Social Media and Children
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  1. #1
    Posting Addict culturedmom's Avatar
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    Default Social Media and Children

    Another debate plucked from my morning drive listening to Michelle Martin on NPR

    This morning they were debating the 13 yo age limit for social media. They even played a clip of The First Lady on the Today Show telling Matt Laur that her girls are nto on Facebook because she is against it for children. There was another lady who had no problme sayign she did allow her kids on it even though they were underage because she felt it was a great learning tool. What do you think?

    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/31/136818...r-social-media

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    Posting Addict Rivergallery's Avatar
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    My kids are not allowed on the computer at all cept a couple games right now, they are 7 & 8. Facebook, no way maybe at 13 but I would have full access to the computer and their account and who they talked to and were friends with. It is a tricky and dangerous thing. I think that it also doesn't allow children to form real relationships.. However it MAY allow far away relatives pictures etc. But most interaction before 13 should and does happen face to face with peers.
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    DSD is on facebook. We have had many discussions about internet safety. We are on her friends list and if we see anything that we question we discuss it with her. In most cases it isn't something that she posted it is one of her friends. Usually this results in her saying something to the friend about safety. This has led to a lot of good discussions. Should we ever feel it necessary we have agreed that we can access her account, but she will be there to show it to us. We won't go behind her back and snoop.

    I wouldn't want a child under 13 on facebook. There are just too many opportunities to put yourself at risk. Even at 13 I feel that many are making poor choices about what they post.
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    Posting Addict RebeccaA'07's Avatar
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    Just like with any other social site, tv, video games: it's all in moderation and parents should always monitor the usage. I can't say when I will allow my child to use online programs (like facebook) because I have a two year old and we are nowhere near that point yet. I don't really see an issue with a 13 year old having facebook, again, as long as the parents are monitoring the usage and postings.

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    I wouldn't let him have a facebook account before he had a drivers license. To me, there are too many opportunities for something he says on there to be misconstrued or for him to see material or be involved with something that I wouldn't want him to be exposed to. Since Facebook is being used to help convict and arrest people for things they say, I don't I would feel comfortable giving the entire world insight into the things that may come out of my kid's head. Especially with the bullying going around and the sexting issues this nation is having.

    Monitoring it only does so much. A teenager was recently reported for wishing his teacher was dead and while I think he was wrong for doing it and the parents should definitely be concerned about those thoughts, I just can't imagine having a few words posted on a social media website affecting the rest of my child's life before he's capable of taking responsibility completely for his actions.

    eta- I would have no qualms about him using mine to connect with his family or friends of the family with messages and pictures though. I'd rather assume the risk than have his name on it.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    I'm fine with the 13yo limit, and I'd put it even higher myself. Kids don't need computer games and social media, they need to play actively and they need to socialize in the real world. The screen time can come when they have the necessary and appropriate IRL social skills, a reasonable attention span, and good exercise habits.

    We do let Tiven send emails to her grandparents from one of our accounts, mostly photos she's taken or pics of her & Weston, but she won't have her own email address or Facebook account for a very long time.
    Last edited by Spacers; 06-02-2011 at 01:26 PM.
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    We've allowed the kids starting FB as young as 13, but not any earlier. We may make an exception for our younger kids so they can establish better relationships with their cousins who live across the ocean. My older kids didn't ask until they were in 8th grade or later. The interest wasn't there. We have always had the rule that we will be saving all logs for any instant messaging as well as site history, etc. that they knew we would periodically check up on randomly and absolutely if something were in question. They had no issues about their lack of privacy as they knew it was for their safety we were concerned with and not simply snooping.

    We would never allow them to use our FB accounts or any other social network site where they can leave statements where we, as adults, could be questioned or charged with. I would still allow them to have their own accounts after discussing what is appropriate to post and what isn't. Airing dirty laundry, feelings, thoughts, or gossip about other people, raunchy pictures, etc. are not allowed to be on my kids' FB account, even if posted by others. They are all friends with me and extended family and, prior to turning 18, I would monitor all information that was streamlined and had some information removed immediately upon discovery, especially from friends. That's how they learn what is suitable material and what is not.

    Even if some parents don't allow it in their home, many schools allow accounts to be created on the school computers for sites that are allowed for the age. I know our HS does allow FB for them to check when not in class. So even if it's not allowed at home, accounts may exist for a child. I would also prefer it to be at home with us knowing so we can guide them better in handling that account.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beertje View Post
    Even if some parents don't allow it in their home, many schools allow accounts to be created on the school computers for sites that are allowed for the age. I know our HS does allow FB for them to check when not in class. So even if it's not allowed at home, accounts may exist for a child.
    Nope. The school offers computers for use for learning purposes, and sites that don't serve a learning purpose cannot and should not be accessible from school computers. Facebook is not an educational tool and it never will be despite Zuckerman's claims. If my school allowed access to Facebook on school computers, there would be hell to pay! Heck, I can't even get on from work, why should my kids get on at school?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Nope. The school offers computers for use for learning purposes, and sites that don't serve a learning purpose cannot and should not be accessible from school computers. Facebook is not an educational tool and it never will be despite Zuckerman's claims. If my school allowed access to Facebook on school computers, there would be hell to pay! Heck, I can't even get on from work, why should my kids get on at school?
    Well, I know for a fact it is allowed at our high school. I also know that they can use them and do use them for surveys which may be useful in sociology or other school research projects to collect social data. Our work even allows it for certain computers as well as it provides more information on our clients.
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    I think 13 sounds like a good number, but I really think it depends on your child.

    There needs to be such an incredible understanding that whatever they post will NEVER go away that many kids at 13, 15, 16 may not grasp fully.

    I do think that constraints need to be put on the computer for kids under 17.

    I remember when I was 16/17 and aol instant messanger was just coming around and I had some encounters with people I shouldn't have and honestly it was because I was an incredibly naive young girl who thought these guys just wanted to "talk". Its not something I want my child to be put into danger because of.
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