News

Kids gorging on social media

SOCIAL SUPERVISION: Blair Ryan, 11, of Goonellabah, and Taylah Reddell, 11, of Wollongbar, have their use of social media monitored by their parents.
SOCIAL SUPERVISION: Blair Ryan, 11, of Goonellabah, and Taylah Reddell, 11, of Wollongbar, have their use of social media monitored by their parents. Cathy Adams

SOCIAL media use by children as young as eight has exploded with almost 70% of children and teenagers regularly engaging with other online users.

The Tweens, Teens and Technology report produced by internet security company McAfee surveyed 500 "tweens''- children aged from eight to 12 - about their online technology use.

The research found 67% of the children in that age group who were already using social media were using up to three or four devices at a time, including tablets, mobile phones, laptop and desktop computers, for 1.5 hours a day, to communicate online.

Researcher in social media from Southern Cross University's School of Business at Lismore, Jeremy Novak said he wasn't surprised by most of the report's results.

Mr Novak said children of today had become "digital natives'', regularly schooling their "digital immigrant'' parents on the use of internet enabled devices. He questioned the finding that 95% of parents approved of their tweens using social media.

"Parents have to know the tools of social media and how to use them so they can be protective of their children from cyber bullying and other online issues," he said.

With the impending rollout of the National Broadband Network, Mr Novak said online use by children would naturally grow.

"I would encourage the use of online technology by children under the proviso that parents and schools strictly police how it is being used and what is being accessed."

A mother of four boys who participated in the research, Alex Merton-McCann said it was time for parents to embrace social media.

"I know the online world can be scary for parents, trust me I've been there, but having genuine two-way communication with your children is absolutely fundamental to establishing a safe and positive cyber experience," she said.

WHAT The study found

  • 77% of children aged between eight and 12 accessed the internet
  • 67% used social media.
  • 95% of those children already using social media were doing so with their parents' permission.
  • 47% used social media to chat with friends
  • 27% used social media to send and receive pictures
  • 26% of children in the eight to 12 age group were using Facebook despite the site's rules requiring participants to be aged over 13 years.
  • 25% had witnessed cyber bullying online with 71% of those kids reporting it to their parents.

Topics:  editors picks, internet, social media, teen




GALLERY: Old East Lismore library space to become $1m lab

The 2500 square metre upstairs section of the old SCU library will become the Enterprise Lab. It is located right above the science and technology department of the university.

The space supports 50 businesses and encourage youth to stay local

Metgasco will not replace Peter Henderson

Former Metgasco CEO, Peter Henderson, will not be replaced.

Mining company announces it will not fill its top job

'Date rape' drug seizure is concerning: Police

Festival-goers walk to the entrance of Splendour only to be greeted with a large number of officers.

Dangerous 'date rape' drug was among drugs seized at Splendour.

Latest deals and offers

Vintaea: Why I left The Bachelor on the first night

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

The Bachelor host: this year's season is a cracker

The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.

GUNSBERG says tonight will be "the best night of TV of the year".

Sassy duo unveils Album Deux

RETURN: Baby et Lulu will be playing at the Byron Theatre.

Album Deux is Australian duo Baby Et Lulu’s latest release

An Ab Fab charity screening, darling

THEY ARE BACK: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as Eddie and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

At Kyogle Community Cinemas on Thursday, August 11

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started