Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kids and Social Media

By Kayla Frazier

Remember the days when communication was face to face. The days when kids would be outside playing catch, hopscotch, tag and had to be in the house before the street lights came on. Remember the days before the age of the kids of social media. These were the days where in class students would pass notes to each other as compared to today where it’s just as simple sending a text message.

According to the article “The Age of Insta-kids” by Ylonda Gault Caviness on, studies from Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project say 81 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds use social networks. This is because these children use social media as a form of communication with each other. But of course it’s not just kids that are on these websites. Kids are being exposed to so much information good or bad through the use of their social media accounts. So what does that say about us? How can kids be protected? Is there is no way to be protected?

I was born in 1995, which was a very interesting time period. Kids still played outside and communication was face to face; but as my generation got older, social media became more relevant and more progressive. Technically speaking, my generation was born on a crevice of something that can alter a lifestyle. The first form of Social Media I was exposed to was KOLred, which was the teenage version of AOL; from there it went to Myspace, Facebook,Instagram, Tumblr,Twitter, so on and so on.  I didn't receive my first phone that could access social media until I was the age of 14.

But that has drastically changed. Kids now are growing up and being exposed to all kinds of information at a much younger age than kids from my generation. Kids now have phones as early as the age of 10 that can access all types of social media accounts. But is that necessary; do kids as early as the age of 10 need phones that can access social media accounts? Furthermore, do they even need to be on social media at all, at that very tender age? This is where adults, older siblings, etc come in handy. I think that as time continues, it will be the complete norm that kids are growing up fast; the fact that they will have more and more information at their fingertips can be harmful to them. So how do we protect them.

There are many things anyone can do to make sure their child or younger family member is being protected on social media. First, learn who their friends are; follow them on their accounts and let them know that you will be watching, because at such a young age kids don’t understand the repercussions of what they post on social media can follow them long into their older life.

Warn them about the dangers that could happen and the dangers that lurk out there, as any kind of people have access to them now that they are on social media. Lastly, teach them to be themselves. Joining social media, kids are exposed to so much and at a young age can be easily influenced to learn the ways of being something that they are not. Teach them to be firm in their foundation and to not say things that they wouldn't say in person. After all, we want to make the gift of social media a blessing and not a curse.

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