Monday, January 29, 2018

Implications of mass / social media in socialization of Nigerian child



There is no doubt that the impact of the mass/social media on children lives is broadly considered within what is referred to as "media effects" debate which to a great extent focuses on the potentially negative impact of the media on children's lives: video violence, gambling, educational performance, mass consumerism, etc (Miles, 2000).

The effect of mass/social media violence has been an issue of public concern almost from the inception of television in the early 1950s. 

The negative implications of mass/ social media on child socialization cannot be overemphasized as it has harmful effects on social and behavioural patterns life of the children. These are most pronounced when children concentrate on programmes of violence, crime and mystery on TV or social media. Terrifying programmes may affect the general physical condition of children by producing nightmares, nervous tensions, loss of sleep and poor appétit. Children who spend much of their time listening to the radio/music get too little exercise for normal development and healthy physical condition. Their school work may suffer because they do not give enough time to their studies and do not concentrates when they are studying. As with any other form of amusement, too much time spent on social media and watching of Tv may be regarded as a danger of poor personal and social adjustment.  Other negative effects of mass/social media on children include:  

· Television and Youtube watching cuts into the time available for other play activities, especially outdoor play with other children. It also leaves little time for creative play or different forms of amusement.

· Mass/social media present materials in such an exciting and vivid way that school books can hardly compete with it for children's interest and attention. As a result, they often find school books boring.

· Characters in mass or any social media are usually presented as stereotypes and children come to think of all people in a given group as having the same qualities as the people on the screen. This influences children's attitudes toward them.

· Children are imitators, they feel that what has the stamp of approval of a television or social media programme must be an accepted way for them to behave. Because law-abiding heroes or heroines are less glamorous than those who win attention by violence and other unsocial acts, children tend to use the latter to identify with and imitate.

· Mass/ social media can create negative cultural impacts on children, if their exposure to media is not properly supervised by adults

· Cyberbullying: This is quite common among very young children and it can cause psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, severe isolation, etc.(O'Keeffe et, al (2011)

· Mass/social media tend to expose children to cybercrimes and danger situations  such as robbery, kidnapping, murdering. All these negative cases or situations can happen to the children due to the sharing of details on the media (Siddiqui et al, 2016)

· Constant exposure of children to media may reduce the analytical skills and critical thinking of children in solving problems.

· It can lead to deflective social relationship, spending countless hours on the internet makes children spend very limited time with family and actual friends. This weak en the family bond and limit interaction with actual people. These affected children miss out on real life interaction with different relatives which results in distorted social skills ( Undiyaundeye, 2014)

· Sexting: sexting is another negative effect of mass/social media that is fast destroying the moral foundation of children. Sexting is defined as sending, receiving or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images via cell phones, computer or other digital devices.

· Nudity: This is the state of being without clothing or covering of any kind. So some youths pose nude or semi- nude and post same to the social media (Mitchell et al, 2012) opined that 9.6% of youth receive or create or appear in nude images etc.

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