In this day and age where no one is really who they say they are online, it makes you question how safe the internet really is for children. If you’re not monitoring what they’re viewing and what they’re posting, then you’re just as responsible as they are. What’s scary is that half of these kids have no idea of the implication of what they are posting. We think bullying is horrific in schools and we wonder why kids just snap and go off shooting other kids?
Although most social media sites have a minimum age requirement of 13 years, is it really appropriate for a 13 year-old to be on social media?
Online interaction can lead to many things.
Take for example, teenagerposts.tumblr.com:
1. Sexual reference (shared/reblogged by over 2,500 people)
2. Sexual reference (shared/reblogged by over 3,600 people)
3. Violence and lack of respect for women reference (over 5,000 shared/reblogged this)
4. Poor body image (over 4,000 shared/reblogged)
5. Just inappropriate
6. Violence reference (over 4,600 shared/reblogged this post)
7. YouTube – Have you seen this article on Jessi Slaughter?
And it’s not just Tumblr and YouTube, it’s all social media and texting. The following are resources from Goatcloud.com for parents to take charge of their children’s online experience, including texting.
- OpenDNS.com for a home network, which enables filtering of websites at the entry point into the house (note, parents, that if your child has a cell phone with wireless service, OpenDNS will not work to block services over the cell carrier’s network). OpenDNS.com is free for a home network. Another to check out is K9 Web Protection.
- Mobicip is a paid device-based service offering web filtering.
- MyMobileWatchdog.com which, for a fee, permit parents to monitor text messages to and from a particular number.
At what age do you think kids should be allowed on social media?