What the Tech: Kids and social media

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Parents should know kids see things online that they shouldn’t. What parents may not realize is how common it is. Even if their child doesn’t search for nude images, drugs, or discussions about depression and violence, they can’t avoid it.

You name it, kids are experiencing it, and it rates much higher than any one of us may imagine.

Tatania Jordan is the Chief Parenting Officer at Bark, a company that just released its annual report on children and the content they see online.

88% of teenagers experienced violent subject matters. 66% of tweens engaged in conversations about alcohol and drugs, 64% of teenagers were involved in self-harm or suicidal situations, 82% of teenagers and 62% of tweens encountered nudity or sexual content.

But the Surgeon General’s report puts the responsibility on parents and kids to avoid this type of content. The only way to do this, Jordan says, is to prevent access to the devices.

Easier said than done when they and their friends already have access to Snapchat, Instagram, online video games, and other platforms.

It’s okay to delay. I’ve never heard a parent say they wished they gave their child access to something sooner, but I’ve heard too many parents say the wished they had waited.

It’s clear, if not obvious, that social media, including online video games, pose serious risks to children, tweens, and teens. But some parents found there’s strength in numbers.

More: What the Tech

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