By Sofia Weddle
Social media is out of control.
There are millions of people that use social media, such as the famous platform, Snapchat, which seemingly gives all your photos a disappearing act. On this specific app, there are many news outlets which provide articles and videos on relevant subjects, updated daily.
While this portion of Snapchat may seem harmful, it is in fact a corruption device towards young children who use the platform. Most articles, posted by online news magazines and papers ranging from Cosmopolitan to Daily News to Food Network, have at least some type of mature or explicit content added each day.
Instead of this continuing, these articles need to be sheltered from young eyes, because too many children are witnessing sexual and adult content regularly. When creating a Snapchat account, there needs to be a full terms and conditions page that each account owner can read, then accept or decline it. Also, users should have to provide their age to prevent those that are 14 and younger (right now Snapchat is rated 13 and up), which are immature ages, from viewing inappropriate content. If someone wants to read explicit news articles, there are many websites and apps for specific news platforms that provide that type of information. Snapchat and other social media outlets need to protect their young members from reading this mature content that is not for social media to share.
Imagine your little sibling or family member approaching you, asking about Isla Fisher’s lingerie and seducement (Daily News), or what the article titled “5 Lesbians Reveal Their Most Awkward Period Sex Moments” (Cosmopolitan) really means. You would probably be mortified and angry at all of the news outlets letting mature content fly past the radar.
Social media apps are allowing these outlets to post articles meant for 25 year olds, where most of their members are young tweens or teens. Our new generation of children are growing up with the weight of society’s most intimate information, facts that no young person should know about until they are grown.
My brother has come up to me numerous times, singing a new pop anthem and saying, “Did you know this song is about you-know-what? The whole grade’s listening to it.”
That, to me, is absurd. He is 12 years old and he is being exposed to explicit, mature music, which is influenced by radio, television, news platforms, and social media releasing this content without a second thought to its influence.
My brother has Snapchat now too, and he says it’s just to talk to his friends, but can I really be assured that he hasn’t seen articles about drugs, intimate relationships, legal issues, and celebrity nudity? Most of these articles also include information about how to flirt with a crush, the best moves to make in bed, and the rock-hard abs of male celebrities. Does the world want young kids to grow up with body insecurities or the notion that they need to look or be like unattainable celebrities?
My wishful answer would be: No, the world is too good of a place to wish that on children or open them up to sexual and influential content. However, the truth of the matter is that, yes, social media, especially Snapchat, is releasing this explicit information without a care towards how their young users will be influenced negatively. This mature content also leads young social media members to think more sexually.
The youth of our generation is meant to be surrounded by controlled content that keeps their innocence intact, but instead, Snapchat and other social media outlets are releasing adult content and news for all ages to see. This cannot go on any longer, which is why mature news platforms need to be shielded from kids 14 and under through a terms and conditions page, as well as a necessary means for user’s to supply their age on the Snapchat sign up page.
Child corruption by means of social media needs to end now.