Internet, social media, and juvenile misconduct: Who's responsible? -The Asian Age

Even though the digital devices and internet connections have brought in tons of positive benefits in our modern lifestyle, we seemingly keep on forgetting to pay attention to our juvenile members of the families to find out their unacceptable behavioral change as they get addicted using social sites, unfortunately to some extent it falling under 'delinquency'.

It is high time that we paid focus to the reasons as to how our beloved youngsters digress from the family values and get influenced by the unknown people's unknown mentality as social media's one of the worst unwanted sides catches on them.

In our country, as the pandemic, general holidays started in March last year with primary and secondary schools largely remaining shut-- gave the adolescent and juvenile community a fatal occasion to engage in non-academic activities mostly through their easy access to the internet and social media exploitation.

The misconducts are in the non-exhaustive mood along with their variations depending on the situations, but mostly puppy love hassles and romantic affairs with paedophiles are the two most complex and complicated examples. As we fail to keep an eye on what our adolescent member of the family doing online, we cannot pass the responsibility bucket.

As suggested by the specialists and researchers, several effective methods are crucial in preventing the root causes of juvenile misconduct. Usages of daily online time are the ultimate source of look-into issues as to how it is exploited by the juveniles.

Setting life goals

This is the most crucial point. Adolescents must be given some short-term and long-term life goals so that they are engaged with the constant thought of achieving them, thereby, not digressing from the parental values and ethos. As for the short-term goals, ask them how far they are in achieving them, what the constraints are, and how the constraints can be overcome. Such a strategic approach is very effective in helping the juvenile in being pragmatically productive for their critical and analytical thought process development along with the added upside that they cannot veer off the life's goal path.

Learning new skills

We should constantly cajole our adolescents into learning new skills which are to be used in their near future or which could be some life skills in the personal skills development front. The idea should be instilled in such a way that it becomes the habit of personal development perspectives. Thus the young offenders' institutions which have dealt with a significant number of social media delinquency cases by the adolescents suggest that the parents must always look out for scopes for their children to help them adopt new life skills which would add edge to their future professional life.   

Having a close-knit family bonding

Do not let the kids stray from the code of moral behavior-- with the establishments of the codes engraved on their mind in the first place.  All it starts from the close-knit family bonding availability and let the children be heard and listened to. That is how they are given the due importance as family members and they feel more family orientation rather than looking for friends online to be shared with. 

Safe online environment

It is an overall family responsibility that children are safe online. Digital technology is also making it possible for parents to keep an eye on what contents children are exposed to. Talking to the children about their daily online activity along with keeping the device's screen visible to other family members is also effective.

Do not allow the children to lock themselves in their rooms while they are on their digital devices. This can turn out be to fatal.

Knowing online friends and connections

Families should put some extra effort to get to know the online friends of their children before it is too late. The children are also to be taught that do not to befriend unknown people. In still the positive online behavior into the children so that they pre-emptively become aware of the possible digital technology borne negative side effects. These days the most popular social networking site-Facebook which is seeing a significant number of adolescent crimes are being aided and abetted by unknown friends the adolescents meet on this social platform.

Adolescent mental health check-up

Checking up on their good mental health, adolescents can be kept away from addictions- drugs and illegal substances which might be available online as mentally disturbed children seek out so-called mental happiness.  More often than not, they become the victims of the paedophiles on the prowl for mentally disturbed children for sexual pleasure and abuses. This is the worst of abuse through online unknown friends as the mental trauma is carried a lifetime and cannot be forgotten.

The writer is currently a postgraduate student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.