From kids to adults, opening an online account for social media takes no extra effort or verification to get exposure to the virtual world. But it is to remember that small children and teens are embracing danger concerning social media services.
It is the reason why age restriction is a must before kids jump into the world of social media.
Social media is so popular among all age groups that a kid’s friend may tell him or her about the latest trend at school. Peer pressure leads to curiosity among children.
The curious nature has no bar as kids below 13 are active on social media. Exposure to the virtual world is the new normal.
One study by knowthenet.org concluded that 59% of kids by the age of 10 had used social media. It could be when you scroll through your Facebook at home, or they find it as usual as their online virtual class.
Why Are Age Restrictions Important On Social Media?
Kids are growing, and the cognitive functions at the age of 12 are not so vital and strong, so it is not for kids under 13 to use social media. It is essential to know that children are innocent and unaware of judging the ways and dangers of social media.
If predators approach a kid, then the effect of the incident may remain with them for their whole life. The harmful aspects are not understandable and, at the same time, not traceable by kids without the aid of parents.
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The use of social media without permission from parents is why the number of online crimes increases when kids underage try to handle situations on their own without informing adults.
For this reason, parents need to follow age restrictions by stopping and properly guiding kids.
Ensure they don’t let kids have a private account on social media until the age of 13. If they insist, explain to them and do not allow them to make any changes.
The age restrictions help the safety of kids online. Social media has restrictions until kids lie about their age and open accounts as an adult.
It is not even complex to open an account, and kids fake birthdays on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
What Happens in the absence of Age Restriction On Social Media?
The reason why age restriction on social media is essential is already apparent. But what exactly would happen in the absence of age restrictions is explained below:
Children, like adults, are vulnerable to having their online identities stolen and misused.
Maintaining a child’s privacy can be tricky since they may not understand what information is appropriate to publish online or what privacy settings default on the sites and devices they use.
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Children could mistakenly disclose enough personal info, like their address and phone number, to permit their identity to be stolen. As a consequence, kids need to follow how to keep their personal information private.
If a child’s identification is stolen, it could go undiscovered for years, resulting in the kid being blackmailed, exploited, or ridiculed online in some instances.
Lack of Decision:
Kids under the age of 13 are unable to make wise internet selections. Just because children appear to be interested in tech at younger and younger ages does not guarantee that their minds are growing at the same rate as their technology literacy.
According to research, it takes roughly 12 years for kids to properly develop the brain processes which encourage and enable moral philosophy.
It’s difficult for a child at the age of 12 to truly understand the consequences of their conduct on others, either online or even off.
On the other side, young children are increasingly accessing social networking sites, putting themselves in peril by turning into victims of harassment while online, solicitation, and cyberbullying before they are ready to respond correctly.
It is simply wrong to tell lies. You live in a modern society, which means we follow some generally unspoken conventions and agreements: we immediately start, use decent manners, stops at red traffic signals, win relatively, be polite, tell the truth.
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A fictitious birthdate on social media may appear to be a harmless falsehood, but it is still a lie with potentially serious consequences.
Letting a youngster fabricate a date of birth, whether online or offline, is unethical and sends the incorrect message to young people.
What Is The Perfect Age To Join Social Media?
Most networking sites have age restrictions set at 13 years. US Law defines the limit of age via the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Here are a few social media sites and what provisions they have on age restrictions:
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One has to reach 13 years to access Facebook. It is to remember that providing false information about self on Facebook like false age violates the terms and conditions of the application.
There is a section to report underage accounts on Facebook too. According to CBBC research, out of the children who use social media without their parent’s permission, 49% of underage children are signed up on Facebook.
Twitter has adopted a policy to let only kids after 13 years join the Twitter App.
Instagram has a policy of letting kids from 13 years old use the app. If one finds an underage account on Instagram, he or she can report the account.
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Snapchat has made a different app for kids called SnapKids, where kids below 13 years can enjoy the application.
This app allows photos, drawings, and the sending message option is not there. If a user underage reaches Snapchat, then he or she will be redirected to SnapKids. So, is snapchat safe for kids?
The minimum age to make use of WhatsApp is 16 years.
Youtube asks for its users to be above the age of 18. There are restrictions set for kids below that age. Children can use Youtube under their parent’s permission.
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Age and Social Media Restrictions:
Here is a list of social media services according to age:
For the age group 13 and above:
Here are a few social media applications that kids aged 13 and above can use. Some of them are Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube, Houseparty, Kik, Bebo, Younow, Yubo, Habbo, Reddit, Tumbler, Whisper, Discord, Twitch, AskFm.
For the age group 16 years and above:
Here are a few social media sites that kids aged 16 and above can use. Some are WhatsApp, Linkedin, Flickr, Vimeo, Myspace, Periscope.
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Unsuitable for under 18:
Some social media applications unsuitable for under 18 are Clubhouse, Omegle, Monkey, MeetMe, Live. Me, Tagged.
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