Many of the young people we work with at Ignite are around the ages of 11-13. Though we know many of these young people have an active presence on social media, we have made the decision to not actively promote or encourage their interaction with our social media channels.
We made this decision on the basis that all the main social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc.) require users to be aged 13 years or older. Young people using these platforms (who are under the age of 13) are breaking the terms and conditions of these platforms. Often it is the decision of the parent/guardian of a young person as to whether they are happy for their young person to be using social media before turning aged 13. However, as an organisation we didn't feel comfortable encouraging young people below the age of 13 to interact with us on social media. The growing evidence showing that Social Media brings significant health concerns for young people, only serves to increase our wariness as an organisation around using it.
Despite this, we are also very much aware of the positives of social media. It reaches people in a way more convention means of communication do not. It also allows organisations to reach a wider audience, informing but also interacting with them in a unique way. It is for these reasons that we still maintain an active presence on Facebook and Instagram. As our young people grow older, we will continue to reevaluate our policy on social media. We don't have any problems if our young people (of any age) want to interact with us through our social media accounts. But we won't make any particular effort to push our young people in the direction of these social media accounts, particularly if they are below the age of 13.