According to the infographic Trending Tweens: How Kids Use Social Media, 21% of kids under 13 are subscribed to (at least) one social networking site.
Apparently, asking friends to follow HennesseyGirlsMom on Instagram would be social suicide.
I was on a mission to find resources explaining why the under 13 rule exists that would resonate for them, and not rely solely on the simple answer of the importance of being a law-abiding citizen. The gist for me, getting them to truly understand the data tracking and gathering that is at the core of most business models.
I appreciated finding this post from Alpha Mom Lessons Learned: Kids and Instagram because it mirrored my experience and provided this good advice:
I’ll also utilize some of the tools the website GetNetWise.org has for parents as well as their
online use contract for kids to sign. Sure, a contract may seem a little silly, but that plus a social media discussion will reinforce to the kids the seriousness of the situation.
Then, I found a pretty impressive new "choose-your-own-adventure" type resource from Common Sense Media called Digital Bytes that provided exactly the information I was looking for to start that social media discussion:
The Online Tracking module, which I selected, provided a short context-setting video that got my girls' attention. Then, Ted Kovac's Ted Talk Tracking Our Online Trackers provided just the right amount of provocative information to prompt a a real discussion, effectively moving us away from a "because I said so" conversation into one where they genuinely wanted answers.
If you want to know more about data tracking, check out Dan Tynan's good post Explained: Here's How Advertising Tracks you Across the Web