Brooks: The Technology Trap

Social media and technology can be addictive and harmful.

Social media and technology can be addictive and harmful.

James Brooks, Reporter

All parents have to eventually make the decision when to give their kid a device and give them access to the internet. For everyone it’s different.

I am truthfully scared for Generation Alpha (kids born 2010-2024). Kids are being exposed to things on the internet that young kids shouldn’t see. Some kids get a phone in third grade while some get it in eighth. So how much does the age they start using social media really affect the kids?

Social media gives kids all over the world access to any information or anybody they want to talk to. Due to the nature of teenagers, not everything on the internet  is very appropriate for kids. 

One app that is particularly inappropriate is TikTok. On TikTok, it is completely normalized to hate on people and say anything. Part of it is because they can say things without repercussions or having to face the person. The shelter of being behind a screen and hiding in a crowd of comments is comforting for people who want to insult other people and not be caught.

Addison Rae, popular TikTok influencer, said that “Hate was the biggest trend in 2021”.

The world is only getting worse as time goes on and society continues to destroy it with our bad habits. Some people have no respect for others and it’s starting to rub off on everyone including kids. There have always been people who just don’t care about others and lack empathy, but in my opinion it is at an all time high rate.

A perfect example of social media’s treachery is the bloody murder challenge. It is a challenge where you are supposed to go to a bathroom and summon “bloody murder.” This trend was huge ranging from teenagers to elementary schoolers. This challenge was made to incite fear into somebody and it is being shared on the internet to young kids. There are tutorials to play the game and anybody can find them online. Some even take it a step further and tell kids to make sure to tell their friends to do it with them.

You can say that the kids are the unwanted thing on social media and not the negative trends. You can’t even make an account if you’re under the age of 13, although there is no way for the apps to know if kids are telling the truth.  

All kids want to do in their childhood is grow up and be an adult, so naturally they will gravitate to the internet and apps that the older kids use. When you hear the idea behind the apps or look at them on the app store, they don’t sound bad for kids. They look like innocent fun, like recording videos of yourself lip syncing on TikTok. But, most sounds on TikTok are inappropriate and have swear words, even some sexual references. Unfortunately it is the people who use the app that make these apps so bad and full of hate.

Another one of the problems is that children look up to older people and teens that can be bad influences. Kids can pick up personality traits and change the way they act from trying to imitate YouTube videos they watch.

Some more platforms that are bad for young kids are PlayStation and Xbox. These consoles allow kids to play with people of all varieties. If you que up in a game of innocent child friendly Fortnite, you can find yourself or your child talking to a 40-year-old man. As well as that problem, hate is even more normalized on video games than it is on social media. 

All you know in video games is to win and brag or to lose and get angry. It is so common to be mean and make fun of others on the consoles and it is affecting kids’ ability to make friends. If you treat people in real life how you have gotten used to treating random people, online not many people will like you. 

f you decide to give your child a phone early then you should be very cautious with how they use it and make sure to supervise. You should put restrictions on your children’s phone and restrict screen time.

If you don’t be safe with what you let them use then you can find yourself talking to a whole different child in a short amount of time. Social media is addictive and harmful; let’s start treating it that way.