Social Networking: An Introduction

Social Networking
E-Parenting: Social Networking
Some parents are eager users of new kinds of social networking; others feel intimidated by forms of technology they don’t use or understand. Regardless of your own comfort level, it can be scary to wonder what your kids will encounter online. This section offers basic explanations about social networking as well as some tips for using these tools in safe and healthy ways. There are many benefits to using these websites, but there are also some dangers. Take the time to make sure that your child knows what's appropriate--and what's not--when it comes to social networking.

Did You Know?

  • 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites.1
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of teens with profiles on social networks believe that a motivated person could eventually identify them from the information they publicly provide on their profiles.2
  • Learn more about keeping kids safe online >
  • Nearly 54% of the selected profiles revealed details about risky sexual lifestyles, drug addictions and violent encounters with peers.3
  • Learn more about high risk teen behaviors >

1. Lenhart, Amanda; Purcell, Kristen; Madden, Mary; Smith, Aaron Kathryn, “How American Teens Navigate the World of Digital Citizenship.” Pew Internet & American Life Project (2011).

2. Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden, “Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks,” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project,

3. Megan Moreno and others, “Display of Health Risk Behaviors on MySpace by Adolescents” and “Reducing At-Risk Adolescents’ Display of Risk Behavior on a Social Networking Web Site,” Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine 163, no. 1 (2009): 27-41.