The restructured platform of globally associated socialization, known simply as the Internet; encapsulates a plethora of personalized status updates, customized icons, link exchanges, and a flood of user-generated subject matter — abundant in textual, auditory, video, and imaging presence. Traditional ideas of broadcasting media, present for decades, have been refurbished for each unique user; as current events trek weighted paths to the user instead of the user seeking out the topical interests of their media content. Everyday citizens, most holding no professional degree in journalism, become channels for their own media — decreasing popular reliance on the television and newspaper counterparts. In a worldwide explosion, social media sites are increasing in both quantity and quality monthly, with figures in excess of 300 popular sites sustaining existence at the end of 2009 — the year of the new-age social media revolution. Leading researchers in technological trends have had many hypothetical predictions imploded, by a growth level surpassing innovative estimates; yet science has unearthed an alarming trend regarding the decreasing age range of current day social media cliental.
Without a logical solution, social media giants Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook affix guidelines that state to use their services users must be above the technological common age of thirteen. Often broken by an impecunious need for attention, children are not aware that their fabrication can carry a dangerous and even deadly consequence. Globally, websites have no approach to determining the correct age new members; reliance is reflected upon the parents awareness of their child(ren)’s online behaviors. As trendy as must have cell phone usage, texting, and ‘all the rage’ idolizations of Miley Cyrus; the conceptual idea of socialization via social media has spread like wildfire with preteens. The Pew Internet Research agency, polled 700 and 935 youngsters in two separate American studies during 2006; yielding results that between 12 to 14 year olds near 40% had at least a single online profile of some variety – 42% of them reported that these profiles were checked daily, 31% a multitude of times per day, and disturbingly over half reported that the parents/guardian were not aware of these profiles. Causing even more alarm, The Office of Communications settled in the United Kingdom conducted an extensive eighty page study; results exposed 41% of 8-11 year olds had a profile online that their parents were not aware of, all deceptive in their age to the medium – most fictional presences were reported at 18 years old, the legal age in most counties. At length, Myspace was the targeted social network of influence and while 27% of 8-11 year olds knew of the age restrictions a profile was still created, 25% dangerously had publicly submitted viable personal information while not being aware of the risk involved including photos and locations, a registered two-thirds of parents report to knowing of their child’s internet use yet the children reported 53% of times their Internet use was unmonitored.
Released in February 2009, neuroscientists reported that the conceptual process of social media damages children’s brains due to its objective idea of short conversation at rapid rates. Nonetheless, it must be said that passive parenting and the Internet do not mix and may even yield a deadly result; parents need to take proactive steps when it comes to allowing their child the privilege of Internet use — far from being that of a right. Encouraged, parents should closely monitor their child(ren) online; if allowed online at all at such young ages. Precautions should be made to educate the child of the dangers when it comes to conversing with Internet strangers; no stops should be pulled to relay information as to how dangerous and deadly this action may be. Proper utilization of computer tools should always be strictly maintained, as these tools will allow the parents dominance over Internet control; page restrictions, time restrictions, chat restrictions, and so forth can be set by various programs including the ones built into Microsoft’s new operating system products. Children are the next generation for the future, never should they be placed in harm’s way; as a child would never be allowed to lie down in the middle of the busy street — this concept continues to the busy global traffic of the modern day Internet.
(Copyright © Social-Media-News 2009)