Social Networking and Kids
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Social networking and social media site are becoming increasingly popular. The Facebook and Myspace trend was originally targeted towards high school and college aged kids. Then parents and grandparents started creating accounts. Social networking is an excellent way to stay in contact with friends and keep updated about events. Users are able to speak about themselves by updating their own status and share memories by posting pictures and videos. Now users are becoming increasingly younger. The issue is how young is too young to use social media.
Facebook and Twitter both have age restrictions on their websites. Kids have to become at least 13 before they can create an account. The problem with this is that it is simple to create an account under a fake age. Many parents are not alright with their young children to use social networking and others want social networking sites to remove the age restrictions.
The problem with young kids on social networking web pages is that their profiles can expose excessive information about them. There is inappropriate content and pictures on the web and online predators are generally notorious for using web 2.0 sites. Kids should not put where they live or posts statuses that give away where they will be or if they will be alone.
In the end, it is up to the parents to determine if social media is right for their kids. There are social networking webistes that are targeted towards young kids. Social networks that are like a Facebook site for kids have kid-friendly content and tend to be centered on entertaining young children. The safest social networking site for kids must be constantly monitored by monitors to find inappropriate content and conversations. Some even allow adults to monitor the website.
Just because sites like Facebook or MySpace my not be appropriate for children does not mean that children should not be allowed to use social networking sites. Kids social network sites are an ideal way for kids to talk with their peers. They are able to post statuses or upload photographs and video clips. These sites may give a positive and constructive place for children to learn.
Parents should research some sites before allowing their kids to create an account that way they can decide which websites are requently monitored. They also may want to have a chat with their kids to let them know what is ok to post and things they should not post. If kids are approached by a stranger online then they should be able to let their parent know about it.