Here are five social media sites - along with some brief descriptions - that kids are using:
Tumblr - Current stats show that over 60% of Tumblr's users are teens. Tumblr also links with facebook and allows people to share across platforms. Teenagers love tumblr for it's fast pace sharing of photos and quotes.
Instagram - Instagram allows users to upload pictures and short videos to share with their friends and followers. Instagram’s main functions are done on its mobile app for iPhone and Android. You can start an Instagram account where you are able to search for people by looking up their name or importing your Facebook contacts.
Twitter - Twitter is a social media site that allows people to connect through short, text-like, 140 character updates. If you sign up for your own twitter account, you can search your child's name to see if they use twitter. Even if their username isn't their real name, you should still be able to find them by searching their real name.
Snapchat - Snapchat is a photo messaging app for smart phones. Snapchat’s users consist of mainly kids and teens. Snapchat allows users to send and receive photos that disappear after a short time limit. The dangerous thing is that once the time limit is up, the photo is hidden and hard to retrieve.
Facebook - Facebook currently reports that just over 50% of their users are teens. If you are on Facebook, you've probably realized that the activity of younger users on this site is starting to be slow and that many teens are moving to newer social media sites. However, there is still a strong teen presence on Facebook simply off of sheer number of users alone.
As a parent, it's good to know the neighborhoods that our kids hang out in. And that truth may be even more true when it comes to social media and the online neighborhoods they create. Be informed. Be proactive. Know what's going on in the lives of your kids.
For another FANTASTIC blog on social media sites, sexting, and kids, CLICK HERE.
(And if you want a few pro-active tips for helping your kids stay safe online, CLICK HERE.)