Thursday, August 26, 2010

76% of Parents on Facebook Are Online Friends With Their Tween/Teen

A new survey by AOL and the Nielsen Company finds that "76% of parents with kids on Facebook, claim to have "friended" their teens, and 29% of teenagers are ready to "un-friend" their parents given the choice." Moms were more twice as likely to be un-friended than dads - which makes sense given that mothers check in more often than dads in online social networks.

We've written a lot about online networks and tweens ("A Facebook for Tweens? Everloop", "Maintaining Your Tweens Safety on Facebook", "Should Schools Block Social Networks?", "American Girls' Online Club for Tweens", cyber-bullying, "Miley Quits Twitter", and the horrific online smear campaign by boys at Landon School targeting girls), and we required our eldest tween to not only friend-us on Facebook but also to share her Facebook password with us. But, she is allowed to use Facebook and Twitter with these restrictions, and she maintains her own private blog. She also has a mobile phone. So I can't decide: where do we fall on the technology-permissiveness spectrum - too open or too closed?

Does your tween use social networks like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace? What about their own YouTube channel? What rules have you put in place, or not, regarding these social networks?  The AOL/Nielsen survey informed the creation of tools to help keep kids safe online (via parental controls, profile checking across several social networks, etc.) - so readers, what's your take on online safety for tweens - are we there yet?

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