Every mum worries about their children. Be it about falling while playing, or eating well or their entire future in general regardless of how old you are, they always want the best for you and will never stop being protective of you. With the advancement of technology it is almost impossible to exist without the use of social media and the Internet. Is it turning into an extra burden for mums?
Life Online spoke to mums with children of different ages to find out how they deal with social media. We also asked them to what extent it is influencing their children.
I do fear the negative impact technology may have on my kid and the possibilities of misguidance, violence and corruption that may confuse her mind, since both evil and good of technology are easily accessible. - Mrs. Hafsa Moushtaq
For me, the Internet is a dangerous place. My biggest fear is online bullying and unrealistic expectations created via many social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It’s impossible to be aware of every single thing your child is up to online. - Mariam Marzook
An adult child could benefit from technology as if used wisely, it will help in their studies and will help to broaden their knowledge but if children are not guided, from a very young age to know their boundaries technology can lead them into a world, way beyond their comprehension. I consider social media as something which should not be open to children of any age and young adults should also be cautious when using social media as some people are not who they seem to be. - Menique Fernando
Social media is okay to be informed. Interaction is also important. But it can be both useful and harmful depending on the individual. Individuals must know his or her boundaries as for how and with whom they should interact, for it can lead into many devastating incidents. It can also steal the valuable time of a mother from her child, just by trying to be social and interactive with an unknown person would help to destroy a beautiful family. Overall, being able to manage ever improving social media is based on the boundaries, knowledge and necessity. As for present social media have created a big impact over family crisis. So as a mother I am always watchful as to how much my daughter is exposed to. - Shehana Bernard
With the increase in usage of technology and devices a growing fear is that children are less aware of their immediate surrounding as their mostly exposed to a virtual one. They play less and they socialize less. Many mums are fearful of the long term results it will have on their children. We as mums have come to the point that social media is hard to live without. We have to be connected to get things going. Children are caught up in the same web where a mobile phone has become a basic requirement. Social media has become our number one learning method. We use Google for information about everything. Little by little distancing ourselves from people. Children are exposed to this lifestyle so early that the playground is a strange place now. Children hardly create games and play. Instead they play games on their devices. Also they are vulnerable to exposure of adult content, giving them very little time to enjoy their childhood as we did. - Dilhani Thantirimudalige
Social media has still not become a huge issue as my kids are below 10 and I haven't raised them in a tv-tab culture. All books policy. In fact my 8 year old reads the Percy Jackson books. This means a lot to me. But then again all this changes when they are teens. So there is a lot to think of ahead. We are a Christian family so I keep telling them that Jesus sees what they do even if they lie to me and not to make him scared. I hope being close to them and guiding them spiritually would help. - Nilomi Hathurusinghe
I am a parent who uses a lot of modern technology at home and yes I certainly know the pros and cons of it. Even though it helps kids in many ways if they get too engrossed to it they would never get any physical activities. I constantly fear that my kid would never get the chance to live a childhood that I had, the fun we had, like on a rainy day I used to jump out feel the rain drops on my skin that feeling you get cannot be felt through devices cannot be explained by anyone either. I constantly fear that he'd be less sociable and less connected if he get too attached to these. But yes I do give him time to watch and to handle these devices for his knowledge and development since technology is everywhere. - Thilini Amarasiri Hatharasinghe
At the end of the day we admit that it is hard to keep away from. The need for social media and technology for existence will only increase with time. So teaching our kids from a young age to use it responsibly is very important. In an ever changing fast paced tech savvy world I fear at times the impact it will have on our children. We can't change what happens around us but we can choose to manage how we approach it. I believe in teaching children at an early age about the good and bad of the Internet and technology. Children need to be supervised when online and only age suitable apps/games should be given to children to use. As a mother I set an example in my home on safe and appropriate technology use. Our lives should revolve around our electronic devices but around our family. - A mum of a 10 year old daughter
As a mom, my view on social media is fairly neutral. Personally, I have benefited from it by being able to connect with other mothers around the world. In a role which can be both hectic and sometimes lonely, social media was able to open many doors to connect with other moms in similar situations making motherhood a more pleasant journey. I have also endeavored to use social media as a platform to encourage and uplift fellow mothers. Since of late, I have been had my concerns of social media and the effect it can have on the safety and future of our kids. Taking a step back from posting pictures or details about our kids lives has been a practical step that I took. My kids are still too young to use social media but i know that when the time comes, my advice to them will be that while social media can certainly do harm, if used wisely and smartly it can also be a blessing. - Keshia Perera Joensuu
I use different social media and waste time with it. But most of the time I use it to relax my mind. I need something different after I have a busy schedule in the day. So I use social media. In the mean time I do not use it to publish my day today life to the public. And I am careful and only use it if I get free time. So there is no fear about social media and there isn’t an impact on my child yet as he is still a baby. - Kalyani Jayasekara
I'm quite open minded about it. I believe that I can't keep my boys away from technology and social media as it will be a part of their future. What I can do is teach them to be responsible for their actions the same way my parents taught me when I was growing up. It is a matter of applying the same principles as we have to learn to adapt with what comes our way, that's the beauty of life and civilisation. - Natasha Fernandopulle
Social media is definitely essential for our children today. As a mother it is a difficult decision when we purchase phones, iPads, tabs and various electronic devices which have access to social media. Today, children need these for information, for school assignments and various research. I believe if a child has a strong spiritual background, no matter what religion he or she believes in they will have a conscience which will guide them to choose good from the bad and right from wrong. We also must give them the assurance that we trust them and have confidence that they are mature enough to own such equipment. - Madonna Jayasundara
Social media is an integral part of our lives especially for the young, without which life would be so dull and monotonous. Information helps children to develop their minds, gain knowledge and expose them to the outside world. With the vast knowledge social media unfolds, children are able to get a better understanding of their environment, studies and day today life whether it be in school or at home. Reading should be encouraged as it's said 'Reading Maketh A Man'. There is always the good and the bad side of life. Therefore if it is misused our young ones lives will be done away with. It's sad to see at times that TV, Internet, Facebook, newspapers and other reading material very often presents such degrading and distorted information. Our culture, dress code and decency is overlooked for cheap fun and entertainment thereby corrupting their young minds. It's high time the authorities concerned take a firm stand and out an end to such cheap and frivolous entertainment and upgrade our social media standards which in turn will benefit our children making them grow up to be responsible citizens of our country. - Swarna Jayasundera