Remember the age you got into social media? With Facebook being launched in 2004, Youtube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006, it is quite a possibility that you might have been in your 20s or 30s or older(or definitely younger! :)) Social media was a new phenomenon at the start of the new millinieum and kids born in the 90s might have established their digital footprint much before their parents could even understand this new concept.
As the first decade of the new millennium gave way to subsequent years, new social media sites emerged. What was this new concept – was the parents only question? Kids had learnt it faster and parents of young adults were lagging behind. Was it good or was it bad?
Finally, as parents learnt the ropes of social media – they got hooked onto it(well, not all – but many did like it! :)) Social media was looked as a new way to get in touch with old peers and the very concept grew by leaps and bounds as more people endorsed it. Soon enough, social media changed its avatars and it became evident that, it was not what it looked like on the top(which was – as a medium for sharing jokes and pictures! :)) It became a data collection tool, it became a tool for making money, it became a tool for snooping and more!
With so much going into social media, what really is the correct age for kids to get into it?
Kids observe as we parents spends a few minutes(or is it a few hours?! :)) on it everyday. They see the joy on our faces and think it must be some ultimate destination to be attained. With so much riding on it, I would think the perfect age to handle social media pressures would be around 17 years and up. At 17 years of age, kids will have some amount of Internet maturity. Further, they might need a social media account for their school and college work as well.
Once on it, they need to be educated about ‘hygienic and safe Internet practices’ (if you are thinking what is that? 🙂 – I will write a separate post on that as well :)) This will ensure that they have a safe, good and productive social media experience. On the contrary, if they do not want to get onto social media even as a young adult, that is probably the best!! 🙂
What do you think – what is the correct age for your kids to be on social media?
Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master's degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA. She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! :)