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Children and facebook

Updated on February 12, 2012
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When would you consider is the right age for child to join facebook? To be honest I’m not sure of the answer myself yet. What I do know though is that it won’t be just yet. One evening my daughter came up to me and asked if she could join facebook? The answer was no. She told me that most of her friends were on facebook and while I appreciated this I still felt that it just wasn’t appropriate for her just yet. She’s ten and there are still a lot of things she needs to learn and understand. I’m not stopping her from going onto facebook because I’m an evil parent. I have my reasons that I feel are reasonable and when I feel comfortable enough to let her go onto facebook I will. But right now I really feel she’s too young. Below I list my reasons.

Wolves dressed as sheep

Facebook is the new stalking centre. It is where predators now find prey. It may sound OTT but this is a reality. Children are vulnerable and can be very gullible and trusting. They will befriend almost anyone without question, it’s what children do. It’s the innocence of being a child. A part of children that I like and this is why it is my responsibility to be the voice of reason and guidance. There was a very disturbing documentary on TV once and this was about adults. A woman befriended a man disguised as someone else. They had relations over the internet and this man believed she was an eighteen year old. When it all came out it was discovered that this woman had used pictures of her eighteen year old daughter pretending to be her. She was in fact a married woman in her forties. Its things like these that make me think. If a grown man can believe this without even questioning it, how much more a child?

Perhaps her friends are on facebook, what is stopping some adult disguising themselves as the child and starts talking to my child. Unfortunately this is the kind of world we live in. We can no longer just say to children, ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ because now strangers can easily disguise themselves. As she gets older and I’ve educated her and helped her as much as I can and I feel comfortable within myself I will let her go onto facebook. But she will be a lot older then. Right now she really can’t tell the sheep from the wolves.

Bullying never stops

Before facebook and all these social media sites when you left school the bullying stopped. You knew you could take a break from it. But with sites like Facebook the bullying never stops. It can continue even after you’ve left school. Thankfully my daughter is not being bullied but someone I know relayed a story to me that broke my heart. A child was constantly bullied at school and the bullying never stopped. It continued on the site. Yes it may well be that the child could delete their profile but the fact remained that this child was being picked on. It got so bad for this child that it really was cause for concern. The point I’m trying to make is that even though facebook is a great social site, it is also a place where children get to torment other children.

Entering you home private life

Children are innocent in that sometimes they don’t understand what and what not to say. Until a child is mature enough to get that I will keep her off the site for a few more years. A child could innocently say something that wasn’t supposed to be mentioned in public that could make your household vulnerable. We as adults are constantly being reminded to be careful about what we mention on our facebook status, i.e. ‘I’m on holiday!’ only to come home and find your house burgled. It happens, I’ve heard it happen and if adults are doing this, what’s stopping a child from doing it. They mean no harm nor do they understand the consequences it may bring.

These are just a few things I’ve considered and feel that she isn’t ready for Facebook. She can take a look at mine and see family on it but having her own account at the moment isn’t going to happen. I have nothing against parents who choose to allow their kids on facebook, each parent knows their child. All I know and feel is that right now my ten year old is still a little too young to be on facebook. She has understood that and I’m glad she has. When I feel she’s ready, which I don’t know when that is, I will allow it. But right now it’s not the time. That’s just my two cents on the matter.

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    • lin8t profile image
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      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Lizam1 for your comment and I am glad that this is working for your children. It's always a good thing to make decisions based on what you feel comfortable with. And this seems to work for you and that's great as you know your children.

    • lin8t profile image
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      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi breastpumpreviews and thanks for your comment. I am glad that this is working out for you and your daughter as you know her better than anyone. I always believe people should do what feels right for them.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for your comment cat on a soap box, you bring up some valid points that I am sure many will find helpful. Each family should do what they feel is best for their children because they know them better than anyone else.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for voting up and for your comments. Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends and then there is the other side to it as well. I agree that the 18yr rule solves the problem.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment cardenlean. I agree with the age restriction as its there for a reason. You are absolutely right that each family must make each decision suited to their own family.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      I have two daughters. Saying no would have been one way to go but I chose to create trust and responsible use. The girls are 12 amd 14. They are not allowed computers in their rooms and I have full access to both accounts. Last year we had to deal with an issue but it was a good learning moment for my daughter. I would be concerned that a no may lead to your child keeping things secret from you down the road. There are security features and good information from school counsellors and local school police liaison that could help.

    • breastpumpreviews profile image

      Christy Garrett 5 years ago from TX

      We allowed my daughter to have facebook at the age of 14. It is fully supervised with ground rules that we have established. We have full access to the account including passwords. She has to leave us on her facebook page. I feel that it is important to teach them the proper way to use facebook with ground rules, than come the age of 18, they can go crazy with it. This way my child can learn the dangers of the internet young and while we can help her if she does encounter some issues.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      You bring up many good points for concern! The bullying and stalking issues are foremost in my mind. Knowing the emotional maturity of your child and having clear rules about internet use before allowing kids to have FB is crucial. In general, I think HS is a good starting point for most. Parents should be allowed to access a child's FB at any time until they are 18. Kids should personally know (have met) the ones they befriend BEFORE adding them, and no personal info ie. home phones, addresses, or home identifying features should be posted. If necessary, have your child sign to the agreed rules in contractual form, so there are no disputes later on.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Like anything, Facebook can be used to good ends or abused. It's such a new technology that many parents don't have guidelines on how to let their kids use it. The age 18 limit solves that issue. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      You bring up some very valid points. My children are still small, 5 and 3, so we do not have to tackle this beast right now. And I'm sure that once my children reach "that age", there will be other things that they will want to do.

      I personally feel that children should not be on FB. The age is 18 for a reason. If my child came to me and said that her friends have a FB account, I would kindly remind her that I am not their parent and if I were, they wouldn't have one. For me, the reason the is most important is the bullying factor. It is really scary to see and hear some of the things that are written on people's walls. Why take the chance of something greater happening? Every person has to make that decision for their own family, but personally, I agree with you.