Children and Social Media
Our friends at Fundamentally Children have written on the interesting subject of social media and children. Social networking has become extremely popular with children and in fact research shows that more than half of children have used a social networking site by the age of ten.
It seems like the social media platforms that children use are constantly changing, so it can be hard to keep track. This often causes us as parents concerns about who our child is able to talk to, what content they might be seeing, and much more.
Knowing more about these apps and websites is the first step to helping you make an informed decision about whether to allow your child to use, or continue using, these social networks. The sources listed have not been endorsed by Fundamentally Children, but we will offer details on features including:
- Moderation, reporting and blocking: these help restrict what content children can see or share, and who can contact them, helping to prevent cyberbullying, grooming and inappropriate content
- Messaging: public messaging and forums potentially have a higher risk of your child seeing things they shouldn’t because they are open to anyone and provide a direct link between users. However, it also means that everyone can see what is said to your child, so they have less direct or hidden communication with individuals (e.g. they are less likely to be groomed on a public forum, compared to private messaging)
- Contacts: some apps allow children to communicate with strangers, while others limit who they can make contact with. As anyone can create a profile on social networks, inappropriate individuals may be able to communicate with children
- Content sharing: being able to share photos openly can be risky for children – in an open forum, anyone can see their photos. They are also able to share sensitive information, such as their school (e.g. a logo visible in a photo), which can lead to problems
NOTE: It is also worth being aware that social networks do not have checks to verify age, meaning children who are underage, as well as adults, can sign up easily.
To read more click here.