The truth is that when most parents of young children were growing up, social media was not nearly as popular as it is now, if it even existed at all. Many of us recall the days when we used to write letters to one another and used real stamps.
When it Comes to Social Media, What Age Should Children Be?
By "friending" or "following" someone on social media, you can now achieve the same result. Regardless, these platforms are an important part of everyone's everyday lives. But, when it comes to social media, the question is, how young is too young for social media?
Whereas most social media networks require users to be of a specific age, this does not always imply that the youngster is ready for all that social media has to offer. Snapchat, for example, requires users to be at least 13 years of age. But are 13-year-olds ready for Snapchat?
The question you should be asking yourself is about your child in particular. You can decide whether your child is mature enough to handle it, and you can always review the situation and check what they do on social media platforms.
There has been a lot of research done to see when the best time to use social media is. It's akin to the discussion over when a child should be allowed to get their first smartphone. In fact, the two are closely linked.
Users Must be 13 Years Old to Use Most Social Media Platforms
According to the most recent research, children under the age of 11 should not have access to social media since it is harmful to their behavior and brain development.
According to a recent study published in Computers in Human Behavior, the majority of 752 middle schoolers who joined social media before the age of ten experienced various problems.
According to the findings, kids spent a significant amount of time on websites that were not permitted for them to visit. They were also more likely to be victimized and harassed online due to their "unsympathetic online behaviors."
Other social media giants like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, like Snapchat, need users to be 13 years old to join, although it's very easy to falsify this information.
"Social media sites all require a minimum age of 13 to sign up, but the actual fact is that so many users are pretty young than that: one-third of our specimen had already began using social networks at age 11 or 12, and then another one-third had started at age 10 or relatively young," said the study's lead author Linda Charmaraman, PhD, who is also director of the Youth, Media, and Wellbeing Research Lab at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW).
There Were Some Advantages as Well
"This research makes it easier to understand the advantages and disadvantages for children and teens, so that parents and governments can make decisions that emphasize their wellbeing," he continued.
She also mentioned that the study yielded some promising results. On social media, people tended to engage in better than bad actions.
"These data show that the industry-based minimum age of 13 for social media users could potentially be a good guideline, assuming it can be implemented," she says. The results also reveal that a) keeping track of social media sites joined and online friend networks; b) setting even one rule about screen use (i.e., restricting duration on school nights); and c) monitoring children's rate of checking, especially if they're using social media at age 10 and relatively young, could help families with kids, tweens, and teens."