By GreatSchools Staff
Social networking has become increasingly popular, especially among children and teenagers. Ninety-three percent of 12- to 17-year-olds are online, and more than half of them use social-networking sites, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Networking online offers kids many benefits but also carries a degree of risk. Reports of those dangers — and incidents that illustrate them — have been a hot topic in the media.
Parents are understandably concerned. Scott Moore, an online community manager, says, "Based on discussions on message boards, it's clear that parents are surprised and worried about the communication on MySpace and other social-networking services. They are worried about their kids' safety and how this medium can affect their social development, especially if their kids have learning and/or attention problems."
In this article, we will address the risks and benefits of social networking online for kids in general and, more specifically, for kids with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). We will also explain how you can enhance your child's online interactions.
Websites like MySpace and Facebook encourage people to create and share their own online identities and profiles, which can include personal information, photographs, blog entries, video, podcasts and music clips. Users can then share their information with other people directly and also by accessing even more people via the online networks of those individuals. From a technical standpoint, a social-networking site creates a virtual meeting place for people to connect and make friends.
New websites pop up every day. At this time, there are hundreds of sites that claim to offer some form of social networking. And, given the ever-evolving nature of the Web, even well-established sites frequently add, remove or change their features — sometimes making the sites safer, sometimes making them less so. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for operating a social-networking site, so parents need to check the sites their kids visit on a regular basis.
With all the frightening stories about kids at risk online, is there any good news? Yes. In fact, there are many benefits for kids networking socially online. They include:
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.