Children as young as ten are becoming dependent on social media for their sense of self-worth, a major study warned.
It found many youngsters (少年) now measure their status by how much public approval they get online, often through "likes". Some change their behaviour in real life to improve their image on the web.
The report into youngsters aged from 8 to 12 was carried out by Children’s Commissioner (专员) Anne Longfield. She said social media firms were exposing children to major emotional risks, with some youngsters starting secondary school ill-equipped to cope with the tremendous pressure they faced online.
Some social apps were popular among the children even though they supposedly require users to be at least 13. The youngsters admitted planning trips around potential photo-opportunities and then messaging friends — and friends of friends — to demand "likes" for their online posts.
The report found that youngsters felt their friendships could be at risk if they did not respond to social media posts quickly, and around the clock.
Children aged 8 to 10 were "starting to feel happy" when others liked their posts. However, those in the 10 to 12 age group were "concerned with how many people like their posts", suggesting a "need" for social recognition that gets stronger the older they become.
Miss Longfield warned that a generation of children risked growing up "worried about their appearance and image as a result of the unrealistic lifestyles they follow on platforms, and increasingly anxious about switching off due to the constant demands of social media".
She said: "Children are using social media with family and friends and to play games when they are in primary school. But what starts as fun usage of apps turns into tremendous pressure in real social media interaction at secondary school."
As their world expanded, she said, children compared themselves to others online in a way that was "hugely damaging in terms of their self-identity, in terms of their confidence, but also in terms of their ability to develop themselves".
Miss Longfield added: "Then there is this push to connect — if you go offline, will you miss something, will you miss out, will you show that you don’t care about those people you are following, all of those come together in a huge way at once."
"For children it is very, very difficult to cope with emotionally." The Children’s Commissioner for England’s study — Life in Likes — found that children as young as 8 were using social media platforms largely for play.
However, the research — involving eight groups of 32 children aged 8 to 12 — suggested that as they headed toward their teens, they became increasingly anxious online.
By the time they started secondary school — at age 11 — children were already far more aware of their image online and felt under huge pressure to ensure their posts were popular, the report found.
However, they still did not know how to cope with mean-spirited jokes, or the sense of incompetence they might feel if they compared themselves to celebrities (名人) or more brilliant friends online. The report said they also faced pressure to respond to messages at all hours of the day — especially at secondary school when more youngsters have mobile phones.
The Children’s Commissioner said schools and parents must now do more to prepare children for the emotional minefield (雷区) they faced online. And she said social media companies must also "take more responsibility". They should either monitor their websites better so that children do not sign up too early, or they should adjust their websites to the needs of younger users.
Javed Khan, of children’s charity Barnardo’s, said: "It’s vital that new compulsory age-appropriate relationship and sex education lessons in England should help equip children to deal with the growing demands of social media.
"It’s also hugely important for parents to know which apps their children are using."
1．Why did some secondary school students feel too much pressure?
A.They were not provided with adequate equipment.
B.They were not well prepared for emotional risks.
C.They were required to give quick responses.
D.They were prevented from using mobile phones.
2．Some social app companies were to blame because .
A.they didn’t adequately check their users’ registration
B.they organized photo trips to attract more youngsters
C.they encouraged youngsters to post more photos
D.they didn’t stop youngsters from staying up late
3．Children’s comparing themselves to others online may lead to .
A.less friendliness to each other
B.lower self-identity and confidence
C.an increase in online cheating
D.a stronger desire to stay online
4．According to Life in Likes, as children grew, they became more anxious to .
A.circulate their posts quickly
B.know the qualities of their posts
C.use mobile phones for play
D.get more public approval
5．What should parents do to solve the problem?
A.Communicate more with secondary schools.
B.Urge media companies to create safer apps.
C.Keep track of children’s use of social media.
D.Forbid their children from visiting the web.
6．What does the passage mainly talk about?
A.The influence of social media on children.
B.The importance of social media to children.
C.The problem in building a healthy relationship.
D.The measure to reduce risks from social media.
HOLIDAY FUN AT THE POWERHOUSE
500 HARRIS STREET ULTIMO·TELEPHONE
(02) 9217 0111
Join in the holiday fun at the Powerhouse this month linked to our new exhibition. Evolution & Revolution: Chinese dress 1700s to now. DON'T FORGET our other special event, the Club Med Circus School which is part of the Circus(马戏团)!150 years of circus in Australia exhibition experience!
◆Chinese Folk Dancing: Colorful Chinese dance and musical performances by The Chinese Folk Dancing School of Sydney. Dances include: the Golden stick dance and the Chinese drum dance. A feature will be the Qin dynasty Emperor's court dance. Also included is a show of face painting for Beijing opera performances.
Sunday 29 June and Wednesday 2 July in the Turbine Hall, at 11.30 am & 1.30 pm.
◆Australian Chinese Children's Arts Theatre: Well-known children's play experts from Shanghai lead this dynamic youth group. Performances include Chinese fairy tales and plays.
Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 July in the Turbine Hall, at 11.30 am & 1.30 pm.
◆Chinese Youth League: A traditional performing arts group featuring performance highlights such as the Red scarf and Spring flower dances, and a musician playing Er Hu.
Sunday 6 to Tuesday 8 July in the Turbine Hall, 11.30 am to 1.30 pm.
◆Kids Activity: Make a Paper Horse: Young children make a paper horse cut-out.(The horse is a frequent theme in Chinese painting, indicating a kind of advancement.)Suitable for ages 8-12 years.
Saturday 28 June to Tuesday 8 July in the Turbine Hall, 12.00 pm to 1.00 pm.
◆Club Med Circus School: Learn circus skills, including the trapeze, trampolining and magic. Note only for children over 5. There are 40 places available in each 1 hour session and these must be booked at the front desk, level 4, on the day.
Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 July at 11.30 am & 1.00 pm.
Enjoy unlimited free visits and many other benefits by becoming a Family member of the Powerhouse. Our family memberships cover two adults and all children under the age of 16 years at the one address.Members receive Powerline, our monthly magazine, discounts in the shops and the restaurants, as well as free admission to the Museum. All this for as little as $50.00 a year! Call (02)9217 0600 for more details.
1．When can you watch the Chinese drum dance?
A.On July 2.
B.On July 3.
C.On July 6.
D.On July 8.
2．To learn the magic tricks, you can go to .
B.Chinese Youth League
C.Club Med Circus School
D.Children's Arts Theatre
3．What is required if you want to enjoy free visits to the Museum?
A.Calling (02)9217 0600.
B.Gaining family membership.
C.Coming for the holiday fun.
D.Paying Powerline $50.00 a year.
4．What is the main purpose of the text?
A.To attract visitors.
B.To present schedules.
C.To report the performances.
D.To teach kids Chinese arts.