Social Media – Striking the right balance
When the whole world is busy eyeing the latest Facebook post, and catching up with each other through FaceTime and WhatsApp, it is but obvious that the next generation is also influenced and curious enough to explore this much talked about platform – Social Media.
Social platforms like WhatsApp can be very appealing, especially to the teens, but little do they know about authenticity of the information that they are sharing, and also about the effects of negative information on their minds.
Not only parents and teachers, but as a good citizen, and someone enthusiastic to grow and build their lives and careers, even students should be more vigilant and responsible about what they are posting on social media.
The question is, how far do the children go with social media? While an absolute abstinence can further invoke more curiosity in the school going lot, a free hand over the usage of social media will adversely affect their time management skills, and might even affect their thought and reflex pattern.
It is therefore important, that faculty, parents and the children together learn about the effective ways to use this platform, and strike the right balance between life, studies and social media.
The Balancing Act
- Invoking the right interest
- While social media ranges from Facebook to Snapchat, to Twitter and more, it is important that the right kind of interest is invoked in the child, for them to look for productive information.
How do you invoke interest?
By knowing about the child’s likes and aspirations and introducing them to the means available on the social platform.
For example, a student who likes being a leader, would love to read and learn more about the influential people of the current world and people who have impacted society positively against all odds.
Sharing articles about the leaders, or introducing them to the twitter world where leaders are quite active, will invoke the right kind of interest in students.
- Educating students about social media
- Curiosity is good for learning about new topics, but it can also lead to repercussions.
Therefore, it is always good to educate the child about both the positive as well as the negative consequences of social media, and how can it affect them.
Showing examples of people who have posted comments, and were later trolled and singled out, or of those who share positive knowledge and the way they are appreciated for doing a good job, can be a way to make children aware of the consequences.
A student who is aware of the negative impact is cautious and will not want to waste their time looking for information that will not work well for them
- Limit the access
- Both teachers as well as parents should be vigilant on tracking the activities of children.
Though it might be difficult for faculty to track each and every student, however they can limit the access of kids by keeping them busy on other extracurricular activities.
Educating the parents about how to help students make the right use of social media will also help them to handle the kids in a healthy manner.
Sharing the posts, browsing together, invoking interest in outdoor activities such as camping, and outdoor games will help children to stay away from social media, or rather have less time in hand.
- Add some perks
- As a parent you can always first invoke the right interest, share some posts or articles that children would like to read, and at the end add some perks if they are able to transfer the knowledge either to you or the younger lots, siblings especially.
Kids love to talk, and talk more when they are heard. This type of activity will also instil a sense of responsibility in the child, and improve both their cognitive as well as communication skills.
Conclusion: The generation that we have in our hand is very intelligent, and hence as their forerunners, we too need to be smart enough to handle them well, and walk the talk.
Keeping our phones aside and participating with the kids can surely be one of the steps towards striking the right balance.
Apart from teachers and parents, even for students, who are willing to grow in life, it is good to be in touch with the world, but how much of time should be dedicated to socialising in this virtual world, is something they need to learn and also be cautious about.
The idea is to strike the right balance, and students can only do that by working on being more focussed towards their own growth.