Today, children use social media applications increasingly. Given the increasing influence of social media on our daily lives, it is essential to contemplate how it might affect children and their families. One out of every three young children uses social media, but parental monitoring is less prevalent.
After the COVID-19 pandemic and homeschooling afterward, the screen time of children has gone up. According to a survey, during the pandemic, parents found it more difficult to limit their children’s screen time, and up to half of the parents of children aged 5 to 15 stated they had to loosen certain rules regarding what their children did online in 2020.
With new types of family-friendly and more secure social media apps becoming available, children and families have more options for age-appropriate social networking, instead of relying on the existing variations which could be inappropriate for the younger audience.
Privacy and safety considerations
When it comes to social media use for children and families, privacy and safety considerations are of paramount importance. With so much personal information and sensitive data at stake, it’s essential for parents to take steps to ensure that their children are protected while using social media apps.
Before letting your kids use social media you’d better follow the following steps:
Talk to your children about social media safety
Start by having an open and honest conversation with your children about the risks and benefits of using social media. Discuss the importance of privacy and the potential dangers of sharing personal information online, and encourage your children to come to you if they encounter any problems or concerns.
Use family-friendly social media apps
Consider using family-friendly social media apps which are designed specifically for children and families. These apps often have strict privacy and safety features in place to protect children from online risks.
Set up parental controls
Many social media apps and devices have parental controls that allow parents to restrict access to certain features or content. Make use of these controls to ensure that your children are only able to access age-appropriate content and features.
Monitor your children’s social media use
Keep an eye on your children’s social media use and monitor their activity regularly. Check their profiles, friends lists, and messages to ensure that they are not exposed to any inappropriate content or behaviors.
Educate yourself about online risks
Educate yourself about the latest online risks and trends, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and online predators. Stay up to date on the latest security features and best practices, and use this knowledge to protect your children while they use social media.
Safe social media apps for kids
There are some family-friendly social media networks designed for kids aged 6-12.
These family-friendly social media apps differ from traditional social media platforms in a few key ways. Firstly, they are designed specifically for children and families, with safety features and age-appropriate content.
Secondly, they typically require parental approval for new contacts and have stricter moderation policies to ensure that inappropriate content is not shared.
Finally, these apps often provide a more interactive and engaging experience for families, with features and activities that encourage learning, creativity, and quality time spent together.
Age-appropriate content for teenagers
Children of different ages have different levels of maturity and understanding, and it’s important for social media platforms to provide appropriate content and features for each age group. And as for families, it’s much easier to have control over children at ages 6–12. But they have less control over teenagers.
Teenagers tend to use traditional social media networks. But there is a risk: content that is too mature or inappropriate for a child’s age can be harmful and expose them to risks such as cyberbullying or inappropriate behavior.
For younger children, age-appropriate content might include games, educational content, and interactive stories. However, for teenagers, social media platforms should provide more sophisticated features such as messaging, photo sharing, and video calls since they want to communicate more actively with their friends.
Since traditional social media apps contain tons of inappropriate content for teenagers, parents play a crucial role in ensuring that their children are only exposed to age-appropriate content when using them. They should monitor their children’s social media use and set boundaries for what types of content are allowed.
Social media app with appropriate content
At this point, there is an alternative. Wowso offers a safe social media experience with moderated content.
Wowso curates popular social media posts on more than 50 topics from Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. All accounts from the three platforms are vetted, and the app leaves no room for inappropriate content.
You and your family can easily track trends on topics such as animals, bikes, books, cryptocurrency, flowers, cooking, games, health, etc. And the best part is that you don’t need a subscription; you don’t even need to have a social media account.
In sum, Wowso could be an option for parents to find a safe medium to keep their children away from harmful content.