St. Petersburg, April 7: The main purpose of creating Social Networking Sites is to communicate and share ideas, feelings, and activities in the virtual world. With the rapidly increased use of social media, the virtual world is replacing real world. While even adults are miserably failing to realize the difference between the virtual world and real world, society and social media, it is very obvious that children would succumb to this virtual world.
In recent years Russia has been criticized by citizens all over the world due to their several restrictions on the use of new media. But their recent move which may restrict the use of social networking sites by children under 14 really cannot be criticized for several reasons.
The scenario is severe everywhere. Children do not use playgrounds to play anymore. Rather they like to play video games in mobile. Making friends in school is not that important now if compared to the importance of clicking the button “add friend” on Facebook.
Overuse of social media sites is badly affecting Mental Health of children and their development of the worldview. Psychologists from all over the world are badly concerned about this issue. A journal by Igor Pantic, Online Social Networking, and Mental Health indicates certain SNS activities might be associated with low self-esteem, especially in children and adolescents(Source: NCBI).In an essay, The effects of social media on children, we find many forms of cyberbullying is also a problem and can lead to the victims experiencing depression and anxiety. Cyberbullying has also been the cause of many suicides in young people. Depression, anxiety can be caused by cyberbullying.
A report from Office for National Statistics, UK shows us children who spend more time on computers, watching TV and playing video games tend to experience higher levels of emotional distress, anxiety, and depression and that this is particularly the case for those children spending more than 4 hours a day engaged in those activities.
Pravda report Says to bring a change Russian Legislative Assembly has made a draft resolution 'On legislative regulation of social networks'.The draft proposes that children under 14 will be banned from entering social networking sites. To prevent entering social sites under fake identity users will have to provide their passport data to register for a site. Otherwise, a punishment as the 300,000-rouble fine will be prescribed to an owner of the site, while the user will have to pay up to 5,000 roubles. Even Selling of any goods to minors through social networks will also be defined in the law.
When the world is concerned about children’s overuse of social media, WHO has declared ‘Depression and Anxiety as a major mental health problem, this move from Russia can be followed by other nation also.