I have a bot running which delivers results from newsfeeds mentioning the key words “children” and “internet”. The articles delivered could all be labelled “bad news”. More accurately of the last 120 articles, there were none that were positive and only 2 that were neutral. Mostly they painted a picture of a very scary internet for kids.
Of course any news source tends to focus on the bad rather than the good. That kind of goes with the territory. So I did some other searches to act as a control group . I had a look at 100 news articles based on the keyword “children” only, and 100 with for “internet”. This search was a lot sunnier, with 12% and 16% respectively being positive, including “Scientists grow new ears for children” and “The Internet Crosses 4 Billion-User Mark”.
So at Yourkids.com, as well recognising dangers, as we’re going to try and find the good news amongst all this doom and gloom.
Facebook Messenger Kids
Facebook have released a new version of Messenger for Kids. We haven’t looked into this extensively yet, but so far, it looks really good. It lets kids talk to contacts that are approved by their parents and use a range of age-appropriate gifs and images.
Some more Good News Stories
How the internet helped to raise over $30,000 for boy with leukemia
Tony Wood didn't know what to expect when he received a text from an unfamiliar number sending pictures of a formal dress and looking for approval. But after providing a witty response to student Sydney Uselton, which included a photo of five adorable children giving a thumbs-up, the transaction was deemed Twitter-worthy by Uselton's friend, and ultimately went viral.
There’s a good article here from the Washington Post.
However, it may be behind a paywall, so [spoiler!] the 5 ways that Social Media can be good for teens are:It lets them do good. Twitter, Facebook and other large social networks expose kids to important issues and people from all over the world.
It strengthens friendships. Studies show that social media helps teenagers make friends and keep them. [nb. I’ve linked to the studies below]
It can offer a sense of belonging. [again, study below].
It provides genuine support. Online acceptance can validate a marginalized child. [I’m not entirely sure about this one.
It helps them express themselves.
Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives | Common Sense Media
This research study provides a snapshot of how U.S. teens experience the role of social media in their social and emotional lives. Using survey data from a nationally representative, probability-based sample of 13- to 17-year-olds, we address these questions: How often are teens texting and using Facebook and Twitter?
Teens, Technology and Friendships
Video games, social media and mobile phones play an integral role in how teens meet and interact with friends This report explores the new contours of friendship in the digital age. It covers the results of a national survey of teens ages 13 to 17; throughout the report, the word "teens" refers to those in that age bracket, unless otherwise specified.
5 Tech Tools for Kids in Crisis
Apps, sites, and text hotlines help kids cope with issues from cyberbullying to suicide. Advice from Common Sense Media editors.
11 Teens You Should Follow On Instagram Immediately
Instagram's the new shopping mall; it's where all the cool kids are hanging out. But in a sea of selfies and mediocre sunsets on the beach, how do you find the teens with the coolest Instagram pages? We've saved you the trouble and gathered some of the best teen Instagrammers the Internet has to offer.