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At what age did your DC start using social media?

(28 Posts)
noprobllamas Wed 12-Sep-18 12:12:29

DD is 11 (just started year 7), she has my old iphone but she's only allowed to text/call people, play games on it and watch youtube. She isn't allowed any screentime after 8:30. Since starting secondary school she's been asking to get snapchat, facebook and instagram and stay on her phone later. It doesn't help that her 8 year old cousin has instagram and snapchat. I just don't think at such a young age children fully understand how to stay safe online

Cakecrumbsinmybra Wed 12-Sep-18 12:15:08

DS is 11 - I plan to let him when he's 13 tbh. That might change I guess, but this is my plan! I have a few friends who've let their DC on to FB etc and I think it's ridiculous - they are even "friends" with people whom I'm friends with and can read all comments, etc. One of the reasons I stay clear of FB these days tbh!

arethereanyleftatall Wed 12-Sep-18 12:16:38

Not yet, she's ten at the moment. She's never had her own screen of any kind. (Though can use ours).

CuntyMcFuckerson Wed 12-Sep-18 12:19:59


He was always told it'd be not before then.

I just quoted rules from the actual websites at him until he stopped asking. Then pointed out that some were actually 14 so if he nagged I'd make him wait even longer!

Mamadothehump Wed 12-Sep-18 12:28:03

My DD has also just started year 7 and doesn't have social media. She hasn't asked but knows she won't be allowed until 13. She does have WhatsApp as she is part of a big group chat from her old year 6 class which I think is nice.

Strugglingtodomybest Wed 12-Sep-18 12:54:32

My DC, now aged 12 and 13, both use Instagram. They posted a few photos on it when they first got it but now seem to use it more for messaging in a WhatsApp style.
They both had it in year 7 and I've noticed that their friends who don't use are the ones who miss out on meeting up at the weekends. They seem to be incapable of calling each other. They also use the PS4 to communicate a lot.

noprobllamas Wed 12-Sep-18 13:15:23

13 would be a good age, I was thinking of just going off of how responsible she is with her phone, whether she sticks to the rules and argees to turn it off at 8:30 then i might let her get facebook to stay in contact with family and friends.

BarbaraHepworth Wed 12-Sep-18 13:20:01

I have boys and the social media thing has not been an issue for us. One refuses to use any! The others use gaming-specific systems. The middle one used a lot of WhatsApp in year 6 - I had been convinced that they were using it to arrange going to the park after school/weekend ("Not spending all our time in front of the screen Mum") and to get numbers to stay in touch at secondary. But much of it quickly descended into horror and most of them drew back from it.

Hold firm on the timing though. At this age the phone needs to be downstairs where you can see it and not in her bedroom overnight.

yakari Wed 12-Sep-18 13:34:17

12DS has WhatsApp and Instagram - WhatsApp for school and friend chat groups, instagram is set private and he mainly uses it for following sports teams, marvel movies, gamers and bizarrely Dunkin Doughnuts! They message each other random crap from it

User9870 Wed 12-Sep-18 13:38:32

There are children in my DC's year 6 class who have social media accounts!!!! mine have their own tablets but no social media allowed on them and they have to stay in the lounge at all times.
I dont have a set age he can get social media..... the longer I can keep him away from it the better.

StripyHorse Wed 12-Sep-18 14:06:16

My DD is 11, y7 too and has just had a phone. No social media yet. I wish there was something similar to What's app without being able to contact people not in your contacts list (if you know about one please let me know!).

Nspcc have a good guide to apps etc to help you make a judgement about what is appropriate for you.

SafetyLightsAreForDudes Wed 12-Sep-18 14:57:44

DS1 got Facebook when he was 11 (the summer before Y7). It was a deliberate decision on my part because I felt that he was highly likely to be determined enough to get SM that he would sneak around to do it, and so I wanted to make sure he was using it in a way that was supervised and supported. He's 14 now and has upgraded to Twitter, but I feel that for him the approach I chose was the right one. His SM use has never been a secret, and so when he has had things happen that concerned him, he has come to me for help. If he'd got the accounts in secret as I suspect he would have done, he would have had to tell me he'd done that in order to ask for help, iyswim. I don't monitor it as closely as I used to, but he knows that I keep an eye on what he's doing and from time to time I've pulled him up on things or had a conversation about something he's posted without necessarily having full understanding.

DS2 has now just started Y7. He's a very different child, and not currently interested in SM so he doesn't have any atm. I've offered him the option though, for when he feels he wants to. I will probably do the same for DD when she starts Y7.

spiderlight Wed 12-Sep-18 15:19:34

Mine is 11 and has had Whatsapp for a year - initially used to message and video-call me when he was away at his grandparents' over the summer and to do the same with his grandparents and cousins down there when he came home. There was briefly a Year 6 class group but that disintegrated into bickering and nastiness over the summer and has now died a death. He wants Instagram but I've said not until 13. I keep getting (and declining) friend/follow requests from kids in his school though - most of them not even from actual friends, just random kids in his year and the year above.

FishCanFly Wed 12-Sep-18 15:40:31

Gradually. From about 7, we have an anonymous FB family account that we use to access online games. So they know all about the rules, stranger danger, etc. DS1 got his own FB profile at 12, Instagram as well. His online interests are mostly about gaming anyways. I do monitor for porn though.

Echobelly Wed 12-Sep-18 18:34:14

I think some will be allowed from starting Y7 as it just seems like it's going to be necessary for a social life. DD is in Y6 now and some friends last year had phones, but were only allowed to be connected to a few friends from school on Instagram or

I expect we'll get her a smart phone on her 11th birthday (in June) so she can be au fait with it by secondary school.

I think initially there will be a 'downstairs and plugged in by X o'clock' rule, that will be moved to earlier if she doesn't stick to that.

TBH, DH and I need to get a bit better about using our devices if we expect our kids to manage theirs well.

Senac32 Wed 12-Sep-18 18:51:10

All I can say is thank God these things weren't around when mine were young.
I don't envy you young mothers, so much extra responsibility if you want to bring up decent children. But as some have said, parental example is so important.

Idontbelieveinthemoon Wed 12-Sep-18 19:16:40

We've begun it in stages; he had his phone at the end of Y5 when he started walking to school with friends. He had WhatsApp in Y7 and now he's in Y8 he says he'd like Instagram.

I think it depends on the maturity levels you're working with but also on how they behave; if they abuse it or behave badly on it, it goes.

My only hard and fast rule is that phones don't go upstairs. DS1 is great and observes it without complaint, but isn't one for sitting and spending much time on his phone; he still plays out with mates so it's not a battle to get him to spend time away from it. He has friends who are much more active on social media and from conversations with their parents, it brings more problems than I'm ready for.

LoveAScaryTaleMe Wed 12-Sep-18 19:29:21

I told my daughter that you have to be 14 to go on Facebook, I know it is actually 13 but I told her they had changed the rules. Most of her friends had been on Facebook for years, but shehappily patiently waited until her 14th birthday.

spinn Wed 12-Sep-18 20:06:09

My 10 yo has insta and WhatsApp. Insta for following others but never posts, whatsapp for chatting with his cousins.

We have a totally open phone policy in our house - he knows my passcode, I know his and dads etc. And we are all allowed to login and use each other's phones whenever we need. For me, this opens up that dialogue for safe phone usage, appropriate usage and I wanted him To use social media whilst he still listened to me rather than when he thinks he knows everything and ignores me.

It really does depend on your child and how they approach life, interests, friendship groups etc as to whether you feel comfortable with it.

MonoClue Wed 12-Sep-18 20:28:38

14 with the understanding that they were only allowed online if i was in the room and knew passwords for their SM accounts and would be doing random checks. (I never did, but they would often be sat next to me and would show me stuff quite openly) I also made them net aware and they had full privacy filters, they only had Facebook until they were 18 and their only friends were people they actually knew.
Neither of them actually use Facebook now, they both use Instagram though. Mainly cat pictures and makeup.

Imsosorryalan75 Wed 12-Sep-18 20:57:39

My dd goes to secondary next year. I 'll get her a basic phone. Then maybe a smart phone when she's 13. As a school worker, I fear for ch with access to social media/ internet at 11. I wish there was a phone that could block negative comments/ porn sites/images automatically. Even adding restrictions doesn't stop everything!

noprobllamas Thu 13-Sep-18 08:32:46

Sometimes I feel like I don't give her any privacy as I know her passcode and check her phone regularly but I don't want to risk it really because if she really wanted to download instagram or snapchat she could go against what I've told her and do it anyway

Notcontent Thu 13-Sep-18 08:38:58

My dd got WhatsApp in year 7, which, to be honest is a form of social media. She is not interested in getting anything else - even through WhatsApp she can see the downsides: people being unpleasant on group messages, showing off, lots of "look at me" pouty selfies, etc.

anonymousbird Thu 13-Sep-18 08:46:06

My children are 14 and nearly 13. They both have instagram on private settings. They have Whatsapp but don't really use it.

No screens after 8pm here, but sometimes their phones ping with instagram posts from friends really late at night.

anonymousbird Thu 13-Sep-18 08:47:39

OH, and watch out for secret profiles on instagram. You think you are following them, then you discover they have a second profile! We soon nipped that in the bud.....

Most of the parents I know follow their own kids and follow other kids so any shenanigans with hidden profiles is generally discovered quite easily.

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