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How are kids interacting with social media daily?

Trends are great until we fall for them.

Kids today spend a lot of time consuming content online, and their daily lives are heavily influenced by it. The content they see and hear online can be so enticing that they want to be a part of it or help create it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as we will discover together in this article, but dialog and monitoring are always essential in creating a safe online experience. According to the Children’s Wellbeing in a Digital World: Index Report 2024, published by Internet Matters, 63% of parents believe that time spent online is detrimental to their children’s health. Let’s take a look at both the positives and some of the negatives of social media in your child’s daily life. 

Trends, trends, trends!

You might have noticed that trends are a huge part of social media. These are heavily influencing the content that is being shared online and inherently the way some people view themselves and live their lives. Trends are often delivered by influencers. However, the era of mega-influencers is coming to a sure end and a lot of brands would rather work with more specialised audiences. This is where micro-influencers come into the picture.

Micro-influencers on the rise

Unlike their more well-known counterparts, micro-influencers focus on a very niche audience and connect with them around a specific topic. It could be a subgenre of literature, a particular fashion trend, or maybe protein-based recipes. Whatever the topic, thanks to a much smaller audience, these influencers can be much more persuasive because of their shared interest. The audience, especially the younger members, may feel a sense of friendship with their favourite social media persona. They might, therefore, feel more convinced to follow in their footsteps. This may not be a bad thing – the influencer might promote a healthy lifestyle or body positivity. Some Instagram models, for example, now post their faces without filters or makeup to show their followers what they really look like with acne and other imperfections. But they might also have a different audience in mind when creating their content. Let’s take a beauty-influencer in their 30s promoting anti-ageing products. The child watching may feel like they need these products too. More about it right here:


Targeted content for specific audiences can provide your kids with fascinating information and introduce them to new communities that share their interests. However, it is important to be aware of the type of content your child is viewing. Even very young girls come across beauty content on their TikTok and Instagram accounts. And the beauty influencers in the videos they watch usually promote expensive products – often in cooperation with big sellers, such as Sephora. This can lead to your child asking for products that are not meant for their age group (e.g., retinol-based products) and can even damage their skin if used incorrectly. Explain these risks to your children and reassure them they have plenty of time before they “need” any anti-ageing products. It is also worth mentioning that many influencers promote these products based on paid cooperation, so the videos may not always capture their honest opinions. Their videos should be viewed similarly to other ads – with a grain of salt. Also consider using ESET Home Security Premium, which includes parental control for your children’s smartphones, allowing you to control the content they access.

There are also many accounts that focus on mental health and well-being in general. You can even find influencers who are open about their mental health and publicly speak of ADHD, depression, etc. Not only do they share tips on how to deal with situations they find difficult, but they also let people into their daily lives to show how fulfilling their existence is despite the struggles. 

Watch a short video about influencers with your kids!

Oooh! That sounds interesting! I might try that!

We’ve all been there, and rest assured our kids too, where you see a trend or an interesting thing on social media and you feel the need to participate. A huge part of why trends are trending is people’s fear of missing out, otherwise referred to as FOMO. It’s not a new phenomenon, it was first identified by the marketing strategist Dr. Dan Herman in 1996, long before the rise and popularity of social media and influencers.

If your child, or you, follow many influencers, and brands, you have surely felt it too. You see a local influencer posting about a coffee shop and you feel convinced to go try it. A child sees their peers and influencers using a headband to do their makeup and they feel convinced to get one too.

Role of parents

We cannot stress this enough, talk to your kids. Explain to them what social media influencers do and how influencing works. Explain to them what marketing is, and that those people make money from them following trends and clicking on affiliate links. It is important to tell them young, as they will grow up to be more responsible adults understanding how social media works and that not everything they see online is necessarily what they need in their lives as well.

Have fun but stay safe!

As we mentioned, many times before, the online world, just like the offline, offers a great amount of opportunities and things and people they can learn from and develop their own strengths too. Conversation is essential, but also explaining the shortcomings of the online world. There are dangers your kid may encounter, like cyberbullying, identity theft, and other possible problems.

Talk to them about the good and the bad. Be sure to educate yourself and them and remind them every now and then to be mindful and come to you with any issues. Creating an atmosphere of understanding is key for your child’s necessary trust. Make sure your kid understands that you are first and foremost there to help them and lead them, not to judge them or “ruin” their lives.

Help create a safer online world for your children.

by Alzbeta Kovalova, ESET


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