How many Romanian children use social networks?

Increasingly more Romanian children have accounts on social networks. The European study Net Children Go Mobile reveals that the number increased from 25% in 2010 to 80% in 2014, according to a press release from Plus Communication Consulting.

The same report shows that 57% of Romanian children aged between 9 and 16 have their accounts public, although Facebook officially forbids their access. In other European countries, the average is 27%.

Psychologists believe that children’s access to the Internet, from very early ages, can have both benefits and disadvantages for their mental and physical development. Mobile Internet can distract them from school activities and affect their school results, as well as reduce the degree of face-to-face socialization.

According to psychologist Maria Verdi, director of ReCreation Life center, children’s addiction to the online environment leads to parent-children conflicts. Moreover, if the online access is denied, children become aggressive, and the same behavior is noticed at school.

“Children already handle the Internet with professionalism when they start the school. During class, their mind is online, on Facebook. When the teacher doesn’t pay attention, they communicate on Facebook.  When asked why they do that, they say they get bored at school,” said Verdi.

However, this Facebook addiction can be cured, the psychologist believes. The parent has to be an adult in the relationship with his children, not too bossy or too childish. “The parent who behaves like a child is helpless, begs the children, or agues with him to leave the Internet aside. The bossy parent critics and threatens the child. The adult parent finds alternatives to the Internet, with creative activities for the children,” according to Maria Verdi.

Irina Popescu, [email protected]