“Shady”, aged 15 years, can not fight the temptation he feels for technology and social media; he wakes up in the morning where he immediately checks his smart mobile phone to see the chats of his friends on their groups, before he even has breakfast or dressing up for school
Shady is not different from his generation; they are busy with social media leaving behind the daily duties and what is going on around them, where they are less happier as chatting applications tempted them containing unappropriated issues with their age.
Certainly teenagers and children are not aware of the dangers psychological and social impacts of using smart computers and mobile phones and here danger lies.
Besides social media is filled with Tweeters and commenters as well as the stars of virtual world who most of them are beyond the age to use this technology.
In order to protect those young people, social networks defined the minim age for its users, when Facebook was found; the company defined the minim age of users to be 17 years. However, later the minim defined age decreased to be 13 years only.
While Tweeter put the age 16 to be the minim age. Considering YouTube, its content is accessible to those who are more 17 years old. In addition, in many countries there are rules which prevent children from using social media; such as Sweden which issues a law demanding who is beyond 16 years to get a permission by their parents.
The question arising automatically here, do the procedures of logging in to these applications define the age for children and teenagers to access this virtual world?
It seems hard to check the honesty of the data of users age for these information can be easily manipulated, so that many create unreal accounts with untrue data.
The negative impacts of children use of social media is one of the risks targeting and facing them because kids and teenagers are not 20 years yet and a part of their brains which responsible for defining the consequences of deeds such as “insults and cursing”.
Abo Shady from Idlib city narrated to us his suffering in a grieve tone:” My son Ala’a did not realize the danger in cursing one of my family and how this mistake can affect his social life in the future, I will not forgive myself for being delinquent to watch my kid and forbidding him from using social media at early age”.
Despite the legal age approved to use social media, 30 percent of users of social media are beyond that age which refers also that social media is a profit companies whose main concern is mentioning the number of users and increasing that number; here parents’ role becomes necessary and clear through advising kids and preventing them in a gentle way to leave these applications.
By Bayan Alahmad
Translated by Sabah Najem
Syrian Press Center