As their kids spend more time on social networks, parents are still trying to figure out how they feel about this habit.
As their kids spend more time on social networks, parents are still trying to figure out how they feel about this habit. This week, a segment on BBC Radio 4—featuring JWT’s director of trendspotting, Ann Mack—explored whether parents are overreacting when it comes to kids’ use of tech and social media, and The Wall Street Journal explored the issue in “Tweens’ Secret Lives Online.”
While researching our April trend report on Gen Z, the youngest generation, we surveyed 400 parents in the U.K. and the U.S. about their approach to social networks, among other things. Although the majority of parents trust their child to act responsibly on social networks, many are concerned, especially those with tweens. Around 8 in 10 parents of tweens feel they need to supervise their child’s use of social networks, and 7 in 10 feel that social networks pose a danger. Parents do see the upside, appreciating that sites like Facebook help their kids stay in touch with friends, but our data also show that only about half feel social networks will help their child be a better adjusted adult.
With parental anxieties running high, brands must address safety concerns, persuading parents that their practices and tools are rigorous and reliable. Disney’s Club Penguin, for instance, limits kids to certain words and phrases and integrates other controls into the site.