Is Facebook for everyone? NO.
Should every child have their own Facebook account? NO WAY!
Should every child be required to learn about Facebook? As an educator and a parent, I say, “YES!”
Here’s why: Whether we agree with it or not, whether we ‘Like’ it or not, our children are using Facebook (7.5 million children under the age of 13), and if we don’t start educating ourselves and our children about it, we may find ourselves trying to undo things that can’t be undone or trying to fix things that are beyond our control. Many of us have seen this all over the media already, with parents and their children left to their own devices, after something has been done online that shouldn’t have been done and could have been prevented.
Now, the media is telling us that Facebook might “allow” young children (under 13) to have their own Facebook accounts. Shouldn’t Facebook be doing more to help us protect our children? Shouldn’t Facebook be doing more to help our schools to educate our children about it, especially when it comes to bullying and keeping our children safe on their site? It’s as if Facebook has opened up its borders and everyone has been left to “police” everything on their own. Who is ultimately responsible when things go terribly wrong?
We don’t just hand car keys to our children and let them drive anywhere they want to, and yet, with Facebook and other social media outlets, our children have been left to experiment on their own (usually, not a good idea). Who is responsible for teaching them about it? Shouldn’t our children (and adults, too) have to demonstrate that they know what they’re doing and getting themselves into BEFORE they are allowed to sign up for their own accounts?
Instead of banning our kids from Facebook, perhaps we can think of better ways to educate our kids and ourselves, so we don’t get ourselves into those “ugly” situations that wind up on the local or national news. It’s something that we all need to figure out FAST.
What do you think? Should Facebook allow kids under 13? Should Facebook take some responsibility in educating kids? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.