TAMPA< Fla. (WFLA) — When you’re a parent, all you want is to protect your child.
When we asked a group of middle school moms what they believe the biggest threat to their kids is, they all said social media.
“Social media is what they all want to be involved in,” says parent Brenda Tobey.
It’s a scary time for them they say, having to teach their children that comments made in the heat of the moment, or what they think are silly pictures they are posting are all things that can harm them.
“My daughter who is a really good kid has made some decisions online that I’m not proud of, I know she is not proud of,” says mother Katie Beckett.
With children logging on at younger and younger ages, information good and bad is only a click away.
“They’re exposed to so much more now through social media,” says Tobey.
“That loss of innocence piece is something I find sad,” says Chasco Middle School principal Brando Bracciale.
He hears it in the hallways every day.
“The exposure to sex, to drugs, to violence via social media at age 1 and 13 is stuff that growing up, we’d never be exposed to it. It’s there. It’s in their face,” he says.
He also says social media makes it even more convenient to bully.
“With social media always accessible, on weekends, at night, they don’t get a break from it.”
As a middle school parent himself, he encourages others to get in front of it and have those tough conversations.
“If you don’t sit and form them and educate them, they are going to be educated by what they see on social media and that’s not always a good thing,” he says.