As I sit here typing on my laptop, preparing an article for a newsletter that I will send out to parents and teachers about social media and kids I wonder about the irony. I definitely utilize social media.
I have observed the social, emotional, academic, and coping behaviors of students change over the years. Can technology have something to do with it? Well, research points in that direction. Studies show that daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems. The key is to find balance and create safety .
There are some monitoring apps, like Bark, that help keep children safer when using social media by giving parents more control over their child’s internet devices. Like the ability to monitor social media, text messages, & other activities for signs of cyberbullying, depression, inappropriate content, and more.
As a teacher, navigating the world of social media with kids is more than a bit of a balancing act. There are the pros; where I have been able to use social media as a vehicle for creativity, allowing it to form connections, and inspiring some genuine laughs.
The worst? Well, we all know what the worst is.
So how can we help our kids start on the path to a healthy relationship with social media?
One creative answer might be Zigazoo. Zigazooseems to have created the perfect platform of social media for kids. They've developed a safe and positive community where kids ages 3 to 13 can create short-form videos (max. length: 30 seconds) and form healthy online relationships. It's similar to TikTok-style in its video-sharing, but offers prompts for kids to inspire videos. Recent prompts include things like:
Zigazoo was started by parents experiencing the same tug and pull of social media we all do. Zak and Leah Ringelstein, parents of three young kids and former teachers, created the app in the early days of the pandemic when, like all of us, they were struggling with finding great content for their kids online.
The other key factor here is to monitor the amount of time spent on social media and limit it!
Happy Kids Mindfulness and Creativity - YouTube https://m.youtube.com/channel/UClznRspJ4bwJiLWDwsqd9lQ