The Right Age to Use Social Media – A Parent’s Guide

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Social Media has done a lot of great things in people’s lives; it allows companies or individuals to be able to exchange different kinds of information, ideas, news and interests in a variety of ways via text, videos, photos or videos.47072014_l

Social media is a convenient and popular way of communicating to the different parts of the world and to a wide range of people. It is also the most effective way to advertise your business and find new customers. Currently, more than 1 billion people are active on Facebook and there are 310 million monthly active users on Twitter.

But despite all the good things that social media has to offer, we cannot ignore the fact that there are also many downsides and risks especially, for children. Young people are were born into the era of internet technology and social media. They navigate around the cyber world as social media natives. However when it comes the associated dangers of the internet and mobile technology, young people are not so knowledgeable and savvy about detecting the risks, and threats.

Most of the social media apps let everyone share anything on its platforms and to a large and diverse audience. Parents must be aware that there are people who do not care about the 42108887_lsensibilities of children and will post or share things that are not appropriate for children.

That is why most social media apps imposed age restrictions for account holders.

Here are the following social media apps and their age restrictions:

  • Children 13 and below are not allowed to sign up for the following sites: Secret, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google +
  • Children 17 and below are not allowed to make an account on Tinder and Vine.
  • For ages and 16 and below, they are not allowed to sign up on LinkedIn.9515306_l
  • For WhatsApp, ages 16 and below is not allowed.
  • For the following sites, parent’s permission is advised:

Youtube, WeChat, Kik, Keek, Foursquare and Flickr.

Children rely on adults and parents to lead by example. There are also adults who use the internet and social media to groom, exploit and harm young people because children can be naive, vulnerable and lack the skills to detect the dangers the unfiltered adult cyber world can bring to their laptops and mobile phones.

But 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:

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Child Net
, NSPCC, Think You Know, Web Wise, Safer Internet, Kids SmartInternet Matters, Parent Zone

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.Design JPEG

Image from copyright of  Shift Communications  “Top 10 Guidelines For Social Media Participation”

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Author: Asian Mums Network Blogger

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