What do you think is the best way to deal with the increasing number of under 13s using social networks like Facebook?
Oh my goodness, I’m not sure. Part of me thinks that social networks need to crack down more - I saw someone suggest that it should be raised to 16 & you need to enter a driver’s license number. At first I thought that was a great idea, but then I thought about it more & more & what do you do about people who don’t have a license, therefore they don’t have a number they can enter? Does this mean they automatically can’t join a social network until they get their license? What if they have a medical condition that doesn’t allow them to have a license?
My other thought was - fine, allow 13 year olds. Allow younger. Just make their privacy settings as private as possible, and unchangeable. Then, I realized that this doesn’t fully solve the problem of 13 year olds fudging their age. It’s easy to pop your birth year up by 3 years. That’s when I start thinking that maybe this is when the whole “it takes a village to raise a child” thing comes into play. I can think of multiple girls from my church who have definitely fudged their age on facebook. I see their profiles and I’m like “wow. You have absolutely no clue how to be safe on here.”
Maybe this is when we develop a new form of reporting kids - for changing their birthdays, for practicing unsafe facebooking. Maybe they have to take a “safe social network” quiz before they can log back into their account. Maybe they have to change their birthday to their actual birthday. I don’t know. I haven’t thought this through thoroughly & I’m sure there’s holes everywhere.
I think, regardless of anything else, parents need to be monitoring their kids social network use more than they are. It’s a rule in my parents house that they have to have your password to social networks. They don’t sit there & comb through our facebook messages. However, they do keep a close eye on us through their personal facebooks. If my mom notices that my sister has a status telling all 650 of her friends the exact dates we’re out of town, she’ll go in and delete it. My brother once had our exact address listed…and that got removed.
When I was 17, I hated it. Now that I’m 21, I get it & I fully support it. I think, in general, parents shouldn’t bury their head in the sand when it comes to their children on social networks. Don’t trust them. I’m not saying your kids are bad - I’m saying they’re kids. They’re the same kids who would stick a hose in an airduct, because it made sense that this thing goes there. You’re their parents for a reason. Act like a parent.
& lose it in the sweet music & dance with me (Source)