06 November 2023 Kids Born in the Digital Age: The Impact of Social Media and How to Protect Them

Is your child's favorite hobby scrolling through social media? From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to TikTok, there are numerous platforms that children can use to communicate and connect with their peers. As parents, it’s important for you to understand the impact of these digital platforms on your children and take steps to protect them. In this article, we will explore the potential risk of children using social media and offer useful advice on how to assist your child in developing positive online behaviors.


Social media is associated with several potential risks:

1. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a serious form of online abuse. In the online world, cyberbullying can be difficult for children to avoid due to the speed at which information can spread and the ease with which bully and victim roles can interchange. Cyberbullying leads to mental issues and cause children to feel isolated, depressed and even lead to suicidal thoughts.

2. Sleep difficulties

Study found that both daytime and bedtime use of electronic devices increases the risk of sleep problems (Reid Chassiakos et al., 2016). Using electronic devices before bedtime or having them in the bedroom can lead to disrupted sleep, which affects daytime performance. Besides, the emission of blue light from screens hinders the production of melatonin, which can result in sleep difficulties.

3. Self-esteem

Social media frequently exposes children to images of seemingly flawless lives, which can make children have a misperception of body image, feel inadequate and unworthy. Continuous comparisons to others on social media can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, potentially causing lasting impacts on a child's mental well-being.


Is social media completely bad for a child?

Certainly No! While overuse of social media poses risk to children, there are potential benefits too, such as providing a platform for their self-expression and creativity. What’s more important is, parents and caregivers should help to balance the benefits and harms of social media use in kids.

Hence, here are some tips for you:

1. Setting limits on screen time

Encourage children to take breaks from social media and engage in other activities, such as physical exercise or spending time with friends and family.

2. Monitoring social media use

Monitor your child’s online activity and screen for the media exposure to prevent them from being bullied or engaging in risky behavior.

3. Encouraging positive social interactions

Educate children to use social media to connect with friends and family in an active way, such as engaging with their posts through liking, commenting, and creating and sharing their own content. This is because study shows that passive use of social media, such as scrolling through content, has been linked to depression (Karim et al., 2020). Thus, what matters most is not how long a child scrolls through social media, but how they actively engage with it.


Are certain children more prone to the risk of social media?

According to research, infants and toddlers who have a "difficult" temperament or self-regulation issues are more prone to excessive media use (Reid Chassiakos et al., 2016). Study has shown that those with high levels of neuroticism were more likely to develop social media addiction (Marciano et al., 2022). This is because individuals with high levels of neuroticism typically experience more negative emotions, such as stress and anxiety. To cope with these emotions, they may spend more time using their phones and the internet as a means of relief. As the online environment can provide a sense of security, they can easily express themselves and share their concerns without fear of criticism or rejection. This makes them rely more on online social networking to connect with others and reduce their emotional pain.

Genetic testing helps you to discover whether your child has a genetic predisposition towards neuroticism and other personality traits. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your parenting style to better support your child's emotional and mental well-being from a young age.

To learn more on your child's genetic predisposition, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn traits!



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Chen, W., Wang, X., Sun, S., Liu, Q., & Guo, Z. (2022). The relationship between neuroticism and mobile phone use among college students in love: The masking effect of self-emotional assessment. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.

Karim, F., Oyewande, A. A., Abdalla, L. F., Ehsanullah, R. C., & Khan, S. (2020). Social media use and its connection to mental health: a systematic review. Cureus, 12(6).

Marciano, L., Camerini, A. L., & Schulz, P. J. (2022). Neuroticism and internet addiction: What is next? A systematic conceptual review. Personality and individual differences, 185, 111260.

Moreno, M. A., & Radesky, J. (2023, March 20). Social Media & Your Child’s Mental Health: What the Research Says. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/social-media-and-your-childs-mental-health-what-research-says.aspx

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