Posted by: lennabo | May 12, 2011

Underraged Facebooking

According to Facebook laws, you technically have to be 13 years or older to create a Facebook account. But let’s be real, how many tweens under 13 really abide by this law? If a tween under 13 wants to create a profile on Facebook there is not much stopping them. But are the parents going to do anything about it? I guess not, because a Reuters report has recently announced that the amount of parents allowing their 10-12 year old kids have a Facebook has doubled in the last year. Instead of 8%, (last year’s numbers) 17% of the parents questioned today claimed they had no problem allowing their child on Facebook. Janet Taylor, clinical instructor of psychology at Columbia University says that “More and more parents are allowing their children on Facebook at younger ages, it’s not alarming but it means we need to be more aware and figure out the best way to utilize social media. Most parents think that teens under 18 should not be able to keep their account to themselves while 1/3 monitor their usage. But 44% of parents limit the amount of time their children spend on Facebook.

At least parents aren’t completely ignorant to their children’s active behavior on social media websites, but is this ethical? Of course these children are breaking the law (which is something to question when it comes to monitoring) but what are the damaging effects for children that young being active on a social media website with many other people around the world. I wanted to star a conversation on this one, what do you guys think? Should parents increase restrictions on their children for social media? Or is it okay to be more relaxed on the topic when considering the changing times?

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Responses

  1. As an eleven-year-old I made my first AOL instant messenger account, and thought that it was the coolest thing since the Tamagotchi. Now that I look back on the days of screen names and waiting up to be able to talk to friends for hours, I realize that I was so young. I remember thinking I was so mature, but as I think about tweens getting on Facebook, I think it’s a little ridiculous. As much as I love Facebook, I don’t necessarily think that making a limit on how old someone can be to use the social media platform is going to stop anyone.

    As social media begins to play a huge part in our culture, I think it will be important to teach appropriate ways to navigate around a site. By addressing the issues of online behavior early, there can hopefully be a solution to how younger and even older people conduct themselves online.


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