How Social Media is Shaping Your Children

Meeting Kids Where They ARe

Our children, no matter what age, soak up everything.  They are sponges that absorb their friends, celebrities, social media, television shows, and movies.  For the most part, mature adults can separate the good from the bad and right from the wrong.  Most importantly, adults can separate facts from opinions.

Children are not capable of this type of critical thinking.  Children take opinions and solidify them as facts.  Their brains naturally seek information that confirms their new beliefs, and this is the danger young minds face when using social media.

Dr. Michael Workman, Associate Professor of Technology Management at Texas A&M, conducted a study to determine if social media can change our opinions. “We found that when people are seeking new information about a topic, social media can change their minds,” Workman said. “But if they have already decided on something, say politics or religion, they mostly seek information to confirm what they already believe.  If you have already made up your mind about something, then social media is not going to change it for you.”  Social media will only confirm what you already believe.  This phenomenon is referred to as “the echo chamber effect”. 

So why is this important to parents? This research reveals that it is vital for parents to build a solid foundation of morals, values, and beliefs before allowing their children to access social media. If you do not take the time to sit down and talk to your children about the important issues in the world today, social media will form your children’s opinions without any input from you.

I hear opinions shared as fact consistently from children, pre-teens, and teens.  Even when I provide evidence to the contrary, they do not believe me and are unwilling to listen to the truth.  Do you remember when you were 12 and knew everything, only to mature and realize that you knew nothing?  The terrifying fact is that the youth of today have an “echo chamber” to confirm every juvenile opinion they have.  As parents, we must ensure that our children are well grounded before we open their minds up to the terrifying world of social media.

Dr. Beth Long received her education in Counseling Psychology from Chapman University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Beth has worked in six unique clinical environments across the country and currently owns Works of Wonder Therapy in Montgomery. Beth utilizes the knowledge from a variety of different disciplines to give her patients the best care possible. To learn more visit


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How Social Media is Shaping Your Children

by Works of Wonder Therapy LLC time to read: 2 min