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#General Tech

43 per cent parents believe negative aspects of social media outweigh benefits

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According to a new research study carried out by the US non-profit Family Online Safety Institute, most parents are of the opinion that social media was the only online activity for which the harms outweighed the benefits.

The report dubbed “Parenting in the Digital Age: How Parents Weigh the Potential Benefits and Harms of Their Children’s Technology Use,” found that around 43 per cent of the parents believed the negative aspects of their child having a social media account outweighed the benefits, while 31 per cent felt the dangers and benefits were about equal. Only 26 per cent believed their children were benefiting from having a social media profile.

Out of the 53 per cent of parents who said their child had a social networking account, more than three quarters – 78 per cent-have admitted to have logged on to their child’s account to check their posts.

“While many parents monitor their children’s online activity and are confident in their ability to do so, the degree to which parents actively oversee their children’s online activities and their confidence in their ability to do so decrease the older their child is,” the report noted.

The report found that, despite the possible dangers of certain online activity, the majority of parents were “ambivalent” about the benefits versus the danger of their children being online.

Jen Hanley, legal and policy director of FOSI, said some parents are feeling left behind by fast growing technology.

She said “Many parents say that now they are on Facebook, their kids are not,” with their children moving on to other sites such as Twitter or Instagram.