The number of tweens and teens posting a Selfie on Instagram or Tumblr is exponentially growing. Worse, is their propensity to add: ‘kik me @…….’ broadcasting their private contact details to the world. Once on Kik Messenger the conversation becomes private and basically untraceable. I need you to talk to them about this! They are essentially putting their phone number and address in the public domain for anyone to contact them. This is quite apart from the fact that Kik Users must be 17+ now!
In this article in The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram 12-year-old Kyle is a typical example. The paper reports that, ‘His full name, his middle school in Gaithersburg, Md., and his favorite Montgomery County hangouts were on public display before his parents put a stop to it.
Technically, Kyle wasn’t supposed to be on Instagram, the mobile app owned by Facebook. The company’s policy sets the minimum age at 13. But Kyle said he was able to join easily, no questions asked. Within minutes of setting up his account last fall, he was uploading “selfies” of his cherubic face and blond mop top, and tagging photos of friends with their names.
Kyle is among the underage users flocking to Instagram, a trend that’s creating a new social problem for Facebook.
The photo-sharing service is seeing tremendous growth, doubling in size to 100 million users in about a year. But child advocates and some parents say too much of its rise has been driven by preteens or even younger kids.’