Commentary: Safe use of social media: Guidance for parents
As many who were children before the era of cell phones will remember, contacting a friend by phone often involved mastering at least the following script: "Hi, Mrs. Doe. Is Johnny home?" Not so today, in the world of cell phones, texting, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you are a parent and don't use or understand the new technologies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just issued a guideline saying that you probably should. More than half of teens connect to a social media site at least daily. Three-quarters have cell phones that they can use for social networking as well as texting. In a guideline published in March 2011, the AAP makes the important (if obvious) point that today's children are growing up on the Internet. And, since children and adolescents now spend a great deal of time there, parents have good reasons to know what the place is like.