Should Parents Discourage Children from Social Networks? What it Means for Kids Internet Safety

Published on April 27, 2012

 

Social media has changed the way the world works in many ways. For some, the change has been positive, for others detrimental. One thing that parents must consider is the kids internet safety and how they are participating in social networks. 

It is also important to look to the future of social networks and the online space as a good thing. But too often it causes worry and fear for parents, and rightfully so.  Kids Internet Safety is at risk, and parents are the only ones who hold the reigns.  This is why it is crucial to establish some degree of parental control on social networks.  Parents have a duty to keep children safe, and should feel good about the activities their children participate in. 

Kids Internet Safety Should Parents Discourage Children from Social Networks? What it Means for Kids Internet Safety

Here are a few reasons to feel good about your kids using social media:

Education and Awareness.  These are key ingredients in preparing children for the future.  In order to understand how the world works, it is important for children of today to learn as much as possible about technology and be directly involved in social communities that are literally changing the way the world works.  Kids who have access to social media stand a better chance to be more innovative and technologically savvy, and up on trends that will give them power in the marketplace over their uneducated peers. Think about how many parents are lacking the tools and information to take advantage of positive opportunities that exist through social networks.  Less skills mean less value and parents need to understand that getting up to speed with technology is crucial to our kids’ future.

Healthy Advantages – If parents are able to steer children in the direction of age-appropriate  youth-centered networks and groups, there are some benefits that can work toward a healthy advantage. These include:

Importance of Digital literacy.  When children use social networks, this enables them to learn how to upload images and videos to a web site, to conduct research, gain new perspectives outside a small community and learn how to interact among different mediums – through writing, video, etc.  Becoming digitally literate also offers a learning curve for children in how to identify and handle cyber bullying, and how not to be a bully.

Necessary Social skills. Developing healthy social skills is crucial to a child’s upbringing.  Online interactions are not the same or even close to face-to-face, but learning to communicate across different mediums is important for understanding the different ways to be social, and how these translate across the online space as well as in person.  In order for children to develop into effective adults, it is imperative that they develop age-appropriate skills and social networks can work well to serve this purpose.

Acceptance and Validation.  Encourage a child with recognition and they gain confidence in their ability to contribute to a community.  Social media participation provides this opportunity and offers children a chance to interact with other kids who share similar interests. For a child who feels alone or doesn’t quite fit in with the locals, this online space can be a positive environment where they find common ground.

But What about the increased concern over Privacy and Online Dangers, does the good outweigh the bad of allowing your children to join social networks?

With such a fast paced world of techonology, the social media landscape is everchanging. Privacy issues are being addressed by a host of companies who focus on security solutions and parental monitoring services that aim at kids internet safety.  Very few social networks address some of the biggest concerns at any depth, such as online predators and sex offenders having access to children. The issue of bullying is also very real and now has taken the world by storm with “cyber bullying” via social networks.

The best way parents can ensure kids internet safety while allowing them to participate in social networks is to identify age-appropriate communities for them.  If your child is under 13, do not allow them to be on Facebook and talk to them about the risks. Since it is the most desired place for kids to be online, parents now have a way to feel comfortable with the privacy and exposure to kids.

The CreepSquash monitoring solution allows parents to monitor children’s accounts from a safe distance, and works anywhere a child accesses the social network.  No dashboards or computers to store information on, this innovative technology is a simple Facebook app that focuses 100% on kids internet safety.  Offering a free 30-Day Trial  with no obligation, it’s a no brainer for parents who want to loosen the leash and feel good about it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.