Confronting the Social Media menace

Part 1 - Three basic tips to protect your children

Category : Articles/

Part 1 – Three basic tips to protect your children

Social Media is no more a technology made to connect people, spread love and bond relationships. The clear agenda and business case for Social Media is Targeted Advertisement apart from political polarization, stimulating movements and public intelligence by security services.

Social Media creates a model for every user based on their profile, connections, location, interests, behavior (what you post and what posts, content you like to see, read), your searches. With this much data the machine learning technology creates a model and then Artificial Intelligence engine starts to recommend advertisements and other pages to follow. In YouTube they recommend videos, in Twitter they recommend whom to follow.

A famous quote from world’s leading Social Media platform provider VP says “Whenever you use a service for which you don’t pay, it means you are the product who is being sold to someone”. When you are on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram you are the product who is being sold to advertisers. And advertisers want precise customers who are real buyers, hence they need to target as much as possible and for these Social media platforms need to collect more and more data from you and about you. This data is no more captured by making you fill forms; they are captured with your engagements on the platform.

The Social media platforms success lies in keeping you as much engaged as possible, they want you to be always attentive (hence they send notifications). With location-based technologies embedded inside your devices, to keep you engage they can even tell you which of your friends is in your vicinity. And after Covid-19 with lock downs, social distancing and restrictions Social media has become more popular.

One downside of Social media is severe psychological effects on children like in USA the self-harm and suicide rate in teenagers has exceled by almost 200% over last decade. Distress, tension, lack of creativity and talent are various problems which children are experiencing due to social media apart from religious ethical issues like lack of orientation towards religion, spirituality and misbehavior with parents. They or might soon need parents only to buy them devices and pay for data packs and services.

In this series we will talk about some tips on how to protect ourselves, our families, children and generation from this menace of Social media. Those who made the technology themselves say this has gone out of control, we cannot change things by changing software code, the machines have become so powerful that the way computing is done we have no clue on what results it derives and what actions it takes.

Let us talk about few basic tips today on protecting your children from Social media menace

  1. Do not allow kids to use social media till they reach sixteen (complete high school). Carry out a survey on those who have developed these technologies you will find that they don’t even give devices to their children because they know very well the harms of what they have developed themselves.
  2. For younger children do not give them devices or if they have to use devices for study or some cartoons ensure there is no social media on those devices and they use them in front of parents. Set up a time budget with your kids as to how many hours of screen time they are allowed to use per day and reward them if they are under budget and they get penalized if they are above.
  3. For teenagers and even parents make a culture that no devices in bedroom, in fact before going to bed ensure your teenage children switch off their devices at least an hour before. No devices in theirs and yours hand on dining table or family get together.

Remember Social media is demanding your attention and engagement, reduce that and you can be safe.

We will continue with more tips to help parents and children both to protect ourselves from information pollution. Stay tuned!

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