01 June 2011

How Young is TOO Young for facebook?

I was intrigued by this article, of course posted by a friend on facebook, asking how young is "too" young. I'm thinking that if the rules say you have to be 14, then you're too young if you're 13 years, 11 months and 29 days old. Sorry, you just are.

NOBODY really follows the rules, though, and people sign up all over the place with crazy names like Happy-Elf Homeschool and stuff. There's no real way of knowing if the person you're playing YoVille with is really a 84-year-old or just turned 10. The internet is the internet, and it really shouldn't matter. Let the parents decide whether their kids get online...

So. I don't get why the facebook people make it theoretically impossible for children under 14 to get an account. I would care less so long as the parents give permission. How to verify that, I have no clue. I don't know how cars work, either, but I do have an opinion on the use of safety belts. :)

This is interesting, though. Could you imagine how embarrassed this child will be by "her" old postings? "Look! My first pooooop!" in the photo archive? At least when my parents FILMED me at age three peeing in the doctor's office in a cup, it was on film. As in, the reels? Probably gone to the dustbin of history by now and thank God for that.

Anybody else out there old like me, and also grateful that our teenage mistakes and embarrassing moments are NOT posted online? Yeah.

11 comments:

  1. I agree, that if Fb says it's 14, then it's 14...period. I also agree with it's up to the parent...as long as the parent at least respects Fb's 14 year old requirement. I don't like the survey's that pass around 'What is your position?' or 'How sexy are you today?'...there is a reason why Fb is saying that it's not for the under 14 crowd. and honestly, I've already told my son he'll be closer to 16 when he can have an account. I just don't like the ads/surveys, etc. Not 'my' kind of kid friendly.

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  2. The age requirement is actually 13, unless it was changed recently. My mother lets my 13 year old brother have an account but he is hardly in it.

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  3. Griffin just read your post title... and said some kids in his class (8 and 9 year olds) have their own Facebook accounts!
    NO WAY are my two youngsters getting on Facebook for many years yet!
    It's not good for kids in my humble opinion.

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  4. I hesitate to put an age limit on the facebook thing, because really the age is irrelevant, it's more about the maturity of the person.

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  5. My oldest is now 13. Yes she is. Anyway, she has a Facebook account. It is heavily watched by me to make sure that other kids don't post anything inappropriate on it. I trust her enough not to write inappropriate things on her Facebook. However I do see everything she writes. That goes for her emails too. All of her internet activity is heavily monitored.

    On the other hand I am very glad that my parents don't use the internet like I do, so that my embarrassing photos or videos aren't online anywhere.

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  6. 2 of my sons have it to play their cute games but they have to have me sign in and in the same room. I choose their friends (which are their age unless it's family). They are rarely on there.

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  7. I love my young nieces and nephews, but I don't think the ones under 14 have any business on the site. They write the most inane embarrassing things that they may regret later. Oh, and their parents don't monitor them.

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  8. Blondee I forgot about those surveys/posts! Some of them are OBSCENE.

    Whoops Megan you are prolly right. I must have gotten mixed up, which shows how I follow the e-trends and stuff. :)

    AUNT B!!! YOU LOOK GREAT!!! Missed you. :)

    Virginia, I am tempted to do the same thing and just use post-it notes for the ads on the sidebars... but my husband would get realllllly mad. And, better things to fight about/we fight enough thank youuuu. lol

    Andrea, the stuff I see, if the parents saw it they would almost legally HAVE to do something. I've seen threats of violence and about everything you can think of. And cleavage. ON A 13 YEAR OLD, she is posting this. Yeahhh, I get on my kids' facebook accounts sometimes AS them and "hide" things like that.

    I'm sorry, 13 is too young to have boobies, let alone flash them at "older" men like my sons...

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  9. PS I meant to include the more I think about it... the more I am inclined to agree with River that it depends on the kid etc.

    Actually meant to write that first and then you see how diligent I was about that... ;)

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  10. I am EVER so thankful there is very little record of my wilder days. I am friends with a lot of my kids' friends, and some of the pictures they post and things they say are going to come back and haunt them, I just know it.

    As for age and FB, my two 10yo nieces both recently got FB pages. They are friends with myself and about 20 other adult family members, so they are highly monitored. I probably wouldn't have found a reason for my 10yo to get on FB, but that's just me.

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  11. These days what I find with my students is that most of them are on Facebook from the age of around 7. Their parents don't always know about it. They know from their friends at school that all they have to do is put a different birth year to sign up for an account.

    As a teacher and a parent, I think at this point, I come down on the side of letting kids open Facebook accounts, but they need to be SUPERVISED by parents (and perhaps even through high school). The only way to correctly supervise high school kids is to ask occasionally (at random times) to have the child sign into their own Facebook account on their own computer (while you are present), and sit and look through all their content and pictures with them present. (The reason for this is that they can post stuff but block specific people, such as their own parents, from seeing certain content.) Anyway, this gives parents a chance to discuss with children what's appropriate or not, and why. A lot of high school girls are posting very inappropriate photos that in 5-10 years are certainly going to come back to haunt them when they look for a job or otherwise.

    These days even young kids are having their own computers. One of my third-grade students just got her own laptop for her birthday. I asked her how many other students in her class had their own laptops. She told me she was the fifth one. One reason, I think, why so many younger students are now getting their own computers is that parents don't want the kids messing up business and banking applications on the adult's computers, in addition to the adult can't use it if the child is using it.

    So I think the solution lies now more in learning to regularly supervise and discuss computer use. Even if your child doesn't have a computer, he will be on a computer unsupervised at friend's houses for example, so I say it's better to let him use the computer, and do one's best to supervise and teach the child how to watch out for himself (like in the past how we have taught children, "don't accept candy from a stranger.") This is a new era and we can't turn back the clock.

    It's obvious the reason Facebook uses 13. It's sort of the same age that it's acceptable to go to PG movies. I think they are trying to limit any legal liability, plus warn parents about the type of content that people have commented on here.

    --Lynne Diligent, Dilemmas of an Expat Tutor
    expattutor.wordpress.com

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)