It's not just teens but much younger kids who are also using social media. About a third of children ages 7 to 9 use social media apps on phones or tablets, according to a report from children's health researchers at the University of Michigan.
Based on data from a nationally representative pool of 1,030 parents with at least one child 7 to 12 years old, the report notes an even higher social media presence among slightly older children, with half of those ages 10 to 12 using these apps. The researchers found that most parents said they do some sort of monitoring of their children's social media involvement (such as blocking certain sites, requiring parental approval for new contacts or setting time limits for usage).
But 1 in 6 parents were found to be using no parental controls. The main reasons: They could not find the information needed to set up controls, they said monitoring would be too time-consuming or thought parental controls would be a waste of time because their kids would simply find a loophole around them.
Most parents recognized the risks of social media use by young children, with 60 to 70 percent of them in the survey saying those risks include kids sharing information that should be kept private, being exposed to inappropriate content, getting exposed to online predators and not being able to tell whether information they encounter online is true or false. The researchers urged parents to help young children navigate the social media world, but as one said: "Parents should also be transparent that they plan to monitor their child's profiles, posts and interactions on social media until they're older."