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Most Parents Think Social Media Not a Bad Thing: Survey

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A new survey finds that an overwhelming majority of parents think social media isn't necessarily a bad thing for their children.

Eighty-three percent of the parents questioned said the benefits are either equal to or outweigh the risks, according to Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics of Kansas City, Mo., which commissioned the survey.

The survey also finds that:

  • Of the parents surveyed, 72 percent said it's good preparation for future involvement in a technology-dependent work world for their kids to participate in social networking.
  • Roughly 57 percent thought social networking helps kids be more open-minded, creative and worldly, while 59 percent believed it would help them work with others.
  • More than two-thirds of parents said children should be 13 or older to join Facebook. About two-thirds of parents with kids aged 12 or younger said they were worried about "sexting" or other sexual behavior as a result of social media; the number dropped to fewer than half for parents of kids aged 13 to 19.
  • Parents of younger kids were more worried than the parents of teenagers about cyber bullying, depression, hostility and other problems.

The online survey, conducted in June, included a national sample of 728 parents.

More information

For more about bullying, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, press release, Aug. 16, 2012

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