In this age of the Internet, Facebook is not an exception, and it’s an alarming reality that kids are gaining access to profiles on the social media website without parental supervision. They are not only providing a front door for children to gain access to a variety of harmful activities, but Facebook also does not have adequate ways to restrict access to profiles with such content. Many parents find themselves helplessly sitting in a chicken coop; trying to keep tabs on their children through their virtual world, but at the same time unable to do anything about it.
The reason is simple: there is no centralized control mechanism that can tell Facebook to restrict content to avoid the harm of “bad” information. While some people may want to use tools like age filters or simple blocking features, they cannot prevent children from accessing the website. These are basic parental controls and neither apply to specific pages, nor to profiles that are publicly available, such as their parents’ accounts.
Change Profile Settings Immediately
So, when you set up your profile on Facebook, did you think that you are protected from inappropriate content? Of course, you didn’t. And what do you do when children are finding their way onto these pages, without any parental intervention? Do you change your profile settings immediately?
You could think that the impact on children who visit these pages would be minimal, but you’d be wrong. A lot of research has been done on the issue, and it turns out that in the case of an average child, who is visiting the site for the first time, accessing profiles without supervision can have disastrous effects. There are serious dangers to this kind of information, even if you think that your children are protected by age limits.
Studies show that children, in general, have an affinity for Facebook. Their cyber-connections are superficial and casual, and children easily slip into cyber-mischief. This is why some parents do not think about the possible harm that kids may acquire from their profiles.
The effect of social media on children is not a problem that is limited to the virtual realm. Just a few years ago, studies revealed that social media was having an impact on our physical health. It was a very disturbing study, and many parents are still shaken up by it.
Depression And Behavioral Problems.
Children today are highly interactive. Because of this, they can easily get hooked on social media, and allow their brains to focus on the online world instead of the real world. This can be harmful, as long as they don’t take advantage of their virtual friends and exploits. Exposure to these harmful influences can cause depression and behavioral problems.
Parents should always monitor the children’s usage of social media. Even if they have locked down the profile, a child could easily be interacting with someone in their network of friends who may be using a hidden account. It’s important that parents monitor what their children do and look for warning signs of trouble.
When you allow your child to connect with their classmates through social media, you are taking the risk of permitting a virtual community. There are often problems regarding sharing copyrighted material; however, Facebook offers tools to help you control who can share what. To make sure that your child doesn’t get too far out of the scope of the computer, use a parental control tool to block friends and “inappropriate” content.
The same goes for any kind of software that you use to monitor your children’s on the computer, whether it’s a simple fix for an antivirus program or a full-blown parental control suite. Make sure that you protect your child from danger. It’s simple enough to install parental controls, and you need to keep the content of your computer as safe as possible.
Even if you do everything right, there’s still the risk of exposure to “bad” social media. If the child is fascinated by a particular celebrity, or their favorite band, it’s easy to find something disturbing that they may enjoy. A chat room is usually free, and there’s a risk that a small amount of “bad” information will pass across to your child’s profile.
In the end, the question is whether you will let the child’s curiosity ruin your life? If your child is curious about something dangerous, think twice before you remove their access to their social media profiles.