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Social Media Brotherhood and the precarious situation of youngsters

The Article written by Daniel Tay  about Singaporean youths who use social media like  Facebook to recruit new members is not a shocker to the netizens all around the globe. We cannot deny that the social media has affected our lifestyles and the way we socialize and communicate with one another. Talking has morphed into chatboxes, announcements into notifications and tag into tagging pictures instead of just playing ‘tag your it’.

Social Media Apps

 

The Rise of Technology

 

Communication in the last 50 years or so has never been this good, fast and efficient. Imagine talking to your friends half-way around the world in real time? That’s how advanced our technology has become that we can even keep a long-distance relationship alive with the use of it. Humans always need some reassurance that the relationship they are in is valid and true, we need proof and we need to see them and Facebook, Skype, Instagram etc. provided and delivered that to us with only a few clicks.

Social Longings

 

But more has never been enough to human beings. We never get satisfied with doing just  one thing, especially in  social media where everyone can see everything. Where the more post you make, the more active you are in the social scene and when you have a lot of friends in your friends list, everybody would assume that you might be one of the popular kids in town. Everyone always wants to be popular and would do anything to be one.

In my high school days, when someone wants to become popular they join clubs. Clubs that really hone your skills and talents, clubs that would really promote camaraderie among students, but with the colossal effect of social media  the process of joining a club eventually changed. Though some changes are advantageous, there are drawbacks  and one of them is using  social media to recruit members  to join a certain illegitimate club, fraternity, gang. Social media is a good way for gangs to recruit, mobilize and gather friends  quickly because the sites allows users to create personal accounts, post pictures, videos and even share their personal thoughts in public.

Social media friends

 

Personality Matching

 

This proliferation of multiracial groups lets the youths  see & share experiences and find support communities which they oftentimes misinterpreted as  finding a group where they belong, a group where they can be accepted socially and a group who will protect them. These are the common misconceptions that cause many youths to fall  in this trap.  But if all comes to worse and you find that your son/daughter is already a boni fide member of a gang, you should talk to them immediately.

 

Appeal to their better nature

 

Living a gang free life is way more cooler than being with people who will constantly drag you down. Scolding and berating them will not do any good for  it will reinforce the kid’s belief that he or she is truly bad and only belongs to a negative peer group.

 

Educating and Inspiring them

 

Educating them with the potential negative consequences of gang and inspiring them to get involved or to join in extracurricular activities such as after school programs, or athletics, art, community organizations or religious groups can also help divert their attention to bad companies.

But can parents really protect their kids from this social media frenzy? Though censorship is not perfect because there are loopholes on how to get around spyware’s, still there are Do’s on how to monitor kids’ internet usage.

 

Create ground rules

 Parents who have an internet-savvy kid should create ground rules. There should be rules on when and how long they can only use the Internet and there should be consequences when they break them.

Setting social media rules

Knowing their habits

 

The parents should be familiar with their kids’ habits and the kinds of sites they are most frequent. Keeping the computer in one location can also help since everyone can see who has been using the computer and the things they do while using the computer.

 

Keep Track

 

Monitoring their pictures, posts and status online will also give the parents a glimpse of what activities they have been joining and what fad they are following and the kind of people they are associating with.

 

Set Limitations

 

Limiting their cell phone usage will also be beneficial for the parents for the kid’s will have more time to do their school works.

Laying out the Dangers

 

Talking and teaching them about online reputation and dangers will make them think of the things they post and join that when done irresponsibly can lead to danger. Parents can also use filters software’s that would monitor the sites that their kid’s visited.

Parents should not only prepare the kids for life in the real world, but they should also prepare them for life in the online world. Though there are no guarantee’s on how to really prevent the youth’s to join gangs online since there are certain things that even parents can’t control, but with the proper guidance, motivation and monitoring the kids will be prepared to refuse, select and ignore people that they meet on the social media world.

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