Social media for children? You got to be kidding me!

By: Nicolas Austin

@nicolaslucky27

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Photo courtesy of: Business 2 Community

I just recently called my godmother this week, in order to wish my ten year old godbrother a happy birthday. I asked him what he got for his birthday, and he told me an iPhone 6. I mention this anecdote because of the fact that I remembered when he had his old phone, he had created a Facebook page at the age of nine years old. He did it because he wanted to look cool at school because he had a social media account. I believe children shouldn’t be allowed access to social media until they are at least a sophomore in high school. I mention high school because of the fact they are older and now consider a teenager/young adult, but also the fact that computer classes in high school can prepare them about the social media world.

 

I remember when I was a freshman in high school, social media was barely even making a strong presence in the world, especially with social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook. My computer teacher, Mr. Silvern, explained the usage of computers and social media. But in no way or form did he have us on the social media sites. He had us focusing on trying to understand computers and which software will be helpful in the real world. Just like any other adult, he was aware of how children having social media accounts can be hazardous, and how it can cause children to be addicted to them.

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Photo courtesy of: WRAL

Children should worry about cartoons, video games, going to the movies, and hanging out with friends, instead of which social media account they need to have. When children don’t have access at school to use social media, they will find a way to access it by using another device like a cellphone. Parents are providing children with cellphones, but are not providing supervision along with the device. Social media should be only use by adults and by children who are of age. The law states that children underneath 13 years of age, are not allowed to access any form of social media.

Some people look at the fact there are ways to safely introduce children to the world of social media. But I believe the safest way for them is by not having a social media account until schools say so. Schools should create courses that teaches the children the dangerous of having a social media account. This would allow them to understand there are dangers to having social media accounts, such as cyberbullying and sexual predators. It also starts with the parents having common sense to know when is the appropriate age for their children to have a social media account. The confidence of a child can be destroyed by social media, and parent need to understand this consequence in order to properly prepare their child for the world of social media.

References

Iverson, A., (2016). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.wral.com/how-to-safely-introduce-children-to-the-social-media-world/16177048/

Kean, T., (2016). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.ktnv.com/news/contact-13/social-media-apps-putting-children-at-risk

Wolfe, N., (2016). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/morning-shows/wilkinsons-kids-didnt-touch-social-media-until-16/news-story/7fcffe2fae834a23deb4a21b3e369040

n.p., (1998). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule

 

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism