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Our subjects were 10 girls, chosen in a completely nonscientific manner: They happened to be gathered at a backyard party at a friends’ house. That’s fine, too.) We also asked the kids for technology tips to share with the adults who read Consumer Reports.The methodology was simple: a round-table discussion around a fire pit on a Friday night. (A note on demographics: “Actually, I’m 11,” Allie called out, “but I’m almost 12.” OK, that’s fine. Finally, we checked in with their parents to get their reactions. In our sample, Instagram was the most popular social service; every kid had an account.All but one girl used Snapchat, six had Pinterest accounts, six had Vine accounts, six had You Tube accounts, five had Tumblr, and five had Kik accounts.Only two girls had Facebook accounts, and they used them mainly to communicate with their extended families.Most of these sites require users to enter a birth date, and so the kids had presented false information when opening their accounts, which happens to be illegal under the broad terms of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. One girl said that she used 1990 as her default birth year.Several thought it was wise to appear more than 18 years old, and preferably at least 21.Who, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson (a fantasy series based on Greek mythology in which Mount Olympus is perched atop the Empire State Building). Hmm, but that’s the size of your entire middle school—all three grades. And some of them are from camp.” Parents said that they made sure they recognized the names of their daughter’s online friends.

"“I'm sorry for keeping you in the dark through all the assumptions.Nevertheless, our panel of 12-year-olds did want their parents (and grandparents) to get a few things straight. One parent agreed that the service was invaluable for her daughter’s school group projects. For one, parents who use Snap Chat—that’s embarrassing.And they have strong ideas about which services work best. ” Another said: “My mom still uses Internet Explorer. Two, parents who can’t switch between Apple TV, regular TV, gaming consoles, etc.I expect I will be asking each of my kids that question tonight.” Their participation in Kik stood out.Kik is an instant messaging and social app that has exploded in popularity in the last year, and that makes it easy to share photos and webpages.

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