From a young age, children become immersed in a world of stories which aid children’s development as it heightens their imagination and exposes them to new language and emotions. These narratives are then used to shape their sense of reality as they grow and develop. As this happens the stories often grow and develop in complexity with them.
Stories can enhance interaction, learning and engagement with caregivers and as children get older, the stories they are interested in can change. More and more smartphones are replacing books and Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook continue to provide the new digital space to capture and tell these stories.
The ‘story’ feature on social media platforms provides an outlet for children and young people to ‘tell their stories’ and update friends about their lives by posting pictures and videos on their profiles, just like a digital diary. In this way, social media has greatly enhanced the visual and symbolic representations of young lives.
This is a short guide which will introduce you to the world of social media stories. The purpose of this guide is to give parents, carers and safeguarding professionals the tools and knowledge to ensure that children in their care use social media stories in a safe way.