A survey by O’Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson (2011) indicates that 20% of teens who access social media websites have shared nude photos of themselves. Social media encourages child pornography and sharing of sexually explicit images, photographs and messages.
Despite these negative effects, social media has also shown a myriad of positive impact on children. First, social media offers an effective platform for communication and socialization, thus enabling children to accomplish important tasks considered to be important to them offline (Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2012). This enables them to stay connected with their families and friends, make new friends and even exchange ideas. It gives them an opportunity to engage in community development activities, enhance both their individual and collective creativity, expand online connections and foster their unique social skills and identities. Social media also enhances the learning opportunities of children. O’Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson (2011) observe that students use social media to coordinate group projects and homework outside the classroom setting while some schools use blogs as teaching tools. These promote learning among the targeted children. Finally, social media provides an opportunity to easily and anonymously access health information. The resources range from information on stress reduction to sexually transmitted diseases among many others. This way, children get information on ways of maintaining good health without necessarily involving