Published on Nov 19, 2021
Should I Let My Tween Girl Use Social Media?
The word “tween” is an age group between 9 years old to 12 years old. The tween year is a time of rapid change and growth.
A tween develops mentally, physically, and socially into adolescence and learns to take on new roles, challenges, and responsibilities at school and home. This is the age period where they learn about many things.
Social media are any apps or websites of a digital platform where they collaborate to share, interact, or connect with people virtually. Users can share multimedia content and chat with family and friends using social media. Social media has not just been used for personal use but also for marketing and collaboration purposes.
Types of Social Media
There are different categories of social media; here are the major types of social media.
Social networking specializes in communicating and engaging people, thoughts, and information with users who share their preferences and interests. It provides a medium to communicate and share their content. For example, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.
These social media helps your business to carry on their marketing campaign in both paid or organic ways. It is an excellent way of connecting businesses with their customers.
Media Networks allow people to share their content like photos and videos, which helps them to interact with different people globally. The most popular example of media networks is Youtube and Instagram.
On Youtube, you can create videos, subscribe to a channel you find interesting. It even allows you to share videos on other social networking sites. While on Instagram, you can share your picture and video and things that you did on a day. You can even use Instagram for business marketing purposes.
Discussion networks like Quora and Reddit are the perfect way to create in-depth user conversations. In the comment section, users could leave comprehensive replies, and other users could specifically respond to those responses, allowing the interaction to be organically evolving and improving.
These are the social media where users can share their opinion, the knowledge they have, news, and so on. You can find many users on these social media, where users post their queries and find answers to their queries.
Review networking such as Yelp, Amazon, and TripAdvisor provides you consumer feedback of goods and services social media dimensions. It allows users to communicate explicitly with those giving ratings.
If your businesses have a good review on these apps, it helps in your business promotion. Apart from that, these review apps are based on location. Therefore it will help your business to promote ads based on location.
The Good and Bad Side of Social Media
Everything has its positive and adverse sides, so does social media. No doubt, social media has been a blessing for people as it has provided us a platform to interact.
Social media plays a crucial role in developing overall skills, but it has also affected your teen’s self-esteem. These sites help connect with your loved ones, make new friends, keep you entertained, etc. Here are some of the benefits of social media on kids and adult life:
- Allows to interact, chat with friends and family
- Develop social skills
- Help to enhance the problem-solving, decision-making skills
- Develop creativity skills
- Helps to get an education and learning opportunity
- Allows sharing hobbies and interest
- Platform to showcase talent
- Allows us to know about world affairs
- Platform to earn money
Social media also carries risks and threats to children; here are some of the negative aspects of social media in our life:
- Excessive use of social media lead to addiction
- Victim of Cyberbullying
- Inappropriate content
- Victim of an online scam
- Chances of accounts hacked
- Sharing private information
- Sleep deprivation
- Chances of bad influence
- Getting conscious about body image.
How Do I Keep My Children Away From Social Media?
- Get parental control apps to monitor their tweens and teens’ online and offline activities.
- Learn more about the programs and apps your child is using. There are age limits for using social media sites.
- Tell your kids that you are tracking their devices to keep them secure.
- Make them aware of inappropriate things that might appear on social media.
- Display interest and raise questions about your child’s online life.
- Make your tweens and teens aware that things they post online will remain there forever, even when they delete the post.
Should I let My Tween Girl Use Social Media?
As mentioned above, Tween is a periodic age group between 9-12 where there are rapid physical and emotional changes among children. In a recent survey use of social media among tweens has gradually reduced. It is also found that the impact of social media can be seen on girls more than boys.
Using social media at an early age specifically impacted girls but had a lesser effect on boys. Tweens girls who spend a lot of time on social media at an early age tend to be unhappy in comparison to tweens boys. Moreover, this problem misery existed among girls more than boys.
You need to wait for the right age to give a cell phone to kids. Cellphone makes easier for children to get access to social media, therefore, deciding right age for giving cellphone has been crucial for parents.
For a tween girl, parents should restrict their social media usage. Parents should allow their tween girls to use social site apps after 13 or when they are mature enough. It is because most of the social networking apps have a restriction that he/she should have a minimum age of 13 to be on social media.
During this age, children are having lots of physical changes, and being on social media, viewing pictures of models and actresses can make them conscious about their body images. Twins girls’ self-esteem reduces when they are addicted to social media.
Apart from that, you also need to teach your kids about internet safety rules since there are many cyberbullies and scammers on the internet. You need to allow your kid’s use a cell phone when it’s needed, not when they want to use them.
The Problem of Underage Usage
Around 30% of underage have a digital device, whether it's an online class, for their safety purpose, or for just entertainment purposes. Underage children insist their parents get them digital technologies even if they are not mature enough to use such devices. As soon as they have a mobile phone on their hand, it doesn’t take a long time for kids to use the internet. Majorities of tweens and teens make their social media account without their parents’ permission.
For underage children, it’s harmful to use social networking sites. Social media is used to interact with friends and families and even start to communicate with random strangers. Children are unaware of the negative vulnerabilities that social media carries. If they become the victim of cyberbullying, their emotion will be carried away, which leads to mental and physical health complications.
The Right Age to Allow Usage
Most of the social media have set a minimum age of social media usage is 13 or more than that. However, you can find social media account of children who are below 13 as well. It depends on parents whether to allow their young kids and tweens to use social media or not. Age doesn’t matter if your tweens are ready to obey the rule that you have set for your kids, or your tweens are mature enough.
You might be all mindful that there are all sorts of users on social media and different kinds of information that circulates around. Many researchers have shown that the age of 13-16 it’s the right age to use social media. If your teens are ready to be within the boundaries set by you or follow the guidelines, you might consider thinking about giving them chances to use social media once a day.
How To Protect Your Tween From the Negative Effects of Social Media
Most of the tweens are of curious nature and are always willing to learn new things. It is important to protect your tweens from cyber threats either by setting some boundaries regarding or using the following methods:
Use Parental Control Apps
Parental control apps will be a viable solution to block those effects. It helps parents to monitor and track every application their children are using. Through these apps, you can block or restrict your kids from using social media apps. There are many parental control apps like fenced.ai, bark, Qustodio, or software in the market with features. It’s a platform where parents can access their children’s devices without their knowledge. This is the best option to keep eye on the social media activities of your tweens.
Try to Learn More About the Social Media App
Before you allow your tweens and teens to use any social media app, the first thing you should do is to learn about the app yourself. Try to know the appropriate age for the particular social media, its policy, and safety guidelines.
For example, if your tween daughter wants to use Snapchat, you should figure out the questions like, “How safe is Snapchat for your tween daughter? Is this app appropriate for my daughter’s age? Will there be repercussions for using this app?”
After finding the answers to these questions then you will know if the particular app is appropriate for your daughter or not. You can decide whether to allow or restrict your daughter from using social media.
Limit Social Media Use
No adolescent or tweens are allowed to use social media unlimitedly. There are several reports that show how long children should be on social media. Also, how social media can damage your child’s emotions and physical health.
Apart from that, you should also make sure that you have defined rules and limits for your Tween. It is better for you to check your Tween’s social media use through the in-built feature of the screen time in the mobile phone and consider setting limits on device usage.
Educate Your Tween About Digital Etiquette
It’s the most important topic to teach your Tween digital etiquette. You need to make sure you have spoken to your Tween about how to handle people online, and if an unknown profile is trying to contact you, inform them then ask them about it. Digital etiquette is an essential component of digital awareness. Educate your Tween about the inappropriate content that might appear on social media and restrict them from viewing such content.
Aware Them About Cyberbullying
If your Tween has a social media account, there is a high possibility of cyberbullying. It’s important to literate your Tween about the harmful effects of cyberbullying and teach them what they need to do if they are being bullied on social media.
Hence, social media is a kind of platform or app that is made to be addictive. It’s necessary to make your tweens alert about both the negative and positive effects of social media. As per the recent survey, majorities of parents provide digital devices at the age between 7-12, and tween girls are more sensitive than tween boys. Their self-esteem is also low compared to tween boys. So, it’s better to restrict tweens, girls, and boys from using social media.
If the parents allow it earlier, it might hamper their tween development growth and health. Parents should wait for the right age to allow their Tween to have a social media account. It’s important to protect your Tween from digital threats. Also, if your kids insist on using social media app, install social media apps for kids.
Feb 23, 2024