Social media is a very dangerous place for your kids. There are the big problems that make the nightly news – cyberbullying, addiction, and online predators – as well as the everyday issues of self-esteem, cruelty, and self-absorption. Although scientists are still measuring all of the damage that social media use is causing, anxiety, depression, and suicide are on the rise.
According to Common Sense Media, 8-12 year olds are spending an average of 6 hours per day online and teens are spending an astonishing average of nine hours a day online.
The stats speak for themselves:
- 88% of teens have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person on a social networking site.
- Sexual assault cases related to social media sites has increased by 300%.
- 55% of parents of 12 year olds said their child was on Facebook and 76% said they helped their child gain access.
- 22% of teens lost their friendship with someone due to actions on social media sites.
- Sex crimes against a minor involve a social networking site 50% of the time and the social networking site was used to initiate the relationship.
- 43% of teens say they would change their online behavior if they knew that their parents were watching them.
- 55% of teens have given out personal information to someone they don’t know, including photos and physical descriptions.
Even with all of the documented problems that social media use is causing, most parents are letting their kids hang out online without supervision. Often, those kids are on social media sites that they aren’t even old enough to use (minimum age is 13 on all of those sites). Social media has become an unchaperoned playground where kids are left to their own devices and show the worst side of themselves from behind a screen. You have to intervene now to protect your kids.
The problem is that most parents don’t know how to help their kids because they didn’t grow up with the internet. You need an easy, common-sense way to keep your kids safe on social media.
You need to know how to guide your kids through the complicated and life altering world of social media. The potential for friendships lost, scholarships pulled, and even job opportunities denied from social media posts your kids thought were ‘private’ is too great a risk. Their futures depend on your understanding and teaching them how to be responsible with their social media lives