What Is The Right Age To Let Kids Use Social Media? - Social Media Explorer
What Is The Right Age To Let Kids Use Social Media?
What Is The Right Age To Let Kids Use Social Media?

Are there any age requirements to use social media?

Many parents don’t believe in allowing their children younger than 13 to have unlimited Internet access. However, a PrivacyHQ.com survey has shown that 63 per cent of parents allow YouTube and 54 percent give their permission for their teens to use Instagram. And 49 percent let their teenagers use TikTok.

A third of 10 parents allowed their children to use social networking before the age 13. This was to help them achieve future goals such as becoming a content creator or professional gamer. A further 64 percent of parents stated that their child wanted to influence others on Instagram and YouTube in the future. However, 81 percent of respondents said they supported this choice.

It may sound glamorous and even an easy job – but we could question whether kids actually understand what is involved in building a following, and that not everyone will have true “influence” in the future?

This comes as many YouTubers and TikTok users have spoken out about the negative stigmas of making a living through these social media platforms. Just 40% of parents reported that they could effectively communicate to their children the differences in real life and how it is presented on social media.

The Dangerous World

Mirela Iancu (Director of User Engagement at PrivacyHQ.com) said that social media exposes younger users to worse content than TV.

“The Internet and social media have a plethora of information that might be sensitive towards children like adult content or breaking news — which may include content surrounding the war between Russia and Ukraine,” Iancu added. Our research found that 95 percent of parents talked to their children directly about Internet and social-media safety. But topics such as bot recognition and privacy, fake accounts, privacy, and what the differences are between real and online life were not discussed by nearly half of them.

A study revealed that 52 percent said they had not spoken with their children about issues like cyberbullying. In addition, one fifth of the parents caught their child posting to a “finsta”, or fake Instagram, account. A further 63 per cent of parents expressed concern that their children might be hurt while trying to duplicate the latest TikTok viral trend.

Inadequacy of Ratings

Similar to the controversy over ratings and video games, it could also be asked if parents still have a responsibility for monitoring what their kids are watching. There are not universal ratings available for content shared on social media, as there aren’t any like TV shows or movies.

Roger Entner, technology analyst for Recon Analytics stated that “Parents already have plenty of control to stop their children downloading apps to the smartphones,” and added that they had many other options. I don’t think there is any way the platforms could or should do anything unless they require positive identification when signing up.

YouTube is full of great education videos. However, YouTube is still not suitable for kids under 13 years old. The same is true of other platforms – yet many parents may not realize as much. It is even worse that some children might not realize the effort that goes into being a creator, or gamer.

Iancu warned that parents have been letting their children use platforms such as Instagram and YouTube before they turn 13. This is to help them become content creators or gamers. It’s crucial to be cautious when giving access online to children under 13 years old, given the behaviours that were uncovered by parents.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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