Children under 10 are using social media, poll finds

Children under 10 are using social media, poll finds

October 18, 2021 Off By administrator
“There continues to be debate over how soon is too soon when it comes to using social apps and how parents should oversee it,” said Mott Poll codirector Sarah Clark, a research scientist in pediatrics at the University of Michigan, in a statement. “Our poll looks at how often tweens and younger children use social platforms and how closely parents are monitoring these interactions.”

The findings are “further evidence that children under 13 are eager to use social media platforms, for whatever reasons — entertainment, celebrity, connecting with friends, or being drawn in by the engagement-promoting design common on these sites,” said Dr. Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, via email. Radesky wasn’t involved in the poll.

When deciding which apps were appropriate for their child, more than 60% of parents considered whether the apps had parent controls, were rated appropriate for their child’s age group or were needed for their child’s schooling. Between 51% to 66% of parents used parental blocks on certain sites, parent approval for new contacts, privacy settings, daily time limits and a passcode for certain content.

Many parents also had concerns about their child’s abilities to safely navigate social media apps. Some worried their child might share private information without realizing it, encounter sexual predators, see mature images or videos, or not be able to discern what information was true or false. Nearly 50% of parents with social media-using kids weren’t confident that their child would be able to tell whether another user was an adult or kid, which can be difficult to discern, according to the report.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires operators of apps and other online services to provide parental control options over release of private information, the poll authors wrote. But 17% of parents of children using social media apps said they didn’t use any parental controls — for reasons such as not being able to find the information they needed to set up parental controls, thinking that monitoring their child’s use of social media apps was too time-consuming, or considering it a waste of time because children find ways to bypass parental controls.

“Parents are at such an utter state of burnout at this point of the pandemic, so it’s completely reasonable that they feel a sense of overwhelm or futility in trying to keep up with social media platforms that are powered by billions of dollars in revenue and enormous data analytic capacity,” Radesky said.

Instagram's grim appeal as a silent self-esteem breaker

However, if “parents are allowing younger children to engage in social media, they should take responsibility for making the child’s online environment as safe as possible,” Clark said, no matter how inconvenient. “If parents can’t commit to taking an active role in their child’s social media use, they should have their child wait to use these apps.”

Helping your child stay…

(Excerpt) To read the full article , click here
Image credit: source