Facebook: How Old Is Too Young?

Recently, my twelve-year old son asked me if he could get a Facebook account.  After  looking into it, I came to the conclusion that he could not at this time.  I explained to him the policies and reasons Facebook would not allow him to have one and he understood them.

After being fully aware of this policy, I was quite surprised of the numerous amount of children under 13 years old who do have Facebook accounts.  Parents you may want to re-read Facebook’s policy about information that is on their site (click here ).  This may not be very popular, but here are a few of my thoughts on why your child under 13 years old should not have a Facebook account.

  1. Someone had to lie to set up the account.  The first moments of setting up the account you are asked your age.  Facebook will not proceed with setting up the account if you type in an age that is not 13 years or older.  What does that tell your children?  Answer: if you want something bad enough it is ok to lie.
  2. It is a stated policy.  Raising our children to buck authority is a big issue with me.  I know many can feel we are all inundated with rules and policies.   I think setting standards for our children to obey rules is  not only spiritual but a gift.
  3. Facebook an adult based site.  Facebook is full of adults who cannot filter their language or actions. Most parents would be offended if certain language or actions where taking place in front of your child in public.  Why not on the computer?  Protect them from it.

You might feel your child under 13  years old is mature enough to handle their own Facebook page, and you maybe right.  You might feel that because  you monitor your child’s Facebook that nothing bad will get past you, and you maybe right.  The people at Facebook feel that those under 13 years old are not ready for what their site offers, mainly because it wasn’t designed for Children, and I know that they are right.

Would love to know your thoughts.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dawn on March 23, 2011 at 2:12 am

    You nailed it, Brian! Brayton asked for an account and has been told he has to wait until 13 simply because it’s the rules. With that big day less than 2 months away it seemed close enough for him. I asked him if his having a Facebook account was worth my sinning. He was shocked and indignantly said, “No!”. I sat quietly and let him think it through. After a minute or so, he said “May 11” as a question. He knew the right answer was to follow the rules! We cannot tell our kids to follow the rules if we bend them to meet the whims our children have!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Brian Nall on March 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Absolutely correct! Those are some very good points. I have a hard time just leaving the room when my kids have to use the internet. Why would we put our kids in harms way like that? I’ve also had young children (whom I don’t even know) request me as a friend, just because I know their parents. That doesn’t even make sense. And speaking of sense, many adults don’t have enough to be on fb, not to mention children!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tawnya on March 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the post Brian! I personally have received requests from kids that I know are under the age of 13. It is nothing personal, but I do not accept them as friends on Facebook due to the policy that they are underage.

    Parents are sometimes naive to the dangers of children involved in social networks. There are some weirdos out there in this world! Please take every caution to keep your kids safe!

    Reply

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