Social media is so popular these days that even the youngsters have made it their favorite hangout. It is a very powerful tool and one that can impact a child positively or negatively.
With the many issues involving social networking sites in particular cyberbullying, however, parents are concerned over their influence on their young children. Some allow their kids to create accounts on the popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while the others think it’s better not to introduce social media until their child is much older and able to handle themselves well online.
The minimum age requirement for a child to join Facebook is 13. Many parents agree this is an ideal age during which a child is supposedly already responsible enough to behave properly online. But this is not always the case as some sensitive kids can easily get offended when they read negative comments from friends although they may not really be directed to them. Also, there are much younger kids who have created accounts on various social networking sites without their parents’ consent.
Experts are leaving the decision to parents as to when they will allow their kids to join social media sites. They said it’s a matter of trust adding that when you know your child very well, you will somehow have an idea if he or she is going to conduct himself or herself well online.
But then again, it’s always a good idea to talk with your kids about their use of social media. Give them reminders and teach them the acceptable behavior online. Share tips on things they need to avoid and how to use the platforms in the best way possible.
Discuss as well the issues surrounding social media including identity theft and cyberbullying that results from posting negative comments, insulting and uploading incriminating photos. You may share other interesting social media news with them if you like.
Top Social Media Sites for Teens
A 2012 survey done by Pew Research has shown that teens in the U.S. prefer Facebook to network with friends. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of teens that joined Facebook went up from 93 percent to 94 percent.
Twitter is the second choice of teens with 26 percent of them using the platform. MySpace ranked third at 24 percent.
In another survey done by Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm, teens also showed a preference for Facebook (33 percent) and Twitter (30 percent). Other sites where they like to hang out are Instagram, Pinterest and Reddit.
More stories on parenting and social media here: