As tweens get active online, monitoring them is important

Posted on July 2, 2013 10:27 am

Since I joined social media platforms, I have been very choosy on who follows me and befriends me. This is because I see no sense in having a Twitter follower who posts nothing meaningful, a common practice with underaged. Photos of biscuits, toy bikes, pizza and the likes don’t make any sense to me. I want a to befriend or follow someone who posts facts, sensible information, value adding and more important morally upright content. You can judge me by visiting my Twitter, Linkedin, Google plus and Facebook pages. As a result of my online policy, I don’t accept friendship or following from teenagers and tweens. The under aged worldwide have social media accounts with some having more than one account. Because of falling parenting standards, most of them go online without any guidance or supervision from their parents.

It came to my attention that younger kids are using social media sites unsupervised when a 12 years old nephew living in state of Queensland searched for me on Facebook and sent me a request. I rejected the request and sent a text to his mobile phone that next year when he reaches the recommended 13 years as per Facebook rules and guidelines, I will accept his friendship. Afterwards, I learnt the tween has Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts and was left wondering where does a school going get all the time to socialize on multiple sites. His uncontrollable appetite with online stuff is jaw dropping. Documented facts on how social media threats to tweens and teenagers of accessing the sites unsupervised are dangerous and sometimes fatal are there for all to see. Online world plays home to Cyber bullies, identity thieves, trolls, pornographic materials and sexual predators who have continued to lure unsuspecting kids into beastly acts.

Tweens share critical information online such as their home address, home phone numbers, personal e-mail address and even schools they attend. Ignorant and unaware parents have no idea how their children spend time online. I do not believe the widely held belief that parents are being stretched by the onslaught of technology accessible to their children. There is no justification why they can’t keep an eye on their tech savvy tweens. Available technologies can help parents unmask their children hiding their online activity from them. I agree not all content online is bad and there’s a lot of positive material and what we have to do as adults is really separate the good from the bad. Modern day parents who majority are very irresponsible and uncaring, must embrace the culture of regular conversations with their tweens about usage of Internet and educate them about online safety.

Contador Harrison