How is Facebook changing our children?

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All the statistical data in the world lead to the same conclusion: children who spend their free time on social networks run the risk of having personality and socialization problems. Paradoxically, the pillar on which Facebook is built is socialization. The developers of the network have confidently provided us with a virtual place where we can exchange opinions, views, images, statements with our friends…. A real communication portal, right? Wrong! Socializing on Facebook does not impose the same rules of communication as in real life.

Children “raised” in the Facebook law will not have the necessary training for socialization in real life. On Facebook you are more uninhibited, less ashamed of your actions and your judgments. On the contrary, it delights and motivates you that there is someone beyond the monitor who reads your opinions, complaints, dissatisfactions… Situation we do not encounter in everyday life.

Lower social skills

What would it be like to wake up every half hour freely expressing to hundreds of people what we feel or what we want? Or let all our friends, colleagues or neighbors know every time we want to go out? “Facebook does not require the same social skills that real life requires of us. In addition, it will damage our ability to communicate and develop friendships”, says Susan Adele Greenfield, neuroscience researcher at Lincoln College, Oxford.

It also claims that, over time, the brain of a child addicted to social networks will change, developing certain regions necessary for false communication on Facebook, at the expense of the areas necessary for “survival” in the real world. It seems plausible if we consider the studies that have shown that taxi drivers in London, having to remember the names of thousands of streets, have the part of the brain responsible for memorization.

Poorer results

Last but not least, it has been shown that Facebook affects academic results. “Specialist studies have shown that teenagers and children who frequently use Facebook have poorer academic results, are sicker and more exposed to symptoms and mental disorders. The conclusions show the correlation not only with narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, but also with many other diseases”, emphasizes Simina Munteanu, clinical psychologist Mental Health Clinic, from Bucharest.

How do you intervene?

If you also take into account the fact that the hours spent on Facebook steal from the time allocated to going out on the town or to healthier and more active hobbies, then the picture is complete. Access to the virtual world must somehow be controlled and limited, right? But how? You cannot ban them directly, because you will face a wave of resistance and rebellion.

You can friend him on Facebook, but remember: social media recipes have so many settings that he can block you from seeing his activity. So set a daily time limit for him to spend in front of the computer, which you remind him of frequently. In this problem, act like a parent, and less like a friend.

Be firm and set penalties if you exceed your Facebook time limit. Occupy his time over the summer. There are so many courses in the country at different clubs where you can enroll him. Or he adopts the western method: find him a job over the summer that will keep him busy and give him pocket money. Also, just as you taught him to say “Hello” or “Thank you”, teach him some rules of good behavior on social networks:

– he is not allowed to add pictures of other people without obtaining their consent.

– he is not allowed to post aggressive and racist phrases.

– he is forbidden to comment negatively and ridicule someone.

Children “raised” in the Facebook law will not have the necessary training for socialization in real life.