Tweens have their own online lives

Published: Thursday, May 3 2012 6:15 p.m. MDT

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Parents fear online predators and bullying. They worry their kids are creating permanent public records as they interact online without understanding what it could mean.

Kids worry they're going to be left behind if they're not part of the social media scene. And, in fact, tweens and young teens are finding a lot of ways to be active socially online, even when their parents think they're too young for sites like Facebook, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

What they don't know may be quite a lot, some parents are finding. Maria McPhail told her daugher she couldn't have a Facebook account because she was only 12. She did let the girl download Instagram. She told the Journal she was fostering her daughter's interest in photography. Only later did she learn that Celina and her friends used the site most of the time to "like" photo jokes and text messages on photographs that had been altered.

The story quotes a Pew Research Center Internet and American Life Project that found 16 percent of kids 12 to 17 use Twitter double the number from two years before.

And while parents grapple with what's within their comfort zones online and how they want kids to use technology and social media, marketers are busy trying to interest them in their products.

You can read the full story here.

EMAIL: lois@desnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

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