Social Media and Children : Is it a good mix?

When should children be allowed to start using social media

How young is too young?

Most social media apps have a minimum age requirement of 13 to be in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. But yet popular sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat do not enforce this. When signing up children just have to pick a birth year that makes them at least 13 years old, and off they go! There is no one monitoring this from my experiences. My niece who is 11 years old is proof of just how easy it is to set up social media accounts. She created an Instagram and Snapchat account just over a year ago and post pictures regularly of herself and her friends, and no one from Instagram or Snapchat has ever questioned her age.

So that brings me to my next concern. Are parents actually monitoring what their children are doing o social media?

In my opinion most are not, or there would not be so much cyber bullying. When my children were younger, the only way they were allowed to have social media accounts was to provide with passwords and that I had to be their “friend” on their accounts as well. That way I could always be able to see what they post. The reasoning I gave them for having their passwords was so that any time I could log into their accounts to see their pictures or posts and that if there was anything even mildly inappropriate they would automatically lose the privilege of using social media. Just ask my son how well this worked out for him? No exceptions, and only one chance! I have been told by other parents that my rules seem too strict, but my ids have also never been in trouble on social media. So I guess the rules work!

Another big issue for me is the number of predators preying on children using social media. Children can meet and communicate with strangers online and become easy prey for internet predators. We as parents have an image of a “creep” lurking around a school yard or playground looking for their next victim. But in actuality they are in our homes! They are hiding behind a screen! Parents need to always monitor their children’s internet activity and know about and be aware of all their friends and followers. So this has raised a couple more questions for me regarding socila medai and children.

Do we need to have more effective rules regarding social media and children?

What more can we do as parents to keep our children safe on social media?

#creeper #staysafe #parentalinvolvement

What more can we do to keep our children safe on social media?

4 thoughts on “Social Media and Children : Is it a good mix?

  1. Great topic. As the parent of 2 teens that are very much involved in various social media platforms it can be overwhelming trying to oversee everything they see and do online. I have learned that educating them and enrolling them in cyber security courses helps to open their eyes to the dangers and risks that are out there. I also find that these courses help open conversations at home about sensitive topics such as human trafficking and how young people can be targeted online. While rules and regulations are there for social media rarely are they enforced and we need to protect our children by providing them the tools they need to stay safe.

  2. This is such a hot topic in my house. My son is young (he’s under 10) and over the summer, he (I) received invitations from friends to join Facebook messenger for kids. I’m friends with his best friends’ moms and they sent me the request. He begged me for it, but I feel he’s still too young to jump into the social media stream. It’s hard because I feel like I’m the mean mom; but after studying some of the analytics picked up through various kids’ apps, I’m not comfortable adding another piece of data from the inclusion of my son into social media. I did some research specific to the Facebook messenger app: CommonSense media seemed to imply it was ok for kids 13+ but not necessarily for the 6-12 year old group it markets itself to ( We’re in no rush and I’d prefer to keep my son off of social media for a little while longer. Thanks for opening up the discussion!

  3. Great topic. I’ve had discussions with my 13yr old son when he was asking for Instagram last year and I asked what he wanted to do with it. He wanted to post goofy images and so we had to talk about why that was important. To this day he does not have a social media account and he doesn’t feel like he is missing out. I know some of my friends kids have accounts and they have access to their accounts but i feel that sometimes that kids are tech savvy enough that if they wanted to make up a fake account to bypass the parents they will. The communication is really the best way to make sure your kids are mature enough to handle social media and then making sure they are aware of the rules.

  4. This is an awesome topic! My Mom was the same way when I was at that age. She was my friend and I only had once chance. She also got complete access to my accounts whenever she wanted (not that she didn’t trust me, it was just a precaution). I totally think this should somehow be enforced- it’s hard to think of how. Great blog!!

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