Kids are eager to get on social media earlier and earlier these days. Platforms are doing what they can to become more child-friendly, but internet-savvy youth know how to get to what they want online.
We all know the internet isn’t always a safe space for kids. Dr. Lauren Hazzouri says that she sees the harmful effects it has on young girls looking to emulate celebrities and influencers, noting “12 is the new 20” in these spaces.
The impact on teen girls is remarkable. The over-sexualization of girls in media can lead to issues with mood, school performance, their relationship with themselves, and self-esteem.
Dr. Hazzouri believes that a solid set of social media rules can minimize the harm these spaces can cause. She shared those tips on The Doctors.
She suggests keeping their feed and accounts private until they’re at an age where they really understand the risks and can handle the responsibility.
Another suggestion is only allowing kids to accept friend requests from people that have over 50 shared or mutual followers/friends. Kids should also understand the weight of the content they share online, whether it’s reposting memes or sharing selfies.
Lastly, she recommends that children shouldn’t be allowed to have their cellphones in their bedroom regardless of age. “My daughter is not going to take a sexually explicit photo in the kitchen,” she explained.
“She’s much more likely to take it in her bedroom. Parents need to get much more proactive and set boundaries about what their children are doing online.”
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