Pew Research: Concerned Parents, Tech-Savvy Kids

Children in School Lucélia Ribeiro CC BY-SA 2.0 Some rights reserved
“Children at School” by Lucélia Ribeiro CC BY-SA 2.0 Some rights reserved (source)

Children are using technology and social media. So how do parents feel about their children’s habits? According to recent research from Pew Research Center, “one-in-three parents say they have had concerns or questions about their child’s technology use in the last year.”

In this survey, 33% of parents said they have had concerns or questions about their child’s technology use in the past 12 months. Mothers and fathers are equally likely to have had concerns and questions.

Less troublesome but still a concern to parents is the information others post about their children online:

Parents show relatively low levels of concern about what others have posted about their child online. Just 12% of parents say they have ever felt uncomfortable about something a spouse, family member, or friend posted about their child on social media. Fully 88% say they have not felt this way.

However, when parents do feel uncomfortable, many are likely to ask the poster to remove the offending content. Overall, 11% of parents have ever asked a family member, caregiver, or friend to take something about their child down from social media.

To read the whole report, click here.  To read my series on parental engagement in teaching digital citizenship to children, click here.

Pew Research: Mothers Support Each Other On Social Media


According to recent research from the Pew Research Center, mothers are heavily engaged on social media and are especially likely to give and receive support on social media.

  • 81% of parents who use social media try to respond to good news others share in their networks, including 45% of social-media-using parents who “strongly agree” that they do so. Some 53% of mothers say they “strongly agree,” compared with 33% of fathers who say that.
  • 74% of parents who use social media get support from their friends there.2 Digging into the data, 35% of social-media-using parents “strongly agree” that they get support from friends on social media. Fully 45% of mothers who use social media “strongly agree” that they get support from friends on social media, compared with just 22% of fathers.
  • 71% of all parents on social media try to respond if they know the answer to a question posed by someone in their online network.
  • 58% of parents who use social media try to respond when a friend or acquaintance shares bad news online. Mothers are particularly likely to “strongly agree” that they try to do this – 31% say so, compared with 21% of fathers.

Here’s an image from Pew regarding how parents interact with social media to find information relevant to their parenting:

Pew Research
Pew Research

The report also shares that among the various social media platforms, parents are much more likely to use Facebook (while non-parents use Instagram.) In terms of community, here’s an interesting finding: “Parents are more likely to be Facebook friends with their parents than non-parents, 53% vs. 40%. They also are more likely to be friends with their neighbors on the network, 41% vs. 34% of non-parents.”

My takeaway from the research? While social media doesn’t appear to be a consistently reliable place to get parenting advice, it has strong potential for providing support to parents. In other words, parents that #trustparents (themselves and fellow parents) and who support each other can benefit from strong online bonds. Here’s the link to the full report.

(In my next post, I’ll look at what the report has to say about parents’ thoughts on their children on social media.)

“Like” Me And My Kids on Facebook


Parents Magazine has an important article both in their August print edition and online entitled Parenting in a Fakebook World: How Social Media Is Affecting Your Parenting. The article begins by sharing a story of parents oversharing (hint, involves potty training) on Facebook. The article then shares about a Parents Survey of more than 2,000 respondents: “79 percent said other parents overshare on social media — yet only 32 percent of us think we overshare ourselves. Hmm.”

The article asks, how might this parenting-in-the-age-of-social-media effect children?

“Kids pick up on what their parents like, and Like, from a tender age. “Kids know, ‘When I do something my mom likes or finds funny, she puts it on Instagram,’ ” says Judith Donath, author of the book The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online.”

And since kids understand the fame culture, it’s logical they’d want fame for themselves right?

In one survey of kids ages 9 to 13 at UCLA Digital Media Center, kids who already had their own social-media accounts — and 26 percent under 13 had a YouTube account — craved fame more than those who didn’t.

But not all kids are the same:

“Our children have very different ideas of privacy,” says Patrick Riccards, a father of two in Princeton, New Jersey. “Our son who’s 9 cringes when he learns that we’ve put a picture of him on Facebook or that his aunt posted a baby picture of him on his birthday. He wants a life off the grid — other than the life he’s building for himself on Minecraft.” Riccards says his daughter, 7, is completely different: “She is aching to get on social media. I’ll take a picture or I’ll laugh at something she says, and she immediately asks, ‘Are you going to put that on Facebook?’. Then she asks what people say about her in the comments.”

Here’s the link to the whole article. Also, Patrick Riccards has an educational blog that is worth following: here’s the link.

One takeaway from the study is to talk with your kids about what they want you to share and keep the dialogue going . The second takeaway is to trust other parents, just because they parent differently than you do doesn’t mean the world is about to end. #TrustParents

Is E-mail Social Networking?

Here is a little debate that took place on twitter between Inkling Media, Ben Craddock, Steve O’Donnell and myself. For those of you who don’t use twitter the @ sign followed by the persons name is a reply to them. I’ve attempted to show this in reverse reverse chronological order so it makes sense.

It all began with this tweet…

Inkling Media

RT @andreacecil: Just blogged: “Is e-mail dead?” –


@Inkling_Media No email is not dead and still has many years of vibrant life. It’s still the largest social network.

[Read more…]