An individual’s online presence has been essential in the past year, given the pandemic. When you’re not online, you’ll have nowhere else to exist in a world of lockdowns and quarantines. Because most young people are born in the digital age, for them, navigating the online world is a breeze, but ironically, they’re also the most vulnerable to its dangerous sides.
The Internet is full of personalities that are living the perfect lives. They have all the money they need, expensive cars, great bodies, and live on cloud 9. These things are not typical, but somehow they manage to make children feel inadequate from across the screen. This problem is alarming because young people have impressionable minds and unformed personalities.
When they feel like they’re not enough because they’re not living lives similar to idols, it takes an immense toll on their self-esteem. As their guardian, it’s your responsibility to teach them how to use the internet to their advantage correctly. You can start with the suggestions below.
Urge Them to Follow the Right People
If you browse Instagram, Facebook, and other social networking sites, you’ll have no trouble finding the profile of supermodels and entertainers just living perfect lives. Even the pandemic does not seem to stop them as they go on attending social events and activities. They have the best clothes from the most recent seasons of designer brands, and you can easily find yourself lost in their gigantic walk-in closet.
So now, put yourself in the shoes of a regular teen witnessing their luxurious lifestyle from your handkerchief-sized bedroom — your thoughts will probably be on the lines of “I want that life.” There’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve more in life, but these extravagant lifestyles portrayed on social media are plainly unhealthy on young minds.
As a parent, you can introduce them to follow personalities that actually make a change in the world, like authors and social activists. Your kids can adequately feel empowered and inspired if you do so.
Hone Their Digital Technology Skills
The World Wide Web is teeming with research materials and knowledge from all over the world, and if you only know where to look, you’ll have access to unlimited information. Times are changing rapidly, and digital skills are needed in different industries more than ever, so it’s safe to say that employers can require these skills from applicants soon.
The present generation enjoys the inherent gift of being in tune with technology, and they need a push from you to learn more about it. Gaining knowledge is another proper way of using the internet to your kid’s advantage. When used as a source of information, you help equip your child with the abilities their future will require.
Allow Them to Connect with People
Indeed, according to Thomas Friedman, “The World is Flat.” With the globalization of technology, there are no more borders, and anyone can easily communicate with people from different parts of the world using their phone or computer. With this advantage, your child is free to build friendships with people living in other countries, expand their world, and learn more about various cultures. They can also use this privilege to get closer to their faith by joining bible studies and church communities online, especially given the indoor gathering restrictions due to Covid-19.
Let Them Use It to Raise Awareness
The amount of time people spend on social media has increased ever since the beginning of the pandemic, which is natural since it’s one of the primary ways of maintaining connections with friends and family. This prevalent character of the internet is also why people are taking their causes online, knowing that they are guaranteed an audience with the right platform.
As their guardian, you can let your kids use this chance to make them more socially aware and knowledgeable about the unfairness surrounding them. You can ask them to join online petitions and learn more about these cases so that they can use their social media influence as a way to fight for a good cause. Fighting for a cause does not necessarily equal fighting for a person. Your kid can also support animals and the environment.
Don’t Forget the Real World
Despite the advantages brought by social media, it’s still crucial that your kids exercise their physical abilities and leave the online world from time to time. Some deem that their social media personality is starkly different from real life. They claim to be more confident on networking sites than out in the world. That’s not how it should be.
To give your kid a well-balanced life, you should strive to help them thrive in whichever environment they belong. For instance, you can set weekly dates as a way to bond and ask them what’s currently keeping them busy. If you have a loved one at home who needs 24/7 care, you can request care from a reliable respite service to assist them for the time being. With peace of mind that your loved one is properly cared for are home, you can give your child breathing space from social media through outdoor activities.
When you educate your kid on the proper use of social media, they can take advantage of its benefits and hone their skills. This way, you can ensure that they know what to do and aren’t taken advantage of when going online.