Most social media apps have a 13+ rating for a reason. We ask parents to be extremely mindful of the consequences of children using these apps.
From time to time we have to deal with issues in the school relating to children using social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok etc. We also receive regular warnings from the MOE about disturbing messages / videos / images that are doing the rounds in social media that are targeting children.
It comes as a surprise to many parents that these apps have a 13+ age restriction with them.
Every other year we have John Parsons visit our school and talk to our children and community about the dangers and real-life stories of children using apps and video games that are age-restricted.
Most parents would think it absurd if they heard someone saying they let their children smoke - but only when supervised, or they let a 13-year-old drive their car to the supermarket, but only when supervised.
As a society, we now understand the harm that comes from smoking, but it was not that long ago when most were blissfully unaware. The same can be said for our societal change around drink driving.
John talks about the flow-on effects when a child provides an incorrect date of birth to make a social media account. When a 9-year-old makes an account and provides a date of birth that puts them at 13 years old, they create an online profile with that age. Fast-forward a few years when teenagers are not as open with their parents, and they have an online profile that is many years older than their current age, all sorts of other problems start to emerge.
Just food for thought.
To learn more about John Parson messages, click here.
This article is also useful to develop an understanding of this topic.