What’s the Legal Age for Social Media | Safe Surfing for Kids

Chris McKenna:                Hi, I’m Chris McKenna from Protect Young Eyes, and in partnership with Worksighted, we want to bring you a series of short, helpful videos, so that you can protect your family from online danger. Let’s jump right in.

Parents, do you know what the legal age is in order for a child to have his or her own social media account? Now, some parents might want the age to be 18, so that you can avoid the conversation altogether, but legally the age for a child to have a social media account, meaning the age that a company is allowed to collect personal information from another human being, is actually 13 years old. This means that for apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, anything that is classified as social media every single person using it needs to be at least 13 years old.

Now, as we travel the country speaking in different schools, and different churches we’re often speaking to kids in elementary school, in grades K through 5. Always when I’m asking these kids, because I’m curious, is how many of you have a social media account of your own, especially in grades 3, 4, and 5? Now, it doesn’t matter what part of the country I’m in, or what type of school that I’m in whether it’s private or public, but regularly 50% of fifth graders raise their hand saying that they have a social media account of their own.

Now, when half of a fifth-grade class is raising their hand it’s easy for us to say, “Well, that’s a technology problem,” or, “That’s a social media problem,” but friends, when that happens we have to be really honest, and just admit that’s a parenting problem. The kids didn’t buy their device, the kids aren’t paying for the device. Parents still have the ability to say ‘no’ when our kids ask whether or not they can have social media, and sometimes no is the most loving answer that we can give.

I hope that this information is helpful for you. Please visit protectyoungeyes.com where you can read our blog, you can register for our biweekly parent newsletter. You can also find us on Facebook where we’re constantly providing the most up-to-date information for parents.

Thank you so much for watching this video. Protect Young Eyes in partnership with Worksighted wish you the very best as you take steps to protect your family today.