The Government could impose time limits for children who access social media. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Matt Hancock, said: “There is a genuine concern about the amount of screen time young people are clocking up and the negative impact it could have on their lives.” One of the proposed ideas is that there would be different time limits depending on the age of the child, further exploration is needed to find the appropriate and most effective way of tackling this concern.

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Social media has come under fire recently for being one of the number one causes of anxiety and depression in teenagers. Girls and boys are becoming very body conscious resulting in body dysmorphia and eating disorders, along with bullying, lack of sleep, and feeling alone.

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Even in Soap world, social media is heading the storylines. Tiffany Butcher has become obsessed with Instagram and has landed herself in a lot of trouble. She was very nearly groomed by some older men, she has become number obsessed on how many followers she has, posing with the Kylie Jenner Pout, bullying Louise Mitchell by uploading a private intimate video without her consent and more recently taking a selfie of herself with Harley the fostered baby, and revealing his location, which has led to his kidnapping by his biological parents. Social Media can land you in a whole heap of trouble very quickly. The craving to become famous across social media seems to be children’s’ latest aspiration in life.

“Instagram has the most negative impact on young peoples mental wellbeing, a survey of almost 1,500 14 to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young peoples feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.” Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook are also deemed to be harmful. However, Youtube has proven to have a positive impact on children’s mental health.

Around 850,000 children in the UK under the age of 16 have a diagnosed mental illness.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all claim that users must be 13 but do not demand proof of age. Users are asked to enter their date of birth – but they can easily lie.

An Ofcom report, published today, found 51 percent of 12-year-olds have a social media account, along with 46 percent of 11-year-olds.

One in ten children aged between 12 and 15 have even shared live videos of themselves on social media. Some platforms, including Instagram Live, allow them to broadcast to strangers.” This puts today’s children at risk and this is very worrying for parents. If we do not get a grip on this now, what will the next generation become?

The Government has announced it wants the UK to be “the safest place in the world to be online” and has declared it will introduce a new code of practice this year, setting out the minimum expectations on social media companies.

What can we do in the meantime to protect our children on social media?

SafeToNet has a developed an award-winning safety app for parents to use to monitor their child’s screen activity. The app works by safeguarding children from various online risks such as bullying, sextortion, and abuse. Parents often worry about their children using social media and try to enforce screen time-limits or sometimes a total ban. SafeToNet aims to put parents minds at ease somewhat. The app can also prevent your child from sending messages that they may regret in the future or may even be illegal.

The software uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence systems that are designed to learn and detect changes in patterns of behavior. It is programmed to search for potential harmful images, and words. SafeToNet also educates and guides children and parents when a real-time risk is potentially happening. Parents can then intervene. However, your child’s data privacy is maintained so they aren’t being spied on by snooping parents. Parents never get to see what is being sent and received.

Click here to read more about this amazing award-winning app.

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