In our digital world today, smartphones are a persistent occurrence which is growing to become a daily necessity with its ability to perform so many tasks. However, one consequence of this is that users of smartphones are also growing younger. A recent study has highlighted this trend, indicating that over half of the children in the United States own a smartphone. Furthermore, 54% of children own a smartphone by the age of 11, and 84% of teenagers own a smartphone.
Smartphones can be used for many tasks, but the function of social media takes precedence above all for the younger demographic of users. Increasingly popular social media apps such as TikTok can provide hours of fun, and other apps such as Snapchat and Instagram helps one to connect with friends and family. Beyond the usage of social media, smartphones can be used to complete assignments or search for information online. However, with all things, there is a negative side.
Certain social media sites have been known to affect their users’ mental health negatively due to social comparison and cyberbullying. All these are acknowledged hazards, yet there is a concern for younger people as they may not be mentally prepared for such potential harassment leading them to be far more affected. With the growing trend, parents should help to teach their children how to use social media healthily and reinforce proper social media etiquette.