With over one billion Facebook users worldwide (as of October 2012) it looks like social networks are here to stay. And as of September 2012, the majority of American teens (58%), ages 13-17, now own a smartphone, so they are able to access the internet and social networks 24/7, wherever they are. And summer vacation means a lot of free time for your kids, no doubt a lot of it will be spent on social networks!
Although the jury is still “out” on the positive vs. negative influences of social networks on teens, tweens or even younger kids, there are certainly dangers involving their use. Cyberbullying, the posting of private information or images, and other online safety issues should concern you as parents. But the good news is that there are quite a few things you can do to provide a safer social networking experience for your kids: