Is a 10-Year Old Too Young for Facebook?

BestPractices

 

 

 

So Facebook wants to lower the age restrictions. This is just the perspective of one mom, Holly Pavlika, and one teen, Eliza Rothstein, but interestingly we both agree that education is critical.

“One mom’s opinion.”

Facebook is considering lowering the age restriction.  This is going to open a huge can of worms for Facebook. I think most moms would rather say, “Go outside and play in the yard.”

But if Facebook is going to do this they need to create educational tools if they are going to let young children have an account. For those parents who will allow young children to be on Facebook, and most will fight this tooth and nail, perhaps there should be a test and videos to watch that children must take before their account is accepted and activated. We don’t let our children drive cars till they’ve taken both the written and road test.

And giving children access to Facebook is frightening in light of all the issues with bullying. And how will someone so young know to recognize an issue that should be brought to the attention of an adult?

The security, privacy controls will have to be second to none. And what about parental controls? And time limits for usage? And how do you control their friends they are allowed to accept? Is there a gate to pass mom’s approval?

I say tell the children no and to wait a few years till they have some maturity and ability to handle it.

“One teen’s opinion.”

There are currently over 7.5 million users misleading Facebook about their age.  Those users claim to be older than 13, when in actuality they are not.  Kids are lying in order to connect to friends and family and play games.  That seems pretty ridiculous to me.

Kids will do what they want, and the number of young users will be on the rise if consistent with the current trend.  Why not make those young users as safe as possible?

The new child-friendly Facebook will prevent kids from lying about their age.  It will provide parents with the opportunity to teach online behavior and safety rules.  Schools these days don’t give nearly enough instruction regarding online safety, and a lot of it is left up to the parents. This would be a very good learning experience for the child to be online, while the parent still has a majority of the control from their separate Facebook account, if necessary.

It definitely comes with a lot of responsibility, but in an age where the Internet and social media is becoming the center of our lives I believe it is important for children to get first-hand experience while they can still receive guidance from their parents.

 



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