Social media is an amazing invention of our time, uniting and connecting family members and friends from across the globe, where borders no longer exist. It’s also a fabulous resource bringing the world alive on our laptops, phones and tablets. Our children can view the beautiful colours and diversity of our world in one place. The possibilities are endless when it comes to our children’s development and learning from languages, skills, knowledge and communication in all its forms.
Hopefully, parents also understand the risks and potential problems that a child can face when they join social media sites that are not appropriate for their age. Although a lot of parents try to restrict their children’s use of social media sites, being the savvy internet natives that they are, young people still find a way to sneak in moments with their social media. According to the Huffington Post, even by the age of 10 more than half of young children have used some form of social networking site. Over 50% of children aged eight to 16-year-olds are ignoring Facebook’s age limit. They tend to be also using WhatsApp and SnapChat. By 12 years old just under half of young people have already messaged a stranger.
Some companies have created social networking sites that are appropriate for kids. These sites are considered a safer alternative rather than letting them join Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other sites that could contain adult content, photos or videos. Social networks for kids are usually built to give children a balance of experience, entertainment, expression, engagement and education.
If you are a parent who would like to educate their children into having the right safe sharing practices, online citizenship, and social network etiquette, then here are the top social networks that your kids can use:
Best Social Networking for Kids
- Imbee – Known for being the social media mega-platform for children, Imbee has almost every feature that social media sites have. Kids can enjoy photos, chats, videos, “shout” wall, blog, groups, music, games, celebrity news and avatars. For parents to monitor their children, they have the ability to set age-appropriate parameters and restrict or enable certain features.
- Club Penguin – The Disney Club Penguin is created more like a multiplayer game and virtual world, but it has social networking features. Kids will have a penguin avatar and play social games, interact with each other using chat or emoticons. Parents will also have to sign up for their parent account so that they can monitor the activity of their kids. There are also veteran players that act as secret agents to ensure that everything is moderated.
- Grom Social – Zach Marks is the creator of Grom Social. A “grommet” or “grom” is surfer slang for a young surfer. Grom is a social community with a variety of original content and engaging features. Groms can create a profile, make friends, build a virtual world with their very own Grom Pet. Grom Social’s takes social responsibility serious promoting good digital citizenship and positive social interaction. Keeping Groms safe online is a number one priority! Inappropriate content or behavior including photos, language, bullying is identified by digital filters by Grom Helpers. Grom Helpers consist of real people that monitor the site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is also a Parent Portal, a tool available to parents and guardians which allows monitoring and controlling all of their child’s activity on Grom Social. Parents can set privacy settings, examine chat histories and review and control who their child is friends with.
These are just some of the best social networking sites that are great for children. This is a great way for parents to let their children practice on how to manage themselves using social networking sites before they get to the age where Facebook, Twitter, and other adult sites are already allowed for them.
The messages from kids to parents are:
- Trust us – we’re mostly using these services for chatting to friends.
- Talk to us – we could always use some guidance if we forget or don’t know what to do.
- Know the risks – we may not even guess the danger areas, you can help us spot them.
- Find out what we’re up to at school – some are strict, some have more relaxed rules.
- Be mindful – parental controls don’t catch everything if we use mobiles or friends’ machines, which can put us at risk.
If you are a parent, prioritising and protecting the welfare of your child is fundamental. If you are not sure where to start then consult with these organisations:
There are a lot of benefits that social media can give everyone. But there are also threats and dangers as social media becomes even more embedded in our lives and our everyday communication with others. That is why restrictions should always be imposed.
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Author: Asian Mums Network BloggerShare This Post: