Social media is dangerous to children, youth, educational experts caution

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AMMAN — With easy access to various social networking sites, Jordanian youngsters are prone to dangers posed by the internet, educational experts cautioned, calling on parents to practice more control over their children, and raise their awareness on the negative aspects of some applications.اضافة اعلان

A recent study showed that there is 4.5 million TikTok accounts active in Jordan, with  most users being in the age group of 18–24.

“The desire to be liked and accepted is what all this generation is thinking about, and is driving kids into engaging with these dangerous challenges,” said Nabil Hanatqa, an educational expert.

He told Jordan News that the main awareness role is the “parent’s responsibility, starting at setting boundaries on internet usage, and keeping an eye on what kind of content their kids are watching”.

“Watching your children’s behavior is really important to prevent them from engaging in dangerous activites,” he said.

“Shaping a child’s personality and enhancing his confidence is also a solution to not let him fall victims for social media, and feel the urge to be liked and admired by others outside the household”, he pointed out.

“If the child is confident, loved, and supported in the house, this would reflect on his entire life,” he said.

Parents, it seems, believe that the school has an equally important role in educating children and raising their awareness, he argued.

Alaa, a mother of three children with the oldest being 11 years old, said that talking to children and communicating with them “is the key to know everything about your child, without invading their privacy”.

But she added that it is also the responsibility “of each educational institution to watch the kids carefully, and communicate with the parents about any suspicious behavior”.

“We do not get to watch our kids 24/7, so it is the schools’ responsibility as well to guide the kids, as much the parents do, to prevent any harm from befalling on them”, she said.

Ahmad Abu Salah, a father of two, told Jordan News that raising children’s awareness is a “shared responsibility of parents, the school, and the Ministry of Education”.

“Parents should do their part in terms of raising and educating their children, as well as talking with them constantly,” he said.

“But there is also a great responsibility on the school and the ministry, as awareness lectures must be held from time to time about the dangers of social networking sites, and the challenges and the impact of dangerous games,” he added.

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