Should Kids Get a Facebook Account?
One of the things that can frequently get a user banned from a website is ignoring the Terms of Service that a site sets up. One of the companies that has a huge web presence is Facebook. Love them or hate them, Facebook is here to stay. One of the biggest attempts to skirt the terms of service on Facebook comes from kids who do not meet the age requirement of 13. Apparently, Facebook is not in the practice of taking kids off.
Should parents look the other way and allow their kids to have a Facebook account? Or, rather, should they make sure that any kid that tries to sneak around the limitation removes the account?
Why Should a Kid Want a Facebook Account
Many preteens might want a Facebook account because all of their friends are getting one. I have personally seen kids from church or siblings of former high school students show up as becoming friends with my friends. I have seen them as some of the "people you might know" on the Facebook sidebar. I know they are under 13.
They are probably just trying to be cool, since there are about a bajillion people on Facebook, including some of their preteen friends. Facebook can be a great way to communicate with friends and family who might live at a distance and who are not seen on a regular basis.
Why Should Kids Not Get a Facebook Account
Facebook can also be a great way to talk to friends that parents might not necessarily like all that much. Just about all adults know that kids will try to do things without their parents knowing about it. Growing up, I knew kids who would brag in Middle School and High School who were sneaking out at night on weekends to go to parties. Are 12-year-old kids not among those who would like to party? Facebook could be one of the methods used to avoid parental knowledge.
Another reason why kids should not get a Facebook account is the number of creeps out there that want to prey on kids. The internet is a wonderful tool, but like most other tools, there are some people who like to misuse it. What chat rooms were 10 to 15 years ago, Facebook has become now in terms of anonymous communication.
Do You Think Those Under 13 Should Break the Rules and Get a Facebook Account?
It Is against the Rules for Kids under 13 to Have a Facebook Account
The final reason why kids under 13 should not get a Facebook account is because it is against the rules. This is probably one of the best reasons why kids should not get an account. It is a great way to avoid the problems above.
Some parents are cool with kids getting an account, and that is their prerogative. However, what does it say to young, impressionable minds? Letting a young kid get a Facebook account shows them that rules are not all that important. This can be dangerous.
Some people use the slippery slope argument too much, but it is a possibility in many things. Kids who do not learn a proper respect for rules can fall into dangerous habits. "It is against the rules to smoke crack, but mom didn't think the rules are all that important. It is against the rules to steal merchandise from a store, but dad never stopped me from breaking rules before."
It is possible that a lack of respect for any rules can have detrimental effects on kids as they get older. It's just that the consequences can be much worse than losing access to a social networking site. When it comes to allowing kids to get an account with my knowledge, I think it'll be best to make them wait until at least 13, if not later.