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Teens shift from Facebook to other sites to avoid parents

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:10am



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SALT LAKE CITY — Recent reports show that kids are leaving Facebook and going to sites their parents might not know too much about.

One of the driving forces behind this shift is that parents don't use other platforms as much, if at all.

"It's almost like they're the only ones on there," Baret Steed,15, told Time. "All your relatives are constantly commenting on your stuff. I appreciate the gesture and wanting to keep up with my life, but it's kind of annoying."

However, some social media analysts say there are plenty of social media sites that have been growing in popularity very quickly. Some are especially popular with young women.

"I know a lot of them are starting to use Pinterest. I've seen my daughter is using Foursquare a little more," said Jesse Stay, author of "I'm on Facebook — Now What?"

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As kids branch out to different sites parents may not be familiar with, Stay said there are still ways to track what kids are doing socially. Parents can turn to software, like the one from Net Nanny, to monitor and follow a person's social activity, he said.

"If you know which social networks they're using, there is this site called socialshield.com that will help you monitor some of their social network usage," Stay said.

Not all social activity happens on the computer. Stay said parents need to monitor what their kids say through their smartphones, too.

"There is another one called ‘My Mobile Watchdog,' which doesn't do as much toward the social networking, but will monitor things like text messages, photos and emails and photos that are being shared on their mobile phone," Stay said.

One other way to monitor social activity, Stay said, is by setting up a child's social media accounts through Gmail.

"On their account, I've set, in the settings for their account, that for any email they receive, a copy of that email gets forwarded to my email account," Stay said.

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