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Social Media and Kids - Allow or Not?

What are the good and bad effects of social media on kids?  Regardless of your own comfort level, it can be scary to wonder what your kids do and encounter online.

If you take sufficient steps to ensure safety, identity and privacy for your child, online social networking may help kids gain social confidence from interacting with other people and feel more secure in meeting new friends. They can also become more familiar with new evolving technologies, as well as increase their literacy.

Many kids find support in online communities; this is especially true for kids who have unique interests or feel isolated.  Online communities can be very diverse and expose your child to many new viewpoints, ideas, and opinions that he/she may not be familiar with.

It is good when kids use social networking to augment, not replace their real-world relationships.  Social networking can help them learn to communicate in many different ways.  It's good for them to keep in touch with friends and family members that live far away by sharing updates, photos, videos, and messages.  It facilitates the extended family to stay connected even if they live across the country or the world.

It is also beneficial for out of classroom discussions, homework and exchange of knowledge.  By collaborating with other students and teachers online, children are able to learn outside of the traditional classrooms.

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