Among social media sites, Facebook was the most popular with teenagers, according to a survey of about 800 teens by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
We recently asked readers: What age do you allow your kid to have a social media account, and we received mixed responses.
Facebook is Unnecessary
Some readers say they don’t allow their children to have a Facebook account.
“It’s unnecessary, I wouldn’t let me child have a Facebook [account]. It would cause more harm than good,” Patch reader Melissa wrote.
Patch reader BigMama wrote, “In hindsight I wish I had NEVER allowed my teenage son on Facebook. It's turned out to be a vacuous, distracting time sink.”
High School, Age Appropriate
Other readers say high school is an appropriate time to allow children to have Facebook accounts, but parents must also monitor the conversation.
Patch reader Dan says, “Facebook is like telephone when I was a teenager. Allow your teenager to use the phone, just be sure to monitor what is being said or in this case monitor the posts, tweets, images, videos, etc.”
Patch reader QT Pie agreed.
“High school sounds about right; with a tutorial on what's appropriate and limits on time spent on it, because as BigMama said, it can be a vacuous wasteland,” QT Pie wrote.
Creating a Network for Parents, Teens
Some readers say they’ve used social media to create a network for parents and teens.
“I allowed my daughter 2 years ago when she was 16, on the condition that we were 'friends' and I approved of and became 'friends' [of] all friend requests,” Patch reader Cindy wrote. “She is in college now and I have remained 'friends' with most all of these kids, even though they may be in different states. We have created a network between the kids and parents.”
One reader says she uses Facebook as a way to document her child’s life. “I created a Facebook page for my daughter the day she was born as a way to document pictures and milestones for family over seas,” Patch reader Beck wrote.