Social Media and Children

Social Media and Children

Mustafa Ersoy (Cumhuriyet Universitesi, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5733-3.ch002
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As a result of high-tech developments and the increase in the importance of the global communication, social media websites and applications have occurred as a new way of communication and self-expression in the contemporary world. Globalization has forced people to obtain and spread the necessary information quickly, and due to this requirement, people of all ages have had to acquire digital skills which they utilize to meet their need of learning and being informed about the issues happening around the world. Social media tools and applications are being highly and commonly used all round the world by all kinds of people from all ages in order to express themselves, get to know other people, share their opinions and learn others' opinions on the world issues, socialize, and have fun. Regarding its effects on children, social media has both advantages and disadvantages.
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Social media refers to the environments that change the way people communicate, interact and socialize and, in the meantime, allow people to express themselves as they want, using internet infrastructure.

Social Media is a platform that enables its users to participate in activities and events identified as its content as a way of communicating with their social circles including other users in the system and society, to share their own opinions by bringing them together to create their own content (Cohen, 2011). Although interaction and communication between social media users are emphasized in this definition, Fredman (2013) divides social media platforms into two different groups as interactive and non-interactive social media environments.

According to the way Fredman (2013) distinguishes social media platforms, interactive social media environments provide a way for users to communicate. Outputs of the software programs that make this communication among users possible depend on input from registered users in these environments to the system. In other words, all kinds of information and interpretation that users share in the system directly affect the output of the programs. Digital and electronic devices, software, touch tablets, applications, video games, interactive screen-based media such as Facebook, MySpace, game play sites, club penguins, blogs and YouTube are directly influenced by the output of virtual site programs and they are designed according to these outputs. Non-interactive social media platforms, on the other hand, do not provide an interactive experience. These environments consist of content that electronic devices cannot change, such as songs, movies, photographs, news articles, online images, and ads that appear on sites. These include digital copies of television programs, DVDs and CDs that have been shipped to the market. In summary, interactive social media environments are social media sites where users interact with each other and create their own content through their sharings and comments, while non-interactive social media platforms are the social media sites where users listen to music files and watch the video files that are added to the content without communicating with each other and sharing their own content.

Whether it is interactive or noninteractive social media environment, it is an undeniable fact that social media tools exist and occupy a huge part of modern life. Therefore, it is important that their uses and effects be searched in detail and people, especially parents, be aware of their both positive and negative effects on children and behave accordingly.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social media: Websites and internet-based applications which enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking.

Digital Literacy: The ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.

Facebook Depression: The negative emotional mood or situation that occur when children spend too much time on social media websites

Cyberbullying: The act of spreading fake, artificial, embarrassing, and hostile information about others, which may affect children profoundly and cause depression, anxiety, isolation and suicide as a result.

Media Literacy: The ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media.

Sexting: The act of spreading one’s own sexual messages, videos, photos, or information through social media.

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