- Fully 71% of online American adults use Facebook
- 70% of Americas say they use Facebook daily (including 45% who do so several times a day)
- 39% say they are connected to people on Facebook they have never met in person
- 23% of adult internet users/19% of entire adult population use Twitter
Stats about kids and social media are even more eye-opening.
The struggles kids have with the proper use of social media use arent that different from issues faced by adults. A great book on this topic is Its Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
. Author Danah Boyd organizes those struggles chapter by chapter:
- Identity: Why do teens seem strange online?
- Privacy: Why do youth share so publicly?
- Addiction what makes teens obsessed with social media? (or are they?)
- Danger: are sexual predators really lurking everywhere?
- Bullying: is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty?
- Inequality: can social media resolve social divisions?
- Literacy: are todays youth digital natives?
These issues come into play even for younger kids. Some people think Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is designed to protect kids younger than 13. However, as Common Sense Media reports, COPPA actually:
Prevents companies from collecting certain information from kids under 13. Rather than create an environment that protects kids from data tracking, Facebook and other websites and apps choose to restrict access to those under 13.
Teaching kids how to navigate these issues privacy, advertising, personal information, identity, safety, respect, and boundaries is a critical responsibility of modern parenthood. Here are some tools to help: