A British study has shown what many parents have already suspected: Social media shrinks self-esteem in children and adolescents and creates dissatisfaction and other negative emotions. This is mainly due to the fact that an idealized reality is reproduced, which is not yet tangible for children. It is therefore all the more necessary to promote children’s media literacy.
Facebook and Co. make children sad
Often people present themselves from their best side: be it bloggers with their perfect apartments, stars with perfect bodies or children with the perfect lifestyle. Social media and co. Rely on perfection. Unfortunately, younger children in particular do not understand that there is often a lot of image processing and fake behind these pictures.
A reality forms for the children that is perfect through and through – but unfortunately completely surreal. And they begin to strive for that perfection. They wonder why they don’t have such a beautiful body, are dissatisfied with their life, their grades, their environment. In addition, children and adolescents with Fake News and also Cyberbullying .
Social media influence all areas of life
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have shown in a long-term study that the use of social media can negatively affect all areas of life of young people. So anyone who uses Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Co. a lot and often is automatically more unhappy.
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The scientists asked children about their overall satisfaction. The results: Children who had access to the Internet were not as satisfied with their lives as children who grew up completely without the Internet. 4,000 children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15 were surveyed.
But this dissatisfaction does not have to be. Media literate parents can educate their children and let them know that the media image is often faked. It is their job to convey to the children that they must not believe everything they see in the media.
Idealized worlds wherever you look
Images on blogs are similar to images from the latest Ikea catalog. Difficult situations are always mastered with a happy ending and create a warm feeling in the stomach area. How much of it is really true, what is fake? Even as an adult, You often find it difficult to differentiate who I can still believe and who cannot. We realize that success depends above all on how “perfectly” life is presented. Perfect images, perfect expression, perfect emotions.
We have to make it clear to ourselves and our children that we are striving for a life that very few actually have (or even nobody). We need to strengthen their self-esteem, teach them which sources they can trust and make sure that they are satisfied with themselves for who they are.