Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Just What Is Your Child Doing with Their Phone? LAURA CONNOR Reports on One Expert's Social Media Fears

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Just What Is Your Child Doing with Their Phone? LAURA CONNOR Reports on One Expert's Social Media Fears

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA CONNOR

M Ps ARE to probe excessive social media use by children after a report said those as young as eight were at emotional risk. The Children's Commissioner also told of a "cliff edge" at the start of secondary school.

Here, psychologist Emma Kenny runs through the damaging effect of youngsters' social media use...

| 95% of 15-year-olds use social media sites before or after school: The problem is not just outside school time - Merren, 12, said: "At break, we go into the loo that has wi-fi and use our phones there because there is nothing else to do."

Emma says: "When we're given an opportunity to use something, we saturate that use - something children are even more susceptible to."

| Under-12s spend an average six hours a day on social media, teenagers spend up to nine hours a day: Billy, nine, told of feeling compelled to check messages all the time, saying: "You get a buzz then another and another. You've got to get it and you go off course with homework."

Emma says: "The problem is social media use has become so normalised kids feel out of place if they don't have it."

| Half of nine to 16-year-olds use smartphones every day: Emma says parenting has totally changed in five years because of the explosion of social media and smartphones.

She adds: "Because your child is in your house you presume they're safe. But children can be reached in a variety of scenarios."

| Three in four children aged 10 to 12 have a social media account: Most social media has a minimum Fears: Emma age of 13 but research shows a growing number of under-13s use them. Emma says: "Children's brains change so much and feelings of empathy are developing, so anything detrimental that might affect a child at this age could have serious consequences."

| Eight to 10-year-olds use social media in a "playful way" - such as games - but this changes significantly later: Younger children's use is less dependent on "likes" for social validation, yet games can still cause problems. …

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