A recent survey of 4000 parents found that the age of 11 years old is the age in which they allow their child to enter the vast world of social media. In fact, 53 percent of parents admitted that their children are already online and networking at 11. Facebook doesn't allow users under the age of 13 to use their site.
Moreover, it's found that most 10 to 13 year old children in the U.S., Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Australia have their own computers. Many parents attest to checking their computers often as well as assisting them in their social networking from time to time, however; the children are still primary users of their computer. Of these countries, 44 percent of children have the internet on their mobile phones as well. In the U.S., 56 percent of children have the web on their phones.
There is a wonderful graph that illustrates many of these statistics near the bottom of the article:
There seems to be a much larger generation gap from my peers to these 11 through 13 year old children than what time can attest to. Children are going their school day posting status updates, tweeting, commenting; and all while they are still learning their basic grammar and vocabulary. Moreover, I am surprised at how tech savvy this generation of children really are. I recall learning about computers on the old Macintosh models where you would insert your floppy disk and play 'Number Crunchers' or 'Oregon Trail.' This was a time when 512mb was enough storage space on a disk to keep nearly any file you could think of.
I also think about how early these children are receiving their own computers and cell phones. I remember receiving my first cell phone a few months after turning 16. To this day, I still don't have the internet on my phone. Even if I so chose to purchase mobile network support, my phone is old enough to only allow me to send basic e-mails. Although I paint this articles information in a negative light, it's much more just odd to me. I've always been at the tail end of technology growing up; getting my cellphone later than most my classmates and feeling like one of the last people in school to rid myself of that horrible dial-up internet. I guess may parents have always been a little 'old-school.'
Aside from my opinions on 11, 12, and 13 year old individuals being social media savvy, I believe it's important to understand the implications of these children merging with such web based content so early. One thing is for sure, time will tell. On the other hand, it might be beneficial to understand any repercussions before it gets out of control. Definitely an interesting article!