The benefits of social media are rarely discussed. Reading online we may stumble hundreds of articles about the negative impact of social media, but not the benefits of it.
Now that children are stuck at home, we find ourselves connecting with others through social media. The same also goes for children.
But beyond connection, there are plenty of benefits of social media for youth. For instance, building a business, finding a job, showcasing talent, and many more.
Now let’s go through how your children can benefit from being on social media and use it productively.
Let’s go through each one of those benefits in more detail.
This is one of the biggest advantages of social media but rarely thought about by parents.
It is becoming more common for parents to think of business for kids that can teach them the value of money from a young age.
Online business and social media are becoming the most common way to start a business.
There are plenty of young adults who started a business through social media.
Parents are always worried that their teenagers may be spending too much time on their devices.
But is spending time on social media really that bad for a teenager? It all depends on how your child uses it.
Social media can be a total waste of time or a platform that changes the world.
We hear a lot of young people turning into millionaires at a very young age.
This is something more common among Gen Z (16–22 years old).
Many of this is driven by social media and their ability to turn friends into customers.
While many teenagers spend time on social media for entertainment purposes there is a group of teenagers that seeks business opportunities on those platforms.
Now let’s check out these Teen bosses.
You can check the Growth Mindset Kit designed to raise confident kids growing up with tech
1. Rosie Ackland, 21-year-old founded Beach Knickers.
Beach Knickers is a vintage clothing brand that sells beachwear as well as nighties.
She got an inspiration to create this brand when she spotted a gap in the market. Rosie said that all the beachwear she found on the high street was skimpy and she just wanted something cute.
She uses Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers.
2. Annelise Katz, founded Nails on Cornwall
She uses Instagram to promote her gel manicure company. Instagram has enabled her to promote her business by posting images of her manicures.
She encourages her customers to post pictures of their completed her nails and tag her on it .
3. Jake Miller, 21-years old founded Unfiltered
Unfiltered is a company that interviews important business leaders all around the world.
Jake now has over 200 video interviews with business leaders such as Richard Branson, Ian Wright, Sam Altman and many more. I
n an interview with Forbes magazine Jake says that social media played an important role in making his business a success.
He finds the right target audience using Facebook Sponsored ads and Instagram ads.
Many youth are turning to Youtube and TikTok to showcase their talent.
Your child could be a good singer, artist, or anyone with a special talent to show to the world. There is no better way then to put it out on social media.
Believe it or not, Justin Bieber was discovered through Youtube.
He was discovered in 2001 at the age of his manager by accident when searching for a different artist. The rest is history.
Your child might not be the next Justin Bieber but you never know where his talent can take him/her when it is shared with the world.
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How many times have we turned to Youtube to learn something new? The same goes for our kids. This is one of the biggest benefits of social media
When they are watching a Youtube video, it could be that they are trying to learn something new.
There’s plenty of kids teaching school subjects on Youtube. You can encourage your children to learn new things on social media.
It does not have to be educational, it could be something fun like learning how to create the new viral TikTok videos.
Whatever reason they choose to be on Youtube or any other social media platform, there are plenty of learning opportunities for them.
Social media can also positively impact your kid’s interest in a certain subject. For example, looking at cooking videos your child might be interested to learn how to cook.
Social media can be a great place for children to share kindness with others.
You might not remember or know about the story of a boy who was bullied because of his homemade T-shirt design.
The fourth-grader made his own University of Tennessee T-shirt for College Colors Day. Other kids started making fun of him
The teacher then posted on social media how disappointed she was by the way this boy was being treated. Her post went viral.
Outpouring love and support was given to this boy. His T-shirt design is now sold online.
Now more than ever we are relying on social media to keep in touch with our friends.
Social media can be a very powerful tool for children to stay connected with their friends.
Plenty of apps, like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have been a source of connection for teens.
Facebook groups have been popular for children to study together. Kids share their homework, discuss assignments, and post things relevant to schoolwork.
Using Facebook group your child can also organize Live chats about homework.
This is particularly useful when a child is absent from school but can get information from friends who are in school that day.
Many students use Facebook group to share notes with other students.
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All this while we have been reading about the negative effects of social media on our mental health. For example, cyberbullying, and more.
But social media has also been a place for support for young people.
For children with disability social media makes them feel connected for others in the community.
Typing a certain hashtag, for example, #loneliness on Instagram will result in hundreds of accounts to provide support for those going through a difficult time.
Social media can be a great place for young people who feel like they cannot talk about their problems with anyone else.
Your social media account can act like your CV. There is no doubt that employers and college administrators will go through an applicant’s social media account.
This is a great place to build that positive impact and create a positive online portfolio.
Social media is now just part of a child’s life growing up. It is important to have the right skills when communicating online.
This will help children prepare for future jobs. Social media gives them a good platform to practice online communicating skills by interacting with friends and family.
psst, don’t forget to :Download the THE GROWTH MINDSET KIT helping children to stay calm, confident and grounded even when growing up around social media.
Parents tend to head towards the negative mindset when they see their teenager spending hours on their mobile devices.
Instead of assuming the worst, it is important to gain an understanding of what your teen is utilizing those platforms for.
Speak to your teenager what he/she uses social media for.
If you are aware that your teenager is a blogger, vlogger or YouTuber then do encourage them to keep working hard towards their goals.
Do not discourage them by telling them to get a ‘real’ job. The future is digital and building your name in the online world is competitive and involves a lot of hard work.
If you know for sure your teenager is not using those platforms for a positive reason then speak to them about what other teenagers are doing online.
This might encourage them to do something good for themselves.
2. Identify business opportunities on social media
There are always 2 ways to look at a coin. Rather than looking at social media as a place to have fun, get them to start thinking of it as a place to start a business.
You can support them by saying that you are willing to pay for a sponsored Facebook ad on a particular budget if they can spot a gap in the market.
If you know your teenager has a particular talent or interest in a subject matter then encourage them to share it on social media.
For instance, if your teenager has a hobby in painting then encourage him/her to sell it on platforms such as Etsy.
If your child is passionate about maths or any subject then encourage them to start a Youtube video.
The beauty of building a business online will give your teen the flexibility to work on the business at hours that is convenient to them. It does not have to come in between their school or college time. They can work on it on a part-time basis.
3. Follow the right people on social media
There are some social media influencers that can have a positive influence on your teen.
There are plenty of technical and life skills you can learn by following the right people. Social media can be a powerful learning tool.
You can learn so many business skills from your followers.
They have gone through the challenges of starting a business and can help you find a better solution. Encourage your teen to use their online time to learn income-generating techniques
4. Set time limit and restrictions
While social media can be beneficial, we can’t ignore the dangers that come with it.
Parents need to understand that not all Gen Z are lazy, selfish, and self-conscious.
There are teens who are working hard and spending hours on social media to network and build relationships.
Many of them are using those platforms to achieve their goals. If your teen is one of them then do not discourage them rather nurture their interests or business goals.
Older generation parents need to start realising that the future is digital.
If you feel your teen is using those platforms only for entertainment purposes then have a conversation with them.
Speak to them about the potential they may have on those platforms and how you as a parent are willing to support them.
Let me know what other techniques do you use to encourage your child to use social media in a productive manner.
Here are other tips to you keep children safe in the digital age :
Instagram : 3 Instagram safety tips for parents
Don’t forget to download the smartphone self-evaluation toolkit for your kids