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Parent's heartfelt warning about social media and the 'casual cruelty' that young people can inflict on each other

Letter of the day: How well does your child behave online?

I write as a worried parent of teenage children. As we function in a chaotic time we no longer have enough "time" to share with our developing children. When they were younger it was easy to take them out to parks and beeches, cooked and enjoyed  basically life. We were aware of all their time besides school and sleep.

Today the children who are in the abyss of adolescence are constantly on their phones (paid for by us busy parents) up somewhere in cyber space. Their brains are constantly being inundated by data flow which following recent trends are definitely negative. They are being influenced and pressurised to reveal and share all their existence. In doing so they give up their privacy autonomy and individuality.

The world as we know it is changing fast and the technological revolution shows no signs of slowing down. We cannot stop any of this but we need to focus on our young teenagers they are not fully developed and have plenty to learn but we do need to protect them from all this negative cyber mania. Which is clearly affecting their brains normative and logical development

Facebook claims to help social and emotional learning trough technology. In actual fact social development happens solely trough mixing with other people in reality. Not sitting in their bedroom texting what ever number of " cyber  friends" while actually being "alone". Emotional development can also only occur trough socialisation and actual real life interaction with other people.

Facebook has been the trend for years now but the tendency has become negative promoting hostility towards other vulnerable young people. This casual cruelty of personal criticism can cripple more vulnerable young people. There is an obvious need to make our young realise and be mindful of the consequences of this disregard towards each other. This blatant "disregard" has become a "societal norm" tragically every week another young person gets lost in this abyss of loneliness.... of being bullied by their so called cyber friends. When are these brains getting a chance to go cold turkey? When do they take a break from cyber reality?

Unsupervised unlimited use is very wrong and we are in effect cruel allowing our vulnerable teenagers to be a victim of this new normality. "None are so blind as those who will not see" I am overpowered by the fear of what I hear every day we need to stop putting this issue under the mat. Our children need protected and kept away from this living in a bubble. We have control to protect our children and help them to make well-informed choices and think outside the box.

Local counsellors have committed to take action in relation to this issue. The Parent Advice Centre 08088010722 are available to offer support if you are affected  by  any of these issues. It is a totally confidential service.

Extremely worried parent

Belfast Telegraph

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