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Social Networking Sites and Children Under 13

            In today's society, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter play a huge part in our lives. These websites are fantastic for communicating with friends and family that we don't often see. They are a great way of connecting with new people who have the same interests as you. They are also a great way to make new friends or find old ones. These websites, however, are not for children and with technology becoming increasingly easier to access, children are getting sucked into these sites younger and younger.
             Studies show that children who are on social media sites show signs of behavioural problems. Children who are on Facebook happen to be more narcissistic, antisocial and aggressive than those not on the site. These websites are also known to affect their social skills as most kids would rather text or Instant Message than have a face-to-face conversation. Baroness Susan Greenfields, an Oxford neuroscientist said, "Kids are detracted from learning to communicate in the real world. There are reports from teachers that social networking is affecting kids' comprehension levels. Also, if kids communicate primarily through the screen, they do not learn the subtleties of real life communication -- such as body language, tone of voice".There are many reasons as to why social media websites have age restrictions and if this is how it mentally affects children then I personally feel they should be enforced.
             Another reason, arguably the most important, is the dangers children face whilst being on the internet. Privacy is a main concern to anyone online and children often don't understand the risks involved with giving out too much personal information. A recent incident proves exactly this. Police in Renfrewshire are investigating reports after a man contacted a school and claimed to be a young girl's parent in an apparent abduction bid. The police are looking into whether the girl was targeted after she posted details on a social network site.

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