Are we protecting young bloggers?

We can forget at times the diverse range of individuals making up the blogging community and Abbie and I had a recent thought…Are we protecting young bloggers?

Throughout this blog collaboration, you’ll notice A and J. Each part with an A before the content is Abbie’s words, and J for mine. Enjoy the blog and do let us know your thoughts.

A: Over the past few months it has occurred that a lot of young people are starting to blog, but are they aware of what they are doing? Working with young children really opens your eyes to what children are doing on the internet.

J: Both Abbie and I have worked in education; Abbie still is. The topic became apparent when we connected in a blog chat and we started talking about what could be perceived as good and bad points for protecting young bloggers.

A: Working with young children really opens your eyes to what children are doing on the internet. The other day I asked an eight-year-old what he wanted to be when he was older and his response was ‘I want to be a youtuber’, when asked why he said ‘it’s easier to be a youtuber than a doctor and I get paid to sit in front of a camera’. I was quite shocked at the response I was given, but then I was even more shocked when he told me he already makes youtube videos on his own youtube account and his parents did not know that this was happening. This however turned into a huge discussion of how the internet is not always a safe place and his parents need to be aware of what he is doing so that they can help protect him.

J: What do you think of what Abbie experienced? With blogging now grabbing the attention of young people, even those aged 8, is there safety issues around young bloggers being involved in the blogosphere?

A: I also had a conversation with a ten-year-old girl who told me she wanted to be just like Zoella when she is older. She then went on to tell me she has already signed up to Blogger and is writing posts about make-up and dating boys. This is a ten-year-old girl who doesn’t wear make-up and doesn’t have a boyfriend. At least this time the child’s parents knew that she would write blog posts and publish them but they were not aware of what she was writing and thought that only her friends could read her blog posts.

J: Does parental consent change things? Is it needed for privacy settings to oversee the readers who can view a young person’s blog?

A: This is just two children out of millions around the world, so how many children under the age of 14 are actually blogging? Should we be putting an age limit on children who can publicize their life all over the internet for the world to see?

J: When I put a tweet out a few weeks ago, feelings were mixed. There was a huge component of allowing freedom in a young person’s life and allowing them to blog, but with specific limits. Would limits actually stop people from blogging?

A: We all know that social media has age limit, but who actually sticks to them? When you have celebrities like the Beckhams who have their children on Instagram, yes their accounts are private but isn’t it going against the rules? Most social medias have an age limit of 14 but do we actually believe that children are going to wait until they are 14 when they have the ambition to be ‘youtubers’ and ‘beauty bloggers.’

J: One thing I think about all too often is the perception. The perception that others have of bloggers and assuming that they can have accounts like everyone else. Is this something we can stop? Of course not, but it’s a reflection of modern day technology and communication.

A: We all know that we are never going to stop young people from doing these things so is there a way that we can help protect them? Most people would argue that this is down to the parents but my parents didn’t always know what I was doing on the computer as they were just as new to the whole internet world as I was. We come from the generation who were given the internet, we were the first ones to experiment and help build this social media world. I for one, was very vulnerable when it came to social media and the life of bebo and myspace, so should we be doing something to prevent the vulnerability of these young girls and boys?

J: Blogging chats are an interesting consideration. I wanted to raise this after Abbie’s content, as how can we even take into consideration someone’s age during a chat?

Can we be there to oversee interactions?

Can we teach one another on the do’s and don’ts of safe communications?

I want to put this to you, as just because we’re a blogger it isn’t our duty to watch out for young bloggers? Or any blogger for that matter?

So should age really be a consideration when it comes to blogging? Should there be an age limit? Should parents have more control over privacy settings for their children?

Should there be any worry at all about age and blogging?

Let us know your thoughts below, we’d love to get a discussion started.

 

If you’d like to know more about Abbie, click here for her blog and click here for her Twitter profile.

 

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9 thoughts on “Are we protecting young bloggers?

  1. As a 16 year old blogger who started to blog at 14 I do think people should be aware of the age that girls (and boys) start blogging. I blog about things I’m passionate about (for example sustainable fashion) and I in no way started blogging to be like zoella – I had a passion and I wanted to share it. We need to educate youngsters on the dangers of the internet before they decide what to put on the internet I think 🙂

    Eleanorclaudie.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very interesting post! WOW! I know we have young bloggers, but I was shocked at the level of “lies” that seem to come with it. When I was younger (and before the age of social media), I wrote, but I kept journals. No way my parents would have let me post online, but this is a new age and new generation. As long as the older generation is teaching of the dangers that comes along with being on the internet period, I think we can have a great group of young bloggers come up behind us and keep the blogging game going!

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  3. I love this post, it’s so interesting especially to people like me who weren’t brought up around the world of the internet, I was outside with my friends falling from trees, you never really think about the dangers, I think there needs to be a lot more education on social media these days and parents should be more aware for definite. – Sarah xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey John, I responded on Twitter before I read your post, but I feel the same way. Treat them the same as anyone else. We can’t stop kids from searching what they want online and I definitely don’t think blogging should have limits. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a girl wanting to have a makeup blog. Young people go through so many phases of hobbies and interests, so it may be a ‘blogging phase’ or it may turn into something big — like a job opportunity down the road. Either way, being online in general/blogging is a learning experience & simply going along with how the world works today. We all communicate online & I like to think that more good comes of it than bad :))

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  5. I think it’s important for everyone to be mindful of the age of bloggers nowadays because kids are so impressionable. I don’t think there’s any way to stop young kids from doing what they want on social media but I think it’s important for their parents to be aware so that problems don’t arise. Although reading about a kid who wants to be a youtuber made me cringe because it’s so much more work than one can imagine.

    Single Vegas Girl
    http://singlevegasgirl.blogspot.com

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  6. I’m glad someone finally raised this topic amongst us all. I for one find it very hard knowing there are 8-10 year olds who are already so heavily involved in the social media world, mainly because I have cousins around that age. It scared me when at the age of 10, my cousin was posting pictures of herself on instagram in a bikini and getting comments back from complete strangers telling her how sexy she looked. Of course, I went to her mum about it and made her aware of the situation, only to be told it was none of my business. So how can we protect them when already we try and are pushed away?

    Really interesting post xx

    Like

  7. This was a really interesting post! I know I’m young and was aware that they were younger bloggers than me! But I’m still shocked at just how young some of them are! I definitely think there should be stronger controls from a parents point of view or even to be more aware about what their child is doing! I see so many children with phones that are missing the real world and their childhood, determined to be grown up before their time! They are still so vulnerable at that age! Really interesting! X

    Victoria | VictoriaaHelenn

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  8. This is really interesting! I know people with ten year old kids who want to be Youtubers and one even has a camera. On one hand I think creativity and digital innovation should be encouraged but on the other, I think other aspirations should be encouraged. People like Zoella are famous for not doing much and it’s a shame that young kids aspire to wearing make up and being like her, at the expense of childhood experiences!

    Ada

    adalovelacex.co.uk

    Like

  9. My parents were always insanely protective of me on the internet. Like I had to explain to them why they should allow me to have a Facebook or my own phone lol. There are steps parents can take to guide their children and make sure they are not putting themselves in harm’s way on the internet. Like my brother is a gamer, but my dad is always asking him questions about the games he plays and the people he plays againist, and he had my brother explain everything to him. Parents don’t have to be clueless there are ways to figure out Excatly what is going on with your child online.
    I also believe there does come a point where parents can’t always protect their child 24/7 and that can be a scary thing at times especially in the world of technology.
    This post was intresting and provoked Alot of thought 🙂

    Nikki O.
    herdaringthoughts.blogspot.com

    Like

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