Take advantage of the positive effects of social networks!
Good intentions … Who did not use one last week? We often hear the same phrase: more sports, less food … But also: be less concerned with social networks. ‘Digital detoxification,’ as it is called because many people call themselves addicts to social networks. In the media, there is currently a lot of attention due to the consequences of the use of social networks. Especially the negative effects. Issues such as addiction are reviewed regularly. It almost allows you to forget the positive aspects of social networks. Are social networks just negative and should we “detoxify” from them? No, of course not! Although, of course, there are some dangers… In recent years we have been stunned by social networks. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp…
Become more mature
Meanwhile, we are a few years since the first appearance of social media. And therefore wiser. Many people today are much more ‘mature’ with social networks. And yes, they look at their smartphones during the night or during the holidays. But those who handle it maturely know very well that there are also many positive effects of social networks. We notice this daily through conversations with our target group. By making your organization an “open kitchen” through social networks and appearing (and being relevant) in the timeline, the organization becomes the “priority of the mind.”
Good for democracy
Social networks are good for our freedom. Social networks can be compared with the online village market. Monitoring social networks is essential. In this way, we get an idea of what people think, in what direction public opinion goes. Two examples from the recent past show that too well. Everyone assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidential election in the United States. By monitoring on social networks, we saw much more ‘PR value’ for messages about Trump. We thought there was something incorrect with our data set, but that wasn’t the case. We saw the same phenomenon with the referendum about the Brexit. So there is a link between what people say and what they voted.
Social networks also help against the isolation of older people. Yes, there are some negative aspects of social networks that cannot be avoided. But embrace the positive possibilities of social media, be aware of it, also as government. It has been proven that to fight loneliness you can buy Instagram followers cheap. It will give your self-esteem a boost because you will feel more loved. It’s not just about posting messages on the public timelines of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, for example. We see a significant change from public posts to more “closed” messages, in chat or through groups. WhatsApp groups score particularly well with families. Currently, there is much more shared in environments, both closed as in a public timeline. Social networks unite people, that’s what it’s about.
Help the students
Not only older people. Young people also need social networks. For example, a study shows that 8 out of 10 young people need social networks during their studies. Specially to have contact with other students. It helps to see that they are not the only ones who are hours sitting behind the books. But also to share summaries and notes.
Some specific things kids can learn from social media are:
- Language skills, literacy, and arithmetic, such as vocabulary, story structure, practice with letters and numbers, understanding of numbers.
- Concepts and contradictions, such as big and small, more or less.
- Knowledge of the world, especially in stories, but also in movies where things are explained, how things work (think of everything you can learn by watching YouTube clips), and read the news.
- Deal with emotions, empathy (being able to empathize with another person).
- Communicate remotely (with all limitations of not seeing) and solve problems that occur.
- Handling (with fingers), speed and hand-eye coordination.
- Selecting important information, analyzing situations.
- Dealing with adversity: (through social networks, but also in games, children face unpleasant experiences and annoying comments: learning to relativize).
- Creativity: Think of all the ways you express yourself, from beautiful photos on Instagram to your own YouTube channel or blog.
What about as a parent?
For starters, you must keep in mind the age of your child. You can do several things to highlight the actual influence of social networks. For children to become familiar with the positive aspects of social networks at a younger age. For example, parents of babies are recommended to watch videos together or use Skype to communicate with their grandparents.
At the age of three, it is recommended that children become familiar with digital picture books because they later understand their stories better. At 6 years old, they can often be left more independent so they can watch the videos themselves. However, it is important to always pay attention to what your child looks at on the tablet or phone. It is crucial for parents to discuss and determine what to watch together with their children.
After your child’s ninth year, it is essential that many parents do not shy away from their children’s difficult questions. Otherwise, they may get the answers incorrectly. After all, they are becoming increasingly curious about the world we live in. They should not get answers through unreliable digital channels.
Once children are teenagers, many parents find it difficult to communicate with them. Now they are mostly hidden behind your monitor. However, it is important to continue talking with them about what they see and hear in school, with friends, but especially on social networks. When talking about this, children are prevented from forming opinions based on what they read on social networks. After all, no direct person in your neighborhood invalidates it.
Social networks are full of positive effects and possibilities. Even though we usually read about many “negative” effects of social media. Occasionally, taking a break from social networks is not a bad idea, but there is no reason to think that social media is toxic!