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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Having the ‘social media talk’ with a 7-year-old

When is a child ready for social media asks Judi Ketteler in the New York Times.

Her 9-year-old son is showing off his flips on Instagram. Her 7-year-old daughter wants her own YouTube channel.

“Spend some time introducing your child to social media, the same way you introduce them to your neighborhood,” advises Sherry Turkle, a MIT psychologist and author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.

Image result for children using social media Instagram

The “social media talk” — like discussing the birds and the bees — is now “part of parenting,” says Turkle.

Parents don’t feel equipped to have these conversations, writes Ketteler. It’s not as if they can think back to what their parents told them about Instagram and Snapchat.

She worries her kids will become addicted to their phones or turn into fame-obsessed narcissists.

 The “like” culture of social media is linked to “self-focused aspirations to do with fame, image, money and status,” she writes, citing UCLA psychology professor Patricia Greenfield, co-author of a recent Children’s Digital Media Center study.

Facebook’s Messenger Kids, a social-media app designed for 6- to 12-year-olds , has come under fire from a coalition of 97 child-health advocates, reports Wired‘s Nitasha Tiku.

In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, they said the ad-free app is likely to “undermine healthy childhood development for preschool and elementary-school-aged kids by increasing the amount of time they spend with digital devices.”

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