Do you have a Facebook account? I remember when I was in high school I had to borrow a college friend’s email address to make a profile for myself… well folks, the children have caught on to the same scheme. The kids of today are doing similar things and want to be at the life of the party, the little blue “f” symbol has piqued their curiosity. I was reading USA Today this morning…
USA TODAY NEW YORK (AP) — Though Facebook bans children under 13, millions of them have profiles on the site by lying about their age.
Now, the company is testing out ways to allow younger kids on its site without needing to lie. It would be under parental supervision, such as by connecting children’s accounts to their parents’ accounts. That would allow Facebook to comply with federal regulations regarding children under 13 online.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the development in Monday’s editions. It could be a long way off, or never get implemented, as happens with many features that Facebook tests.
In a statement, Facebook says it is in ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe online.
For all of us that participate in youth ministry – whether it be a parent, youth pastor, small group leader, teacher, etc. I would hope that we pay close attention to what our youth are able to access on the computer, phone, tablet, etc. Though some sites like fb can be seemingly harmless, they too can contain vile ads, inappropriate pictures posted by others and provide “secret” places for private conversations.
How do you as a parent know what your child looks at on the computer? Would love to get some comments on this one, please share!
If you haven’t already…subscribe in the top right corner of the page to get postings delivered directly to your mailbox!
I found the USA Today article here.
Amanda McLaughlin says
I ran in to this all of the time working at Girl Scouts! I would do anti bullying programs in the schools in 4th grade (yes, 4th grade!) classrooms, and when I asked what the 4 types of bullying were, they ALWAYS guessed cyber first. Then my follow up would be for them to give me examples…which they always gave from Facebook. At first I assumed they had just heard of instances from Facebook, but quickly realized that these 8 and 9 year olds had their own Facebook pages most of the time! When I asked how, they said their parents created accounts for them or they used their parents emails to lie. They always got nervous when I would say, “Do you know you need to be 13 to use Facebook?” I would say half the students had Facebook accounts, and majority had their own email addresses, and cell phones. I know there are ways for parents to monitor what their child looks at online (software programs and the like), but it’s a whole other story when parents are allowing them to bend the rules. Kinda scary!
Thanks for sharing Amanda…great feedback!
Facebook will of course try to let young kids have profiles so that its company will grow more. The internet isn’t going away, and knowing how to ease your kids into it is a question with multiple answers. As difficult as it is and will be with growing internet connectivity and hotspots, parents can allow their kids to have emails and facebooks (age limits approving) but know the password and regularly check message boxes ect. This is all dependent on the child not hiding an account from their parents, but parents need to teach values in regards to the internet just like anything else. Stressing also an accountability to God, not just parents, is key. Even when parents are ignorant to illicit activity, God knows and is present.
Justus M. says
that above comment is me.