The world of social media seems to be a place where many teenage children are participating. Most of them have junked other forms of communication in favor of the social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The main concern of parents of children who are frequently interacting through it is whether or not they are doing so in an appropriate manner.
The leading social networks have expressly disallowed users who are below 13 years old. This age requirement has produced at least two undesirable effects. It is either the parents allow their children below 13 to lie about their age or the denied children to access such platforms outside the home, far from their disapproving parents.
Allowing children to lie about their age is not really a great way to introduce them to social media use. Parents are often caught up in a dilemma of how they should go about it in keeping their child safe from the existing risks and threats of the environment. Experience tends to show that children will find ways to participate in social media with or without the approval of the parents. A teenage child’s participation in social media is best done under the guidance and limitations set by parents.
Dependence on social media interaction has affected to a large degree the ability of teenage children to talk to people face to face. Social skills are lacking. Social media use also tend to eat up time for rest, recreation, and other activities in life. Parents can still protect their children from the ills of social media without totally invading their children’s privacy. Children of this age need to know the basic online safety rules so they can protect themselves.