Teaching Kids to be smart about social media - PIET Sanskriti Senior Secondary School

Teaching Kids to be smart about social media

Teaching Kids to be smart about social media

The growing number of online networks like WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube have trapped pretty much all of us. No-one can deny the impact of social media on society and teenagers. All such apps have users from every age group counting from kids to elders, and why not? The charm is magnetic. Therefore, we need to be teaching kids to be smart about social media.

The growth of the internet and social networks in the past two decades had gone tremendously fast that none of us realized when we became an addict to them. And when we especially talk about kids/ teenagers, about 70% of them have used some or the other form of online networks and are very much active on their respective profiles.

Many teenagers visit their profiles daily and spend hours surfing, chatting, or just scrolling up and down. The compulsion has raised to the extent that there seems no chance of it ever coming down again. Also, the current time is an internet era that makes it impossible to even think of ever cutting down the use of any such networks.

Like every other aspect of life, social media also has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages and as parents, it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to use social media responsibly and to understand the impact of social media on society generally.

Advantages of social media for kids and teenagers

  • Today’s teenagers and youth have become productive social media users like never before. This vast social network platform has provided them with a medium to express their creativity, ideas, and talents with a broader audience.
  • Social media have brought people closer, and even kids who were once introverts have now explored and opened up only by being on such platforms.
  • Keeping the current scenario in mind, social media has been a savior for studies to the kids worldwide. Digital education, video classes, worksheet sharing, a demand of today’s world, is only possible due to the presence of multiple social networks.
  • Social networks are mapped as a crucial platform in keeping kids updated about the current events and news going around the world.
  • It’s been observed that social platforms have encouraged kids to know and participate in public events and fundraising campaigns that contribute to the growth of both individuals and society

Disadvantages of social media for kids and teenagers

  • The most worrisome downside of social networking platforms is “Addiction.” Continually being a “Surfing worm” and checking newsfeed is a highly grown addiction to teenagers especially.
  • Addiction has led to many more disadvantages like adverse effects on mental health, mood swings, anxiety, unproductive routine, downfall in studies, obesity, and lethargy. It also fuels a negative attitude and outlook.
  • Social time has profoundly impacted family and outdoor time of kids as well.
  • The pressure of being constant and best on their profiles by posting endless selfies and life updates. Their mood is being affected by likes and comments on their post or picture. Many kids end up living an Instagram perfect life and get destructive if someone points out their flaws or drawbacks.
  • Kids and teenagers, these days tend to share all their personal information on their social media accounts or even with their digital world friends whom they rarely know about in real life. This is seriously invading their privacy, which can bring the worst consequences sometimes.
  • Abusive or sexual posts bring them close to aspects of life earlier than they should. Not only this, but about 60% of Facebook and Instagram posts provoke and agitate them negatively or violently about sex.
  • Cyberbullying or online harassment is another very crucial disadvantage of social networking sites. Either your kid is a victim of it or an attacker.

How can parents teach their kids to be smart about social media?

The pros and cons of the internet and social networking sites are relatively different for children of every age group. Though the addiction is constant, the impact can be distinguished depending upon your child’s age and hold over such networks. As parents, we need to be teaching kids to be smart about social media and the impact of social media on society.

For Kids

The social media and networking addiction have not even spared kids of age as below as 4 or 5 years. They tend to catch what their parents and other elders at home do, and most of it points towards the use of the screen. If not with their ID, they are more likely to use their parent’s Facebook and Instagram IDs to be active online or play online games. We as parents too unwantedly bring them near mobile phones, tablets, or I-pads which later becomes an addiction. Make them follow the rules like:

  • Ask dad and mum first.
  • Maximum 30 minutes of the screen uses up to 9 years of age.
  • Prioritise like Studies -> Rest -> outdoor sports -> Family time -> and then Screen time.

As a parent, the most crucial step to teach kids about social media is bringing down your addiction first. Make sure you log out all your social networking profiles every time to leave your phone. At times when a mobile phone is an integral part of our life, it is difficult to keep it away from kids. Do not give them too much information or neither make things forbidden for them. They must learn about things somewhat from home than from any wrong sources outside.

For Teenagers

The worst and negative impact of social media on Kids is primarily centered on teenagers. Teens being the most curious and less exposed ones tends to get negatively trapped into its usage. These days, parents are forward and modern and openly discuss a lot of life aspects with their teens. Here for making them smart about social media, the key is opening and debating with them.

Talk with your teens about every social media platform, its cause, and its consequences. Try to indulge with them during their phone times, not with the motive to surveillance them but in a way that they comfortable talk and show you their online activities. Teens today are brilliant and forward, hence ask them to teach you about the various platforms they use. Do not belittle their interest and become more open and accepting. If you try to control them, they will use social media secretly or in isolation, hence develop such a comforting atmosphere at home that your teens learn the crucial aspects from you first before they dive down into their profiles.

Teach your kids the Do’s and Don’ts for social media and the impact of social media on society


  • Do add your Parents on your Social Media accounts.
  • Only share decent pictures online.
  • Be respectful of everyone’s privacy and differences.
  • Be considerate upon the choice of your words.
  • Unfriend/ Unfollow or block the ones who make you uncomfortable.
  • Be polite towards everyone, even those who don’t agree with your views.
  • Report any abusive content
  • Do respect everyone’s religious or political beliefs.


  • Don’t share your personal information like address or other details.
  • Don’t share your location, traveling details, or any such information.
  • Don’t post pictures any personal or revealing pictures on social media.
  • Don’t spread rumors or false information.
  • Don’t spread private information about someone else at any cost.
  • Keep your political and religious views on social media in a respectful manner.

Swati Taneja (TGT, English)
PIET Sanskriti Senior Secondary School
NFL Township, Panipat

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