We wrote last week about a new survey out of Influence Central that looks at what 500 moms had to say about their kids’ use of technology. In that post, we focused on the age that kids get their first phone.
The survey also delved into what kids are doing online, what parents can do about it and how they manage it (or don’t).
Here’s what the parents surveyed had to say, and how the numbers have changed in the past four years. We’ll throw in some comments of our own as well.
In some ways, parents are getting more permissive. 41% of parents have strict limits on when, where and for how long kids can use technology, down from 49% four years ago. The decline makes sense from a practical standpoint, because when a child is out of the house with her smartphone, there is no easy way for parents to limit her access. Limits do make sense in a lot of cases, though.
But, parents are doing more filtering. 27% of parents use some type of software to block sites or filter which content their kids can access, up from 23% four years ago.
Bedroom browsing is becoming more mainstream. In 2012, only 15% of kids were allowed unrestricted internet access in their bedrooms. The number is now up to 24% (it’s probably higher, with some parents unaware that it’s happening, or reluctant to admit to it)
Social media is getting younger. The average age for a child to get his first social media account is 11.4 years of age. That is interesting in that the minimum age for almost every social network is 13, but since the survey respondents were parents, we assume that the kids use of social networks is parent-approved. 11% of respondents said that their child joined his first social network before the age of 10.
The minimum age for social media, 13, is driven by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which is the primary law that protects young internet users. If you are a parent that allows an under-13 child to use social media, perhaps you’ve done the research and know how to keep your child safe. If you’d like to do more research, please check out our sections on predator/privacy risk, cyberbullying and cell phones. We also have quick reviews of all the social media networks and apps popular with young users. If you’re looking for the answer to a specific question, use the search box at the top of the page.
If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!
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