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At what age should children be allowed to use social media, and how much parent involvement do they need?

My oldest daughter is 12. She wants to be on Social Media so badly, and I just don't want to let her!!! It just opens up a whole other world that scares me SO much! Girls are mean. Pre-teen/Teenage girls are SCARY MEAN! Miss M is still pretty naïve, and believes in only the good in the world. She just doesn't know how crazy it can all be. I just want to lock her up and keep her in her happy bubble!
UGH, and there are SO MANY sites!!!! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, You Tube, Snapchat, Musicly, and who knows what else! How do you keep up with it all?

She has a phone, and we have very simple rules around it.
1)When mom or dad call, you answer!
2) When a number calls that you don't know, you don't answer it!
3)You don't delete any text for any reason without showing dad or I first.
4)It is our phone, we are just letting you borrow it. When we ask for it, you hand it to us =)

When do you let them dive into Social Media? Most sites say that users must be 13 years old, and that is minimumly what I am sticking to... for now! But 13 will be here QUICKLY, and it all makes me worry. I would love to keep her off of it forever, but in this day and age... we all know that will NOT happen!

I want to teach her to use it with responsibility. Her and I keep talking about how nothing is ever really "deleted" and it all comes back somehow. I often tell her about how I was off of Facebook for over a year. I deleted EVERYTHING when I closed my account. I mean everything. Every post, Every picture, every everything. Now they have "on this day" and "timehop" on facebook.... and I have pictures and statuses that pops up from 7 and 8 years ago that I know were deleted. While I love seeing toddler miss M and baby pics of my littles, it still creeps me out.

I want her to think before she posts! In my opinion, it is all forever. I don't see the internet disappearing anytime soon. People can screen shot, they can copy, they can have it forever. I think about when I was 12-18 years old. I did and said some STUPID things. I am SO happy there was no Social Media back in "the olden days" as Miss M says! I am glad the dumb things I did are not forever remembered online ;) Once something is said, it is hard to take back.... especially when it is written out.

We have a family computer. The laptop stays in a general living area at all times by all kids, and never gets taken to do anything in private. I have thought about when I finally take the plunge and let her do social media, it can just be on the computer. Not on her phone. Is that realistic? Am I being too strict? Her and I have also talked about that just like her phone, her dad and I will know the password all the time and have access to it at any time.

Do your kids have Social Media? What are your rules surrounding it? How old were they when you let them have an account? Do you share accounts? What are your thoughts on the subject?


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