Social media is everywhere. Take a look at any given web page and you'll see a litter of links for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and probably a handful of social media sites you've never even heard of! Even print ads feature Twitter handles and Facebook profiles, so viewers can follow up on their smartphones or home computers. So, as a father, it's no wonder that your kids want to be part of the zeitgeist.
High school students are a lost cause – they're going to get on social media no matter what. But when you're raising tweens and younger kids, you might not want them delving into social media quite yet. But how young is too young?
Chances are, Twitter and Facebook are going to be the two social media platforms your kids are most interested in. According to Facebook's help center, you need to be 13 years old to create an account. But obviously there's no official ID check. The same "age gate" is set for Twitter.
The best way to figure out whether your kids are ready for social media is to know your kids and the platforms. Spend some time on the Twitterverse – you don't need an account to check out trending tweets – and cruise Facebook as well. If you do let your kids sign up for Facebook, observe who they're communicating with and be open with them about it. It's also worth checking out safety tips for parents offered by either site.