3 Ways the Global Pandemic Has Impacted the Online Behavior and Safety of Your Children

By  //  March 10, 2022

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The global pandemic has been a nightmare for everyone involved. It has meant the loss of jobs, it has meant being isolated from the people that you love, having the things we once took for granted no longer available to us for a time and so on. But, one thing that it appears everyone has forgotten about is the kids.

They were no longer at school so they were completing distance learning with the rest of their classes through the internet. But, how has the pandemic impacted the online behavior and safety of your children? Let’s take a look and find out.

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Increased Device Usage

One of the impacts of the pandemic is that it has led to increased device usage. In 2019, it was estimated that teens spend around 7 hours and 22 minutes on their phone every single day. Children in the age range of 8-12 were not far behind with an average of just over four hours, which is already far too high for anyone, let alone children.

But, with the added stresses and isolation of the pandemic, this has only been increasing for some time now. It’s hard to put an exact number on it because studies haven’t been conducted on it too much, but we know for sure there is an increase.

Children are becoming more addicted than ever to their phones, to social media. It’s true to say that through lockdown times social media is the thing that keeps everyone together and in touch, but that doesn’t mean children should spend their entire life on there. The more the children are using the devices, the more dangerous it becomes.

They start looking in places that they never looked before, and eventually may start to find websites they shouldn’t be anywhere near. If it gets to a point where you need to put parental controls on the device to ensure that they are safe, then this is what you are going to need to do, whether they like it or not.

Loneliness Leading To Seeking Comfort

Another problem is that during the global pandemic children and teenagers became lonely. For those lucky enough to keep their jobs, a lot of it was conducted at home, so while parents were home with their kids, they weren’t actually there.

This led to a lot of loneliness among children and teens, which may cause them to seek comfort elsewhere. There are many platforms in which you can meet new people online, including social media that is used by children of all ages.

Children are more prone than ever to adding strangers on social media, or using chatrooms to find someone to talk to. Unfortunately, a lot of young people don’t fully understand just how dangerous this actually is, and that people will lie on the internet if it gets them what they want.

Of course, with people on lockdown at least there wasn’t a chance of them meeting during this time, but it can happen now that the restrictions are over.

This is dangerous, not only physically, but also mentally. If the child ends up the victim of grooming and is convinced that they love the person they met online, things can get really messy, really fast. But, at the time where they had nothing else, looking for something to cling to compromised the safety of children and young people.

Cyberbullying

Kids that bully are likely to cyberbully, but that’s not the worst of it. If someone thinks that they can get away with something because it is anonymous, the chances are that they are going to do it. Even if they would never bully someone to their face, they may do it behind the cover of a screen.

This has become an even bigger problem during the pandemic as there were more people online, more often. Cyber bullying increased during this time as there were more people with nothing to do.

This has a negative impact on online behavior, as more people were taking part in this for various reasons. Perhaps they couldn’t sleep because they weren’t getting enough exercise, or it could be that they were depressed so decided to turn that on others. Either way, it showed the worst of some people.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now understand some of the ways that the global pandemic has impacted the online behavior and safety of your children. It’s more important than ever to ensure that they are staying safe online, meaning that you need to have this conversation with them as soon as possible.