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The Dangers of Unsupervised Internet Access for Children

Spy Fone at       Jul 26 2020 8:27PM

The Dangers of Unsupervised Internet Access for Children

There's no doubt regarding the benefits of the internet for children. The internet has much to offer from informative resources that can help them in their academic lives to games that they can play with their peers. But unfortunately, there's a dark side to the online world as well, one that children are mostly not able to distinguish from the bright side.
Let’s take a look at some of the dangers posed to children by unsupervised internet access and use.
Violent and sexual content
Adults viewing violent and sexual content is not considered a big problem as they can process the content in a mature way. However, children lack the maturity that adults possess, and early exposure to sex and violence may affect their mental development adversely. As a consequence of such exposure, children may be encouraged to indulge in violent activities, putting the lives of their peers at risk.
Hateful content
Conflicts between different social and political groups are now happening rampantly on the internet. Social media platforms have allowed millions of users around the world the freedom to express their opinions, and while many use this freedom for constructive discussions, many don’t. As a result, hate speech has become prevalent, and numerous groups online openly promote hateful thinking, language, and behaviors against other groups.
Cyberbullying
Bullying can take a serious toll on developing minds, often resulting in low self-esteem and in the worst-case scenarios, suicidal thoughts. Parents around the world are aware of bullying at school, but not so much about cyberbullying, which is becoming a major cause for concern as internet use becomes more common amongst youngsters.
The glorification of substance abuse
The use of intoxicants, both legal and illegal, has always been associated with people who rebel against conventional societies. However, the glorification of the use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and harder drugs is easy for such people on the internet. In many parts of the world, impressionable children have started experimenting with harmful substances due to unchecked exposure to such glorification.
Online stalkers and predators
The internet allows unrestricted communication between strangers, and this can lead to children maintaining contact, often unknowingly, with online stalkers and predators. Predators are always on the lookout for children who can be influenced easily and may use their vulnerability to extract sensitive information such as residential addresses and parents' credit card numbers.
Supervising children’s online activities can be achieved not just through parental control devices, but also through repeated guidance and positive reinforcement. Parents and caregivers should take time to educate their children on how to conduct themselves online and also the kind of content and people they should steer clear of.

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