• Reccommendations for Parents Regarding Social Media

    Partial article from Bradley Hospital Family Resources

    Parents and caregivers need to educate themselves about social media and the ways their teens may use it, as well as the common risks, to help them understand and navigate the technologies. Parents should be aware that 13 years is the minimum age for most social media sites because the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), enacted by the U.S. Congress, prohibits websites from collecting information on children younger than 13 years without parental permission.

    Family discussions about internet presence and social media can result in less risky online behaviors - many teens who say their parents have talked to them often about social media reported greater concerns about online safety and sharing of personal information and photos and more limited sharing of information/pictures via the internet, lower incidence of public online profiles, and lower incidence of talking to or meeting people they only know from online. Coversations reinforcing the idea that "what goes online, stays online" are important between parents and children. For parents and caregivers, discussing media content with their teens can be an effective strategy to reduce the amount of personal information disclosed - more so than prohibiting access, as teens often perceive monitoring as a violation of their privacy. Teens are more receptive to user-empowered strategies, where they become the agent of their own protection, or even some form of industry protections, rather than policing by parents or caregivers. 


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