How are my child's online interactions affecting their social skills?

Modern Parenting Tips
By
Cyber Dive
Feb 27, 2021
3 min read

Technology has completely changed the way people communicate with one another. In many instances, social media and other forms of digital communication have eliminated the need for in-person interaction. If you can communicate something through a text or email, why bother taking the time to meet face-to-face?

For the younger generations who have had access to this type of interaction their whole lives, in-person socializing can sometimes feel uncomfortable. Due to the rapid growth of technology, they have had the luxury of planning every response, being able to choose their words carefully, not learning to read body language or deal with awkward in-person confrontations. Technology can interfere with your child’s ability to read social cues, control their emotions or handle in-person conflict. Older generations often struggle with this shift and are concerned that children are lacking the necessary social skills and missing out on face-to-face interactions.

Reading Social Cues

Being able to read social cues will benefit your child’s ability to effectively interact with others. This includes making eye contact, being aware of body language and controlling their tone of voice. Learning to maintain eye contact shows respect and acknowledgment when speaking with someone in any type of situation. Knowing how to control and read others’ body language will help your child better express themselves and the feelings of others. Controlling their tone of voice goes along with the way they control their own emotions when interacting face-to-face. Their tone of voice can greatly influence the reaction and tone of the person they are communicating with. This can either be used to their advantage or cause issues when trying to communicate.

Controlling Their Emotions

If your child is generally someone that gets emotional in certain situations, they must learn how to handle these emotions, especially when having face-to-face interactions. Social situations can bring feelings of stress, embarrassment, shyness or fear. If your child becomes overwhelmed at the thought of in-person social interactions, they may be suffering from a social anxiety disorder. A medical professional can help address their symptoms and come up with a treatment plan to manage these anxious emotions.

Handling Conflict

Handling conflict through digital devices eases a lot of the pressure that comes with in-person confrontation. They can read through the other person's responses over and over in order to formulate the perfect reply. While this type of conflict still brings on certain emotions, they are able to mask them as they hide behind a screen. In addition, your child is unable to see how their responses are making the other person feel. When handling conflict face-to-face with someone, they have to be aware of their own body language, facial expressions and emotional responses all while picking up on the energy of the other person. Fear of face-to-face conflict can show itself as a form of social anxiety, bringing on even more symptoms that can make this interaction uncomfortable. Learning to manage and balance their emotions during conflict is extremely beneficial to the development of their offline social skills.

Benefits Of Online Socialization

While all of these offline social skills are important to the personal development and growth of your child, we do not want to disregard the benefits of online social interaction. When done safely, social media can be used to make new friends while keeping in contact with old ones (especially when social distancing). For many kids, they use the internet and social media as their primary outlet for communicating and comfortably expressing themselves. If they have prioritized the foundation of a positive online environment, they can utilize these platforms as a resource for support and knowledge. They can also become connected with other kids who share similar interests or hobbies. In turn, it can boost their self-esteem and mental health when they feel surrounded by like-minded individuals.

In order for your child to safely take advantage of these online social interactions, we believe your involvement as a parent is necessary. This is why we created the Aqua One smartphone for children with unlimited monitoring access for parents. By monitoring their smartphone activity, you can remain informed about the type of interactions they are having online. If you see that they are constantly socializing online but avoiding in-person interactions, you can sit down with them to figure out why. Maybe they feel more comfortable behind a screen because in-person interactions cause anxious feelings. Maybe they feel a stronger connection with their online friends than with their friends in real life. Whatever their reason may be, we believe having open conversations can help you gauge their mental health so that they can see the importance of building healthy digital habits.

We believe that raising healthy-minded individuals relies on their ability to build positive relationships. Cyber Dive's Mental Health Check will ask your child questions regarding their family relationships, how their friends make them feel and their ability to connect with others. Parents can leverage their child's Mental Health Check responses to start conversations with their children. Teaching them to communicate their emotions and being able to identify contributing factors will be evident in the way they interact with others. Technology continues to grow and we can confidently say that it isn’t going anywhere. As modern parents, you are responsible for instilling these qualities in the younger generations so that they can see the importance of effectively communicating both on and offline.

Join the future of modern parenting and order your child's Aqua One today. Coming this winter.

Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desiree Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com
Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth Smart Foundation
"It's encouraging to know that, as parents, you do not have to be left in the dark, you can be involved. That's quite a powerful tool."
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Foundation
Georgann Yaya, AZCentral
"Helping parents prepare for the gamut of situations to which social media opens the door has made [Cyber Dive] venture more valuable than the bottom line."
Georgann Yara
azcentral
Billy Harfosh, iHeartRadio
"If we're concerned about stranger danger... what about a stranger getting into your child's direct messages? It can be just as dangerous, if not more so."
Billy Harfosh
iHeartRadio
Dawn Van Camp, Mama Army
"In a society that relies so much on virtual connection, it is necessary that we teach our children how to navigate and use technology responsibly."
Dawn Van Camp
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb
"As a Lawman and a parent I love seeing solutions for protecting children from the child predators. This Aqua One phone helps parents and even addresses the mental health of the child. Well done Cyber Dive."
Sheriff Mark Lamb
Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona
Desiree Briggs, Mama Army
"[Aqua One] was just launched and is going to change the way that our children grow up in a technology-driven world."
Desire Briggs
Co-Founder of The Mama Army
Phoenix Dream Center CEO Brian Steele
“One of the neatest parts about the tool is that it gives insight into not only the safety of what my child is doing out there but what my child is thinking.”
Brian Steele
CEO of Phoenix Dream Center
Larissa Marulli, Moms.com
“Being informed of your child's social media habits isn't just beneficial from a safety standpoint. You'll get an inside look at what your kid is into and enjoying.”
Larissa Marulli
moms.com

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