Social Media Impact on Children and Families

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Social media is the most popular pastime for today’s kids and teens, so parents need to know more about it and realize that the Internet is not always a safe place for their children. Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson in The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011 explore this issue. The main audience the article is aimed at is families with teenagers and pre-teens. The main position of the authors is that the negative impact of social networks on children and adolescents exceeds the positive one. In this regard, parents should increase control over the use of social networks by their children. The article does not sound convincing because it exaggerates the negative impact of social networks.


The article’s authors believe that parents need to pay more attention to how their children spend time online. They confirm this thesis by indicating the negative consequences of using social networks: cyberbullying and harassment, sleep deprivation, depression, and suicide. Another point of view is also considered, in which there are positive aspects of using social networks: the opportunity to learn, receive health information, and develop communication skills. However, these arguments fail, and there is a need for parental control over the time a child spends on the Internet. In addition to useful tips, including talking with the children and being interested in both offline and online sides of their life, such practices as monitoring social media activity are also mentioned.


Social networks are a routine activity that is the main way of social and emotional development. More than half of teenagers use their favorite messengers more than twice a day, and many use their phones only for virtual communication. Even though many parents are also active users of social networks, the majority cannot reach the same level as their children. It happens due to the lack of time for new technologies to understand the new norms of socialization and technical means (Schurgin and Clarke-Pearson 801). The first part of the article analyzes the popularity of social networks among teenagers and the reasons for the technical gap between children and parents. It is impossible to argue with the fact that social networks are extremely popular among children as the main way of socialization.

Social networks for children and adolescents have many benefits: the development of social skills, participation in charity, the development of creativity, inclusiveness, and the opportunity to see different opinions. Social media is also important for learning, providing an opportunity to exchange ideas and participate in group projects. Blogging improves creative writing skills, language learning, and creativity (Schurgin and Clarke-Pearson 802). Social networks are important for maintaining health: with their help, children can quickly and anonymously find answers to questions related to what worries them. In addition, there is a positive impact of social networks on increasing the self-esteem of adolescents (Goodyear 2). Many apps have been developed for weight loss and health tracking. Other benefits of social media include creating an environment that allows collective discussion and the fight against misinformation (Pulido et al. 2430). Mentioning the positive aspects of using social networks allows the authors to look at one of the opinions for a more convincing construction of their argument.

Social media use is becoming a risk for teenagers more often than most adults realize. Most risks fall into the following categories: peer-to-peer, inappropriate content; lack of understanding of privacy issues on the Internet; and external influence of third-party advertising groups (Schurgin and Clarke-Pearson 803). Spreading false information, and humiliation can lead to the most tragic outcome, as teenagers are the most psychologically susceptible. One of the biggest threats to young people on social media is their negative digital footprint and possible future loss of reputation. Parents must evaluate the sites their child wants to participate in to ensure that the site is appropriate for their age. The arguments presented in the paragraph on the dangers of social networks are significant, but excessive control over the child’s behavior on the Internet can lead to a loss of trust.


The article seems important due to the spread of social networks and the growing risks for children and adolescents. The authors’ argument seems not strong enough because the excess of the minuses of social networks over the pluses does not seem to be proven. Considering two points of view on a current issue is a good strategy for constructing a reasoned article. The article is important in terms of increasing the awareness and interest of parents in their children’s lives. However, parents should understand that excessive control can lead to even more negative consequences than excessive use of social networks. The article does not provide new information on the topic, and only gives the known consequences of using social networks without in-depth analysis. Despite this, the article is useful for analyzing consistent essay writing and applying argumentation. I will use the article as an example of the need to develop critical thinking to be able to uncover such controversial topics.


Goodyear, Victoria, Kathleen Armour, and Hannah Wood. “The impact of social media on young people’s health and wellbeing: Evidence, guidelines and actions.” University of Birmingham. (2018).

O’Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. “The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families.” Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-804. Web.

Pulido, Cristina M., et al. “A new application of social impact in social media for overcoming fake news in health.” International journal of environmental research and public health 17.7 (2020): 2430-2445. Web.

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Premium Papers. "Social Media Impact on Children and Families." February 19, 2023.