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Underage Social Media

UNDERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA My Post Mum's spaghetti is my fave :) 5 minutes ago My Profile Age 8 Rode a bike with my sister! So fun! 1 day ago SOCIAL MEDIA SITES HAVE A MINIMUM USER AGE OF 13 HOWEVER UNDERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IS ON THE RISE. 4% 83% 4 of children aged 8-12 who use the internet have a social media profile (as detailed by Ofcom) 83% of children have their profile set so that it can only be seen by friends and only 4% have a profile that can't be seen. 40% Over a third of 5-7 year olds who 40% of 8-11s & 12-15s also believe that all or most of the information on social networking sites is true. 1 in 6 parents are not aware that their child visits social media sites. use the internet at home had visited Facebook THE DANGERS OF ALLOWING CHILDREN TO ACCESS SOCIAL MEDIA Cyber Predators According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, it is believed that more than half a million paedophiles are online every day. They mask their true identity and transform themselves into whoever they need to be to lure naïve children into their web. Depression My bday cake! Social media can trigger low self-esteem and the intensity of the online world can cause or worsen anxiety or depression. It can also trigger feelings of self-worthlessness when comparing themselves to others whilst browsing social media. 16 is a term coined by the American Academy of Pediatrics and may result when children see status updates or photos that make them feel unpopular or excluded FACEBOOK DEPRESSION from events. GO AWAY! NERD! Cyber Bullying Cyber bullying is an ever-increasing topic within the media and it's a concern for all parents. Social media is a large medium for cyber bullying. 37% 20% 54% of young people experienced cyber-bullying on a highly frequent basis of young people experienced extreme cyber-bullying on a daily basis of young people using Facebook reported that they experienced cyber-bullying on the network 7 IN 10 young people have been affected by cyber-bullying HELP! children called ChildLine in 2011/12 about bullying Calling.. Digital Footprints Love my blankie!! #hug 10 years ago Posts/tweets are accessible years into the future (unless deleted) which can be an issue as children lack the foresight to censor their online activities for those who may see their postings in the future. This can have implications for their future employment, relationship & college/university opportunities. Facebook can be full of explicit content, from porn to beheading clips. If children have access to social networks, they're exposed to content of this nature. IT'S NOT ALL BAD! NOT ALL SOCIAL MEDIA IS HARMFUL It helps develop the type of technical & social skills needed It can provide opportunities for community involvement (such as raising money for charity & volunteering for political/philanthropic events) It exposes them to different ideas It can allow children to communicate with friends & family who they don't see regularly WHO'S RESPONSIBLE? According to Facebook, parents are responsible for the rise of young children on social media, A significant amount of children with social media profiles were setup with the help of their parents. 19% Around a third of parents admit that they have never talked with their children about online safety. However, 19 percent of parents have set up parental controls on all of their children's internet-accessible devices at home. EXPERTS THOUGHTS 99 I think with some sensible explanation from parents and a level of parental supervision, a simple facebook account for a pre-teen is a great way of keeping in touch with family goings on and for building friendship groups. I know have stronger ties with my nieces and nephews through facebook than I would otherwise (although it makes me feel old when I realise I don't understand their lingo). That said, I'm not about to set up an account for my 4 year old any time soon; there are occasions though when I think it would be nice for her to be able to share a photo or a life milestone with her close family members. Emma Button www.mellowmummy.co.uk 99 I am worried myself about the risk to younger people using social media. I remember when I was younger and there was only MSN Messenger to speak socially with friends. I remember at the age of 11 and 12 coming under a small amount of what could be deemed as bullying, and yet there are now hundreds of platforms that children under 13 could get their hands on. Not only the risks of bullying, but there is so much information freely available now, including pornographic images, verbally explicit content as well as visually explicit content, and it is being shared from person to person over social media. I know that I would not want my child under 13 gaining access to content of that nature, and Im sure the majority of people wouldn't also. Yet, there are platforms of social media that could perhaps spark interests in them and allow them find subjects they are really interested in. Such as Pinterest or Polyvore for example, where they can use their design skills and creativity. But when it comes to Youtube, Twitter and Instagram as examples, I have found that comments from the much younger community are often laced with disrespect, anger, hate or similar and I feel that it is due to peer pressure and insecurities. Furthermore, it also opens the child up to disrespectful comments of their own from children they know, and that is something that shouldn't be able to happen. Whilst children under 13 should be allowed a certain amount of freedom, there are certainly a lot of reasons why at that age, they may not be ready to hear what the world has to say to them. Victoria www.inthefrow.com 99 Whilst children are still of an age to have organised playdates with parents present, I don't think there is any need for them to use social media accounts or mobile phones. As they become teenagers I understand the need for them to engage more with friends, and I think that experimenting with social media is an important part of this. The world is online, and there is no getting away from that, so the sooner our children learn how to handle themselves (and others) on the internet, the better. Personally I involve my children (9 and 6) in my online presence, especially in Facebook and Instagram. These are both so visual that they appeal to the children, and it gives me the opportunity to discuss anecdotally with them what is, and is not appropriate. That said, if a social media channel has an age restriction, that is for a reason, and I would not go against that. When the time comes, I will cite that as part of my rationale for not allowing my children to have their own accounts. Once they do have accounts, it will be on the condition that they accept me as a friend, and understand that I can see what they are posting. If a parent is supportive of, and engaged in their child's online activity, I would be comfortable with it. However, I think the real problem is with parents who do not supervise their child's internet time - and that includes passive viewing, not just social interaction. A parent who uses the internet as a babysitter is storing up huge potential for problems, in my opinion. Helen Wills www.ActuallyMummy.co.uk 99 The thought of children under 13 on social media, to me, is worrying - as a blogger, I know how easy it is to be affected by something you've read on the internet, and there's no way to control what you see or read - even on harmless sites such as Instagram. It's not the place for such impressionable minds. Kate Johnson ghOstparties.com SOURCES: consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2010/03/children-signing-up-for-under-age-social-networking-profiles/ everydaylife.globalpost.com/social-networks-affect-underage-kids-11322.html www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/resourcesforprofessionals/bullying/bullying_statistics_wda85732.html www.ditchthelabel.org/annual-cyber-bullying-survey-cyber-bullying-statistics/ Hayes Garden World

Underage Social Media

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The digital age is constantly improving access to all kinds of media and resources through an overwhelmingly large number of devices, so it can be hard to keep track. One of the biggest phenomenons is...

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