The presenters showed a long list of social media sites, and explained the purposes of some of them. For example, some sites/apps are intended strictly to meet and talk to strangers! Another was a forum where people could post pictures of themselves for comment—which obviously only feeds off of people’s personal insecurity.
The use of social media becomes a question of lifestyle. I know of many teenagers who spend significant time in the evenings on group chats. What else could they be accomplishing in that same time? How does it affect their interactions with peers when they meet again in school? What impact will it have at an age where their peers are most important to them, but very insecure? Is it replacing the invaluable time they ought to spend with their family? Strong families are critical for them at the most vulnerable ages!
Teacher, Calvin Christian School