WEB WORRIES: When is it okay to let children access social media?
WEB WORRIES: When is it okay to let children access social media? Kevin Farmer

Like or dislike: kids on the web

WHEN it comes to letting children roam on the internet, it seems parents are divided.

With the internet comes a fountain of information and tools that can help a child's mind develop.

On the other hand, it can be dangerous territory, the platform of of cyber-bullying, online predators and social media addiction.

Among a selection of six parents, the general consensus was 12 to 15 was the appropriate age to give kids the reigns to their own social media accounts.

"I think about 12 or 13," Warwick West State School parent Marty Santo said.

"They're accountable for their actions, and a bit more responsible at that age, hopefully."

Casey Lebherz agreed older was better than younger.

"Not till they're very old," Casey Lebherz said.

"I don't think they're responsible enough to understand the consequences."

Technically, the minimum age for opening a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Snapchat account is 13, while Kik users under 17 need parental permission.

Those interested in starting a Vine, Tinder, Yik Yak and YouTube account need to be 18.

The Children's eSafety Commissioner, Alastair MacGibbon, said the technical age limit is up to a parent, though it's their responsibility to assess when their child has the social skills for social media, such as judging what to share and with whom.

According to a Kids Matter study, 95% of eight to 11 year olds had accessed the internet at least once a month, with almost all having accessed the internet at some point in their lives.



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