At what age should children be allowed to use social media?

Kids today are so eager to be like their older siblings or the teens they see on television. The rush to grow up and do “grown-up” things seems to start earlier and earlier these days, and social media is no exception.

Kids today are so eager to be like their older siblings or the teens they see on television. The rush to grow up and do “grown-up” things seems to start earlier and earlier these days, and social media is no exception.

While Facebook is clearly aimed at an adult audience and has a minimum age requirement of 13 to set up a profile, how many times have you noticed children who have clearly lied about their age in order to join? The desire to interact in this type of social media, to be able to play games, connect with friends and share photos is a strong enough temptation that many children – some with and some without their parents’ consent – are creating profiles in this all-too-adult environment.

Facebook and similar social media sites are constantly rolling out global updates in which the privacy of the profiles on their site is affected, making items previously marked private now public. Although all of these sites do include fairly extensive options to allow you to protect your privacy, some degree of skill is needed to properly use these options.

How is a child to know that unless they select certain check boxes, their name, address, photos and posts are viewable to the world? For example, one woman allowed her two younger daughters to create profiles on Facebook.

As a busy mom with a husband that travels frequently, she had no idea that the “photo shoot” her sixteen year old daughter did of the younger two at the beach was marked as “public” when the younger one uploaded it as an album. So, how do you keep track of these things and keep your kids safe when they are begging you to let them do “what all my friends are doing!” How do you keep your child from being that “one” you hear about on the news that was tricked by an adult online?

The answer is not as simple as an exact age that applies to all kids – every child is different, and some will be mature enough to handle the responsibility of traditional social media sites at a younger age than others.

Thankfully, the clever minds at kazaana.com have seen the need for the young kids and pre-teens to have a safe and fun social media outlet where they can experience all the features they crave while still ensuring their online safety and parental peace of mind. This is a truly exciting site that the 6 to 12-year-old set will be clamouring to join.

Not only does it provide an enriched environment for the ever-expanding brains of today’s youth, but it contains many similar features to other popular websites including cool avatars, customisable rooms, fun games, creative applications and the ability to unlock features like avatar animations. As an added safety net, each profile requires parental approval to be able to implement the social content.

It is only with this approval that a user can add friends to their list, send messages or video chat and share photos or videos. Parental controls allow social components to be as restrictive or free as is appropriate for the age of the child and the personal comfort level of the parent.

Kazaana realizes that educating kids about online etiquette is the key to a lifetime of personal safety on the internet. The site teaches children about such principles as not including any personally identifiable information in their screen name and never giving out their password.

They are always reminding children about the type of information that should be kept private, like full names, addresses, school names and hangout spots or their friends’ information. They also have a strict “no bullying” policy and will remove any content that violates this policy. The site includes a special feedback feature that, if a child ever feels uncomfortable, they can use to report an interaction with a click of a button. A specially trained moderator will then promptly review the marked content, intervening if it is deemed necessary.

The decision is still yours about when to allow your children to use social media. Sites like Kazaana, however, can make teaching your children while they are still young to use social media responsibly much easier.

Kazaana.com

 

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