Commentary

Six In Ten Parents Have Checked Kids' Social Media Profiles

While the number frankly strikes me as being still too low, it’s encouraging to note that over half of parents do not appear to have their heads totally buried in a smelly orifice, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, which found that 60% of respondents with children ages 13-17 have checked their teens’ social media profiles to make sure they’re not doing something ill-advised and teenagery.

Additionally, 56% of parents have actually gone to the lengths of friending or following their teens on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media platform, while 61% said they have checked which Web sites their teen visits, and 48% have looked through their call records or text messages.

A bit more intrusively, 48% said they have the password to their child’s email account, 43% have the password to their phone and 35% know the password to a social media account. On a slightly Orwellian note, 16% use monitoring tools on their teens’ phones to track their location.

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However, when it comes to preemptive management of online behavior, most parents opt for good old-fashioned face-to-face communication, rather than relying on technical tools to attempt to control their teens’ activity. While 94% of parents said they have talked with their teen about what is appropriate to share online, and 95% have discussed what is appropriate media to consume, just 39% said they have used parental controls to block, filter, or monitor what their teens do online, and only 16% have used parental control on their teens’ phones.

By the same token, the “nuclear option” – digital grounding – is still very popular, with 65% of parents saying they have taken away their teens’ phone or Internet access as punishment. Additionally, 55% of parents surveyed said they impose time limits on their teens’ Internet activity (all the time, not as a punishment).

1 comment about "Six In Ten Parents Have Checked Kids' Social Media Profiles".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, January 7, 2016 at 4:29 p.m.

    Ever notice how kids behave nicely when their parents are watching? That's what Facebook is.

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