Social media and children: what is the paediatrician’s role?
Stiris, Tom Arne
Koletzko, Berthold Viktor
MetadataShow full item record
Social media use has become an integral part of children’s and adolescents’ lives. It has become a novel way of interaction among people and influences people’s social lives and public opinion as well as people’s purchasing decisions and businesses. Any website or platform that allows social interaction is considered to be a social media site. Social media use among children in 25 European countries has been reported to be 38% among 9–12 year olds and 77% among those aged 13–16 years. All these children report having their own profile on at least one social network site. While social networking provides children and adolescents with many opportunities and benefits, it also carries many risks. Among the benefits are socialization and communication enhancement, improving learning skills, positive impact on education and getting health information. Potential risks of social media use include falsifying age and identity, cyberbullying, sexting, Facebook depression, gamification, glamourization, cyberostracism and sleep disturbances. Conclusion: Paediatricians play a vital role in promoting the physical, mental and social welfare of all children. There is a critical need for paediatricians to play an active role, guiding children and families appropriately through the impact of social networking, in order to become a real driver of children’s development.