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Social Media: How Young is Too Young?

Social media. It seems like everyone has an Instagram profile, Twitter account, and Facebook these days. Businesses, friends, pets, you name it.

But how do you decide the right age for your kids to be online?

“They’re exposed to so much stuff on Facebook and Instagram and all the other social media,” Edita Kulichova, a licensed marriage and family therapist, said.

Most social media platforms require kids to be at least 13 years old. But is that even too young?

“I think 13 might be cutting it too soon because kids are kind of developing their personalities and who they are going to be in the world right and there’s a lot of bullying on social media,” Kulichova said.

And what’s online may not be what it seems.

“There are people on Facebook and other platforms and social media that aren’t real and that are predators. It’s really scary out there,” Kulichova said.

Sites like Facebook do not allow people under 13 to have a Facebook account.

A representative with Facebook sent us the follow statement on underage social media use:

“Our policies around minors remain the same and you can find that information in our terms of service. This is an operational update that allows for our content reviewers to action on content reported regardless of what it was reported for.”

Part of that news release said the following:

Minors

We do not allow people under 13 to have a Facebook account. If someone is reported to us as being under 13, the reviewer will look at the content on their profile (text and photos) to try to ascertain their age. If they believe the person is under 13, the account will be put on a hold and the person will not be able to use Facebook until they provide proof of their age. Since the program, we have been working to update the guidance for reviewers to put a hold on any account they encounter if they have a strong indication it is underage, even if the report was for something else.

Reporting by Tianna Jenkins

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