While social media can often catch a bad reputation for giving youngsters a public platform to be bullied, or ostracized in school it can also be just as useful for cutting back on social peer challenges for millions of kids. Think about the quiet student that you don’t really know too much about that has the opportunity to express themselves on social media and gain a totally new group of friends based on one or two posts. Often kids get likes based on everything from wearing an outfit in a photo that others are fond of, to posting about a cause that’s important to them, to just making a comical comment with their photo that attracts other users to their page.
It can be a way for them to come out of their shell, and not feel too pressured to say things that otherwise in a public forum in school they wouldn’t have the courage to. Look at Queen Elizabeth II, who just made her first post on Instagram at 92 years old; it just goes to show that you can be any age and enjoy posting that picture and reading the comments!
Sites like Instagram and Twitter allow the user to make a quick statement with a photo and not have all the concerns of making these statements in the cafeteria, or on the school bus for all to see. Some teens have even used to accounts as a forum to speak their own truths by casually making posts that allow them to publicize their sexual orientation, or to seek help from abusive situations. There are even cases where suicide was prevented due to a post or two that caused followers to check in on the account user and perhaps even save a life that day purely by showing compassion. The power of social media can be rather profound, and while it will always be something that parents wish to shelter their kids from at times, it can also be a way for our youth to express themselves and stay in touch with friends online that help keep maintain their self confidence. If you have any concerns with your child’s accounts, just check them periodically to ensure no real red flags are present. Millions of young people have the ability to use their accounts without any issues and enjoy having them as a way to keep up with their peers. Talk with your teen today!