The Great EdTech Debate Round 3: “Social‌ ‌media‌ ‌is‌ ‌ruining‌ ‌childhood”

Social media the 21th century babysitter

This evening in my EDTC 400 class was the second week of our The Great EdTech Debate. The 1st debate of the evening was: Social‌ ‌media‌ ‌is‌ ‌ruining‌ ‌childhood. Caleb Lueck v. Sarah Molly Yungmann.

Lueck agreed with the statement. He argues that social media is ruining children’s childhood based on three reasons. 1) Influencers and the new form of entertainment. Kids nowadays look up to many influencers. Many influencers’ content is not geared towards kids but to teenagers and young adults. Kids see this and are exposed to content that they are not ready for yet and they are influenced to do questionable things. For example, Jake Paul encouraged kids to drop out of school. Unlike TV where all content, not just kids’ content, had to go through multiple levels of screenings and approval processes to de deemed appropriate to air, social media has no clear-cut guidelines. For example, there is numerous instance where TikTokers post oversexualizes content. 2) Sharenting and kidinfluencers. Sharenting is defined as parents overshare content and personal information about their kids. While kidfluencers are defined as child stars that parents create and exploit for money. For example Ryan’s World. According to their YouTube channel, the channel has posted at least 1 video per day. Ryan essentially has worked a 9-5 hour job since he was three. Kids have no consent when parents post things about them because of the power dynamics parents have with their children. 3) Negative effect on mental health. According to Forbes, children’s mental health is impacted due to comparisons of their life with others. Most of the time people post a very edited section of their life and only the best parts. Studies show that social can lead to a lack of empathy which then can lead to bullying. People are more prone to cyberbullying because people can hide behind the screen and bullies never confront the people they bully. This can also lead to depression.

Other points:

If they make mistakes kids get to attack and cyberbullied

Kids Instant gratification – they learn that their values are based on the number of likes and when the number is low their mental health gets affect.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Pressure to grow up Girls feel like they have to dress more maturely and boys feel like they have to act manlier due to how they see influencers act. what

In conclusion, numerous reasons can ruin children’s childhood.

Yungmann disagreed with this statement. She argued that social is not ruining kids’ lives but instead enriches childhood. According to Willbold’s article “Social Media In Education: Can They Improve The Learning?”, social media improves kids’ learn for these reasons. 1) Social media helps develop children’s communication skills on multiple levels. 2) It helps kids develop collaboration skills. Kids share ideas, gain new perspectives and connections with other people in different countries. For example, social networks with people who have the same interests and hobbies. 3) It develops creativity. It is a conduit for self-expression, gives access to resources that inspire them, and pique their curiosity. In conclusion, social media does not ruin children’s childhoods instead it enriches it because it helps children learn digital literacies such as communication, collaboration, and creativity.

My thoughts

I agree with all the points that Lueck and Youngmann made, but the statement was “Social media is ruining children’s childhood.” This is a very black and white statement. I agree with Youngmann that the use of media social does enrich kids learning, but that is in school content where tech and media are centered on learning. But social media outside of academia can be very risky. since social media is used for entertainment and business. Lueck has given examples of kids’ lives being ruined by exploitation through the use of social media. e.i. Ryan from Ryan’s world. Another that one that comes to my mind is Lil Tay. She was deemed the internet’s ‘youngest flexer.’ These kids can become entertainers and are being explored for the business of making money. Even the average kids’ life is being ruined because their whole life can is posted online. Think about your Facebook and Instagram is a timeline of your life. And people can dig up some dumb posts from your past and hold you accountable for a post that you made as a kid. In conclusion, it is ruining SOME children’s childhood therefore it is ruining children’s childhood.

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Teacher in training.

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