Various social media platforms are used by more than 4 billion people all over the world. As this number grows, the number of kids who have their own social media accounts also grows. Kids using social media apps meant for adults, or at the very least 13-year-olds, could very well be a cause for worry. Is social media safe for kids? Social media does come with benefits, but like most things online, social media use, especially when unmonitored and excessive, pose some risks.
What are Social Media Platforms and Why do Kids Use Them?
Social media platforms use computer-based technology and serve as a space for anyone to share ideas, information, and all sorts of content.
Originally, such platforms are meant to keep people connected. These days, social media could refer to as well as be used for different activities. While it can be broken down in different ways, social media can be classified into the following:
- Social Networking. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Media Sharing. This includes Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.
- Bookmarking. This includes Pinterest and Flipboard.
- Blogging and Publishing. This includes WordPress and Tumblr.
- Online/Discussion Forums. This includes Reddit and Quora.
Kids mostly use social media for the following:
- Connection. Kids use social media to keep in touch with family and friends.
- Education. Some social media sites are useful sources for different topics that kids study at school or simply wish to learn more about.
- Content. Kids nowadays are also into creating their mini vlogs and other content. They’re also fond of watching videos, such as cartoons and tutorials.
- Games. Some platforms support mini-games or have tutorials and consent regarding games.
5 Top Social Media Platforms – What’s Most Popular with Kids?
There are more than a hundred social media platforms out there, and these only include those that have enough users and good enough features to be noticed. However, only a few could claim a spot in the most popular social media platforms of 2022 list.
Social media platforms usually have a targeted audience. For instance, one platform would be more appealing to adults and professionals than to aged 13-18 teens or the 12 years old and lower kids.
Here’s the list of social media platforms that are most used by kids:
TikTok is a short-form video-sharing platform that first became popular for its lip-sync videos. It has since grown to host a variety of content created for all age groups. Kids are especially fond of creating their versions of famous TikTok trends and using various filters.
Snapchat is a highly visual social media platform which makes it greatly appealing to the younger generation. Kids are especially fond of the various filters on the app.
Youtube is a video-sharing platform and has a version specially designed for kids. Kids are mostly on Youtube to watch cartoons, tutorials, and other content. There are also a lot of kids with their own successful Youtube channels which are highly popular with other kids.
Facebook remains the largest social media platform in the world and many kids are on it. Kids are mostly into watching reels and videos posted or shared on Facebook.
Instagram is mainly a photo-sharing app; videos can also be posted. The app is most popular with older kids who are into having their photos taken or into checking out their favorite artists’ and actors’ lives via pics.
Social Media Risks – What are Your Kids Getting Exposed to?
Social media has a number of benefits like connecting kids to family and friends, fostering creativity, providing a platform for collaborative learning, and more. These benefits are mainly why parents allow their kids to have their own social media accounts at a young age.
Like most things though, too much social media use can be bad for kids. This is especially true if they go unsupervised for long periods. Here are the three main risks of social media use for kids:
Social media platforms are ridden with bullies who hide behind their gadget screens. Kids could easily fall victim to cyberbullies or witness such behavior as they browse through their social media accounts. They could even be swayed to behave in the same manner and turn into cyberbullies themselves.
Kids may not still have a full grasp of the concept of danger and security. They could unknowingly overshare information that should otherwise be kept private. They could also overshare in terms of photos and videos which online predators could take advantage of.
- Inappropriate Content
Not all social media platforms that kids use are kid-friendly. If left unmonitored, kids could easily be exposed to inappropriate content. This could range from mean and aggressive comments to violent and sexual images.
How Do You Manage Kids’ Social Media Use?
Here are some key points that may help:
- Set up rules and guidelines on screen time, social media platforms they are allowed to use, the things they should share, and the like.
- Educate them on proper social media etiquette.
- Talk to them about social media dangers and what to do when they encounter such dangers.
- Learn about privacy settings and guidelines of the sites/apps that your kids use and discuss the same with them.
- Set up parental controls or utilize monitoring apps like TurboSpy
The dangers of social media use may not be as worse as, let’s say, porn’s negative effects, but they could take a toll on someone’s physical and mental health just the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many social media platforms are there?
There are more than a hundred social media platforms and there are probably more that would come up soon. Only a few could claim to have billions or even millions of active users.
What is the most used social media platform by kids?
The most popular social media sites with kids include TikTok, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.
What are the risks of social media to kids?
Kids could also be exposed to cyber bullies and inappropriate content, as well as overshare information that online predators will take advantage of.
What are the best parental controls to help manage kids’ social media use?
You can check your kids’ devices for built-in parental controls. You can also use parental control and monitoring apps like TurboSpy.
Tiffany is a lead writer who has a passion for all of the latest use of technology. Tiffany has been writing and delivering the latest app reviews and news for Turbo. She is an unbelievable author and continues to produce must-read content.