While there’s always a risk when it comes to exposing your children to the Internet, web surfing can also offer many benefits. With the increasing popularity of social media among teenagers, a recent report from Pew Research Center revealed that it’s perhaps better for parents to become more proactive and encourage their teens to have a positive attitude towards the Internet. Below are the seven benefits kids can get from social networking platforms.
1. Friendships and relationships are strengthened. Parents often say that their kids are always glued to their gadgets, checking out to see the latest Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts. According to a study from UCLA Center, kids being online all the time doesn’t necessarily mean that they no longer take time to make friends offline. In fact, the study reiterates that social networking sites have strengthened some friendships formed offline as they can constantly keep in touch with each other even well after they have gone to different schools or moved to a new location.
2. Social networks offer social support. Kids can find other people who share the same interests as them on various social networking groups and niches. This gives teenagers a sense of validation and acceptance, according to Hitched Magazine. It can serve as a confidence boost which should help them when they are searching for colleges or jobs as adults later on. In some cases, teenagers with critical problems can also turn to social networks for support and guidance as there are plenty of valid groups that offer such help online.
3. The children learn to be more technologically-adept. The world has changed and it cannot be denied that technology is already an integral part of the way we live. Being online can help the children keep abreast with emerging technology by increasing their media literacy instead of falling back on the times.
4. Social networking contributes to their education. Several schools already adapt its use as teachers use the tool to discuss lessons or assign projects to students outside of the classroom setting, according to a study from Edutopia.
5. The children can learn from many viewpoints they read on the social network. With so many trending topics online, teenagers are easily exposed to different opinions and ideas. The diversity can help shape their own views on things as well, or shed light on issues they are not familiar with. It helps them find their voice.
6. It helps them keep in touch with family members. Before social media, grandparents only see the kids during family holidays or a few weekends at a time. This also changed today because they can now always keep in touch on Facebook. It will be good for the kids to have a relationship with extended family members.
7. Only-child and home-schooled kids can gain more from social media. The network can widen their scope of interaction and learning from different people, as the UCLA Center study pointed out.