Do You Know! Where Your Kids Are Online?

Chances are, they’re not on Facebook. According to NBC’s recent TechNewsDaily report, we (parents) have chased our kids off this particular social media site. Youth have apparently grown tired of us, especially moms, being their “friend,” with the ability to look over their shoulder and monitor their online exchanges.

It should come as no surprise that so many kids are now referring to Facebook as “Mombook,” with the percentage of moms on Facebook having increased from 50 percent in 2010 to 72 percent in 2012. But that just means we are doing our job, right? Parents have been told to monitor our children’s online use, and that is what we are doing.

The challenge is that most kids are more tech-savvy than their parents, and always seem to be one step ahead of us. But, while it can be difficult to keep up with their online activity, it is vital that we do.

So they’ve moved on from Facebook, but where have they gone?

Tumblr: This site, which boasts of 74.9 million posts daily, is supposedly the most popular current teen hangout. Tumblr is more about content and not so much about relationships. Users post and follow the things that interest them.

Twitter: With 22 percent of all teens “tweeting,” Twitter is definitely a hotspot. It is a real-time information network where users “follow” who they like and share their thoughts in 140 characters or less.

Instagram: This is a photo-sharing social network site with about the same number of teen users as Twitter. More than 40 million photos are posted on Instagram every single day. Users can choose to “follow” and be “followed” on this site.

Snapchat: You won’t find many adults here. This is a picture-messaging app for iPhone and Android, and is used almost exclusively by youth. The twist here is that the sender chooses how long the recipient can view the picture before it disappears.

Reddit: This site, similar to Twitter, is a real-time information network. The idea is for users to join or create their own online reddit community, then vote on content. The stories and discussions with the most votes rise to the top for all to view.

Simply “Google” the name of any of these popular teen social networking sites to learn more.

Please note: Know! does not endorse any of the above social networks, nor are we encouraging parents to allow their children to be on these sites. We simply want to make you aware of the online locations youth are choosing to congregate. Each site, even when used appropriately, can pose dangers. It is extremely important to talk to your children about what is okay and not okay to click on, to send, to follow or to post. It is also important to remind them that nothing shared online or through their cell phone apps should be considered private. And while it may be an annoyance from the youth perspective, parents need to continue to monitor their children’s online activities.

Click here to learn more about Snapchat, from a previous Know! Parent Tip.

Click here to download the Know! Family Cell Phone Contract.