XXX Church, an online Christian ministry helping porn and sex addicts, published a list of ways using Facebook can harm children on March 23.
Written by Pastor Craig Gross, the post states that while Facebook and social media is too prevalent in our society to be completely avoided, there are signs to help make sure your child's self-image and self-worth aren't being negatively affected by these networks. The pastor gave three ways in which using Facebook can "ruin your kids."
First, Gross argues that Facebook gives children a false sense of community. Gross acknowledges that the way Facebook connects the world can be a positive thing, allowing us to discuss and argue topics including politics, religion, celebrities and more, but it can also be a negative.
Facebook, Gross suggests, can begin to replace a real life community, isolating us and obscuring the messiness of real life interactions.
Next, Facebook's system of 'likes' can be harmful to a child's feeling of self-worth. The pastor says that 'likes' can turn each post and observation into a value judgment, and a child may feel he or she is not interesting or funny if their post doesn't garner much attention.
"It can get really bad," writes Gross, "to the point where you just keep visiting your page hoping to see that little red notification letting you know someone liked your post."
This point is standard across all social media networks, according to Gross. He tells readers that posting to social media for validation is "a terrible way to live and an unhealthy lens to look at yourself."
Finally, Gross discusses the way Facebook seeks to make its users view the networking site as the real world.
He suggests that Facebook tries to make its users log on to Facebook as often as possible to keep gaining more data and make the site more valuable to advertisers. Facebook's Messenger app is a perfect example of this point, according to Gross, which he says the company wants users to adopt in the place of texting.
Gross suggests making sure children know that Facebook is a useful tool for communicating with classmates and family, but that it isn't a substitute for real life or real communication.