By Kingsley Amadi and Ifeoluwa Daniel
Some parents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed concern about the negative impact of the social media on their children and the youth.
The parents made this known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.
They described impact of the social media on teenagers as destructive and harmful to their academics as well as their morals, adding that there was the need for orientation to check
Mrs Grace Yusuf, an Abuja resident said that parents of children below 15 years should control and restrict them from using browsing phones as they were in the information age.
“We have the older children, 16 and above, counsel them on what to do and draw them closer to you and to God.”
Mr Martins Odeh, another parent described the social media as a convergence, saying it was a distraction which could destroy academic performances to the detriment of the teenagers.
He said the negative impact was due to peer group influence and very minimal instructions and guidance by parents, but, however, maintained that parents had little to do as it was a matter of self-discipline.
“Train a child in the way he should grow and he will never depart from it, imbibe family values, and expose them to the dangers of using the social media.
“It is best to provide those within the ages of 12 and 18 years with analog phones because they sure need phones, but it becomes dangerous when they are provided with smartphones.
“They begin with taking ‘selfies’ of their beautiful selves and then graduate into taking nude pictures of themselves and sharing it on social media which is harmful to their image and can even affect them in future.”
Odeh explained that some parents do not know the dangerous fallouts of using the social media and as such provide their wards with these smartphones, thereby putting them at risk.
According to Mr Akin Makanjuola, another resident of Abuja, the duty of parents is to monitor, mentor, advise, commend and condemn their ward as the case may be.
Makanjuola said that the advancement of the social media was a good thing and that it aided education, entertainment and information gathering and sharing but not without fallouts.
He said that the use of the social media was a personal affair as it was a thing of conscience to monitor and control the mind in its use.
Makanjuola stressed the need for parents to instill the fear of God in their children and orient them on the dangers of using the social media in the wrong way.
“Youths are the future of tomorrow, imbibe bad things now and it would reflect on them negatively, but if you imbibe good morals in them, it would affect them positively in the future.
“In safeguarding the future of these teenagers, religious bodies, government agencies responsible for the regulation of content should be alive to their responsibilities.”
He urged teenagers and youths to imbibe self-discipline in their use of the social media.