A Neilsen survey says that, on average, a teenager sends 3,400 texts a month, and a Kaiser Family Foundation study shows that youth from 8 to 18 spend almost eight hours a day in front of electronic screens, according to CNN.com.
"As pediatricians who are trying to help children behave in ways that keep them healthy and safe, we have to pay a lot of attention to what's happening in social media," Dr. David Hill, chairman-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics' council on communications and media, told CNN.com. "This is an uncontrolled experiment we're running right now. How does the human organism — particularly the developing brain — adapt to this kind of input? These are questions we are tackling."
The media reports almost daily on the foibles of adults who are tripped up by their use of social media. Private messages can be copied for all to see — as in the recent case of meteorologist Geoff Fox — and emails can be the subject of an FBI investigation — as in the case of Gen. David Petreaus.
But what about kids whose frontal lobes aren't quite fully developed. Should they be held responsible for posting or texting something that's not quite appropriate? Some colleges now say they review the Facebook postings of applicants on top of reading their applications and essays.
Do you worry about what your kids post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram? Tell us in comments.