Monitoring and Keeping Our Children Safe on Social Media Sites
Recently, a comprehensive study was performed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on the impacts of social media on children and teens. It was concluded that individuals under the age of 18 benefit in numerous ways by utilizing social media website. Younger generations have the ability to increase their communication skills, have access to a multitude of facts and other types of information, and experience an increase in self-awareness; however, despite these benefits, it was determined that the interactions, activities, and information shared on social media platforms may also be detrimental to a child’s physiological, psychological, and emotional growth. Furthermore, social media platforms may result in dangers that negatively impact the safety of children and teenagers. As parents, it is our number 1 priority and responsibility to protect our kids; however, our power to do so should not be abused. In this comprehensive guide, you will be introduced to various tips that will aid in monitoring social media accounts, internet safety, and taking a productive, proactive role in protecting your children.
Social Networking – At a Glance
Before delving into the tips that will help you to successfully monitor your kids’ social media accounts, we feel it is important to share some basic information about social networking. These types of networks are those that provide a virtual-based community for people that have an interest in a particular activity, subject, or simply want to gather with one another in an online environment. Essentially, these networks are online clubhouses. You establish membership, create a profile, and engage in various types of activities and transactions. Social networking allows you to connect to relatives, friends, neighbors, classmates, and others through activities like games, chat, pictures, and email. All social networking websites include the ability to provide updates via status posts and typically host events. Examples of popular social networking websites for kids include Facebook, Twitter, Club Penguin, Webkinz, WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, Burn Note, and Snapchat.
Why Do Kids Gravitate Towards Social Media?
There are several unique reasons why kids gravitate towards social media sites. First and foremost, these websites allow them to communicate with those that they care about in real life – even if those people are far away. If a kid has lost touch with a friend, they have the ability to relocate and reconnect with them. They may share messages with others, share various types of content (videos, memes, and informational text), and they may share pictures. They have the ability to participate in groups and causes that they are passionate about. They may also play games – solo, with their friends, or with people that they meet online. In today’s world, social media is a part of life – especially for kids. As parents, we must accept that this is a way of life for today’s children. Now, it is time to expound on how we may successfully monitor our kids’ social media accounts.
Ideas on How to Monitor our Kids Social Media Activities
- The first step to monitoring kids’ social media accounts and internet safety is to obtain information about the age restrictions on the various platforms. For example, if your child wants a Facebook account, the website requires them to be – at least – thirteen years of age. Naturally, you could change your child’s birth year in order to allow them access sooner than the designated minimum age; however, this is not advisable. If a social media website has an age restriction in place, you should respect that and encourage your children to wait until that age in order to create a member profile. If – when your child reaches the minimum age requirement – you feel as if they lack the maturity to interact on the social media site, you may have them wait for access.
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