The role of a father in the life of a kid cannot be underestimated, more often than not kids look up to their for mentor-ship and guidance especially, in the world of social media where its easy to get lost in the negatives vibes involve therein.
Here are facts about digital media use.
- Almost 75% of teens own a smartphone. They can access the Internet, watch TV and videos, and download interactive applications (apps). Mobile apps allow photo-sharing, gaming, and video-chatting.
- 25% of teens describe themselves as “constantly connected” to the Internet.
- 76% of teens use at least one social media site. More than 70% of teens visit multiple social media sites, such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.
- 4 of 5 households (families) own a device used to play video games.
In lieu of the above, here are things a father should look out for while guiding their wards on the use of social media
- Cyber bullying: There is no gainsaying emphasizing the extent of the damages cyber bullying can cause to an adult not to talk of kids. There are many people who are suffering from short- and long-term negative social, academic, depression and the likes as a result of cyber-bullying. it can be from their class mates, or those they meet online therefore, its pertinent for a father to guide their kids against such
- Sexting and privacy and predators: As people are fond of saying this days “The internet never forgets” however kids aren’t aware of this, too much time on social media can make them fall victims of social media predators through Sexting which is sending nude or seminude images as well as sexually explicit text messages using a cell phone. About 12% of youth age 10 to 19 years of age have sent a sexual photo to someone else. Fathers needs to let their Teens know that once content is shared with others they may not be able to delete or remove it completely. social networking, chat rooms, e-mail, and online games to contact are usually used to exploit children.
- Problematic internet use. Heavy video gamers are at risk of Internet gaming disorder. They spend the bulk of their free time online, and show less interest in offline or “real-life” relationships. 4% to 8% of children and teens may have problems limiting their Internet use, and they may have Internet gaming disorder. There may be increased risks for depression at both the high and low ends of Internet use, also, the need for human communication, networking and the likes might be difficult for them in the long run.
- Research: The internet is a world where different kind of information and topics abounds, from science to art and social sciences consequently, fathers should teach their wards how to be self reliant when it comes to perusing for information and seeking knowledge, what better way is there to do this other than the internet.
- Be a good role model. As a father you must always lead by example, so the kids can follow therefore fathers have to watch the amount of times they use online especially when they are with their kids unless their job requires them to spend a lot of time online. They should have model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you’ll be more available for and connected with your children if you’re interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen.
- Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you’ll be more available for and connected with your children if you’re interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen.
Akin is the author of the book "THE INTERNET: a town square for the global village.
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