Children as young as six hold social media accounts

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UK PARENTS are losing control as their children flock to social media and immerse themselves in digital.

This ground-breaking survey reveals children as young as six with social media accounts as parents pledge to support the UK’s 3rd National Unplugging Day on June 25 2017.

• More than half of children hold one or more social media accounts with some children as young as six-years-old having a presence on-line.

• Nearly half of parents surveyed (41 per cent) were unsure of the rules around social media privacy and settings.

• The majority of parents (85 per cent) having no monitoring software or system on their children’s digital devices, apps and social media networks.

Parents across the UK agree tech and social media are taking over their lives and being plugged in constantly is damaging their children as they struggle to set a good example with their own tech usage.

Individuals are being urged to unplug on Sunday June 25 2017 from sun-up to sun-down in celebration of the largest digital detox for families and the UK’s one and only National Unplugging Day.

Parenting experts are giving a stark warning that overuse of digital devices is harming relationships, stopping the young from developing face to face communication skills and teaching children that disappearing into digital devices for hours is a healthy and perfectly normal activity.

Parenting website MyFamilyClub carried out a survey in April with over 1,000 parents from across the UK and uncovered some striking statistics. The survey found that nearly half of parents (41 per cent) are unaware that the age limit for a social media account is 13 years old.

Over 15 per cent of those surveyed said their children’s accounts had open or public settings and shockingly over 85 per cent said they had no monitoring or parental control software on any of the family devices.

In addition to the above: half of parents surveyed (65 per cent) had tried to limit their children’s screen time and were aware that they needed to lead by example by managing their own time; with half of parents (51 per cent) admitted not taking control of their children’s digital usage and letting them use tech liberally.

With nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of those surveyed saying they didn’t have a ‘Tech-free’ zone in the house, couple this with a mixture of open privacy settings, no parental controls of monitoring software, this combination can leave a child wide open to a range of worrying issues and at worst, all in the comfort of their own bedroom.

On more of a positive note, nearly all of those surveyed were aware of the dangers of trolling, grooming, sexting, exclusion by friends, on-line bullying and body image issues although many felt that they needed more help and guidance around managing these issues and feeling equipped to open up the conversation with their child on these danger areas.

The National Day of Unplugging in the UK recognises the value and importance of technology in today’s society whilst trying to encourage people, especially families and young children and the connected generations who have grown up with ever-present technology, to be more mindful of their digital usage. This day is not intended to be a one-off, but rather a starting point to encourage people of all ages to embrace a healthy lifestyle by regularly setting aside time away from their digital devices.

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