No, not your students, your children. Because if so, you’re in the minority…. barely. In a recent survey of 1000 parents, 38% of the families had children under the age of 13 already with a presence on Facebook. Seem crazy? Then you’ll really be blown away when you hear that 40 of those families have Facebook profiles created for children under the age of 6.
I have to admit, I’m not shocked. In fact, I’m surprised those numbers aren’t higher. Hopefully FB won’t throw down the ban hammer on me, but we have Facebook profiles for both Aiden (5) and Ruby (1) already. They aren’t using them of course, but Jess was inclined to set it up and I saw no reason not to (besides those pesky TOS things). It makes it easier for us when we post photos because we can tag them properly. And sporadically Jess posts on their pages. Eventually, we’ll have a conversation about it with them and turn them over. But when we do, it’ll be with a plan and done with mentoring and parental oversight. They’re going to wind up there anyway, why not make it part of the coming of age process and keep it ‘above board’?
Believe me, I know about concerns about cyber-bullying and safety. But in my mind, the best way to address those is to keep the conversation as open as possible, and the level of trust high. Th real problems hit when kids feel like they have to hide their actions from their parents. Because then when something goes wrong, they feel they have to hide that as well.
- 38% of kids on Facebook are under the minimum age of 13 (zdnet.com)
- Tech Report: Study Shows Importance Of Teaching Kids About Cyber Bullying (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Tech Report: Facebook Sees Growing Number Of Users Under 12 (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Facebook could give kids edge (news.ninemsn.com.au)