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Monday, October 28, 2013

A Parents Quick Reference Guide for Popular Social Media Sites

By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business and Personal Law Attorney
Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont

It's undisputed that social media has become a regular part of our daily lives. Businesses use it to promote products and services, adults use it to stay in touch with friends and keep up on news and our children use it for a variety of social functions including games, sharing photos and chatting with friends.  While the intrinsic purposes of social media may be to bridge communication gaps, to allow for large-scale collaboration and provide additional digital entertainment, its use requires a certain level of maturity from its users.  Unless it it specifically engineered for children, social media is not appropriate for those under the ages of 13.  Parents need to be aware of the social media platforms that are most popular with kids and know the age restrictions associated with both.

The following is a list of the current "hot" social media sites favored by children and teens, along with some information about each.

FACEBOOK – Social Networking service. Required age for an account is “13”

YOUTUBE – Video-sharing website. Age “required” to have your channel is “13”

TWITTER – Twitter was originally designed for social messaging, with the ability to follow people and have followers, and the ability to interact with Twitter on your cell phone, Twitter has become the perfect social messaging tool. Easy to coordinate with a group of people as to what to do now or what to do next, or how to keeping people informed of developments at a company-sponsored event, Twitter offers the ability to quickly communicating a message to a group of people.

INSTAGRAM Photo sharing: You can take pictures, manipulate them, and instantly share them within the app. Once they are posted, people can follow you, and post comments, you can give your photo a title, which can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networks.

CINEMAGRAM/VIDDY – Short Movie Sharing: This APP lets you create and share animated photos. Like Instagram, this app has built in filters to manipulate movies. Its layout and function is similar to Instagram.

KIK – KIK is a cross-platform smart phone application for instant messaging. It’s similar to text messaging, however a user needs to download the app first before using it. The biggest downside to using KIK is that you need to be connected to WiFi in order to use it. Kids use kik as an alternative to email or text messaging which can be tracked easier by parents. It is often used as a way to avoid exceeding expensive data charges or avoid going any text limits. And if a bunch of your friends are already using it, it may be worth joining as well. All that’s needed is an iPod and a WifI connection.

Parent Resources

SAFETYMOM.COM – Helpful tips in monitoring children’s online behavior.
URBAN DICTIONARY.COM – Explains modern acronyms, words or phrases.
REPUTATION DEFENDER – Removal of negative posts with your name. ReuptationDefender.com (888) 560-2175.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.
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