When shoud kids get a Twitter handle or Facebook page? | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

When shoud kids get a Twitter handle or Facebook page? 

Published April 1, 2014 at 4:00 a.m. | Updated April 4, 2022 at 7:55 p.m.

Q: At what age, or by what metrics, are kids old enough to have their own digital presence, such as a Twitter handle or Facebook page?

A: This is such an important question. Our digital content now follows us around in ways none of us envisioned when the internet first became mainstream. With new social-media tools popping up every day, we need to be even more diligent about the content we create. With every post, we leave behind a digital footprint.

So when should children go live online? There's no easy answer. Each child, and each family, is different. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

Ask yourself how you feel about your child having a digital presence that is open for family, friends, schools, employers and strangers to see. Ask him or her the same thing. This is a big responsibility; is your daughter ready for it? Does she understand what it means to have content online for anyone to see?

Read the End User License Agreement (EULA) of the social media channel your child wants to join. (A quick Google search will help you find it.) Make sure he or she is old enough to have an account. Many social networks are specifically designed for ages 13 and up. Social networks oriented to younger children exist; find a list here: commonsensemedia.org/lists/social-networking-for-kids.

Think carefully about how your child will use the social network. Is it to connect with family and friends? To express his creativity and individuality? Different sites serve different purposes. A Facebook page is great for connecting, but if your child likes to write or create videos, a blog or a YouTube channel might be better.

Once you decide to jump in, set ground rules as a family. The younger the child, the more monitoring is necessary to make sure she understands the significance of what she's doing. Invite her to share what she's doing with you. Go onto the site with her. Agree on what is OK to post and what isn't, and be sure to set firm consequences for breaking the rules — including losing access to that social network.

Elaine Young is the author of Tuned-In Family: How to Cope, Communicate & Connect in a Digital World, and is a professor at Champlain College, where she specializes in digital marketing and social media. Got a question about navigating the digital world with your family? Send it to her at ideas@kidsvt.com.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Kids VT

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation