The new-found compulsion with social media has taken a toll on the way we value relationships. It is crucial that we teach our children to respect them in this age of online relationships.
By Amrita Gracias
The expansion of the Internet has given rise to the phenomenon called social media. In simple terms, social media is a collection of tools that allows Internet users to connect with each other and share their ideas, interests and beliefs. The advent of social media has changed the way we connect and engage with each other, and this is not just limited to adults. Children too are using social media in increasing numbers. The sight of pre-teens and teens staring at their mobile phone or computer screen deeply engrossed in social media platforms is now common.
But, what is it that draws children to social media? What makes children get addicted to social media?
Research has shown that youngsters tend to experience an immediate and extreme sense of gratification and stimulation by being present on these platforms. While these platforms are used to make new friends and maintain ongoing friendships, they have also become a means for children to establish and assert their identities. In fact, children see social networks as an extension of their self, which makes these platforms an indispensable part of their lives.
However, along with the good, social media also has a bad side. While it allows children to connect with each other, it doesn’t give them the opportunity to infuse their relationships with emotions like warmth, empathy and compassion. With time, this can start reflecting on children’s behaviour and their relationships with those around them. Therefore, along with controlling our children’s online presence, we must also teach them how to value and respect relationships. Here is how you can do it.
While social media does help maintain relationships and revive lost connections, we must also focus on valuing these bonds. As a family, we need to understand the right amount of time we should invest in the online world. And, in doing so, teach our children the fundamentals of respecting relationships.
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