Your 5th grader arrives home from school and tells you that John (and you get a nervous feeling in your belly because John is the boy who picks on her and is known as the class ‘Bully’) took a picture of her with his phone and said he is going to take her clothes off in the picture then post it on Facebook.
You are horrified… this creep is tormenting your daughter (and you’re thinking… is he really capable of doing that?) you keep a poker face so the dialogue with your daughter can continue. Your daughter asks you if he is really able to do that. In the moment – you aren’t really even sure – but the real issues at hand is the threat and the potential fallout from this type of cyber bullying behavior. With a little googling you discover that with today’s technology the answer is YES, this little #$%@** can change the picture anyway he wants to and do with it what he likes and if that means posting on Facebook then he can.
Our question is – What is this 11 year old doing on Facebook? This is one of the reasons why there is a recommended age for users of Facebook. Children that young are not as capable of seeing and understanding consequences to their actions. These young children are unable to utilize social networking safely and are often unsupervised in the process – opening up potentially awful results for kids like the ones described above – victim and perpetrator.
Your child, (who does not have a Facebook account), says she doesn’t want you to take it to the School Administration, for fear of increased retaliation from John. (What will happen to this world if we don’t stand up to protect ourselves and our loved ones? Unfortunately this child’s reaction is an all too accurate description of why children don’t report bullying in the first place – fear of increased retaliation).
So how does a parent handle this? How can we protect and teach our children safe practices in this digital age? And the main question we want to tackle today – Why is a 5th grader, age 11, on Facebook in the first place? How are we as parents feeding into a system that is not safe or in the best interest of our children?
Many parents we have spoken with have said, “I let my 9 year old on Facebook because I don’t want my child being “left out” socially. All of their friends are on it.” Is having your child keep up socially worth the safety issues that can ensue from being on social networking sites when they are not mature enough to understand the ramifications?
If all of these parents would speak to each other instead of conforming to adult peer pressure, many would discover that other parents are like minded and do NOT want their kids on Facebook just yet either. Maybe the parents could all agree – let’s wait till, say, 8th grade – when they are better able to make safe decisions, use it for what it is intended, and we as parents will have had more time to set proper guide lines with them.
When we allow underage kids onto sites such as Facebook – we are setting them loose on line to exposure to real life threats, child predators, inappropriate content and increased vulnerability to being involved in cyber bullying. We are basically setting our children up for unsafe situations.
The other point is by allowing our children to lie to open up a Facebook account – what message are we sending them? It’s okay to lie? Well about some things it’s okay to lie? According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project – 38% of 12 year olds in the US were using social networks in 2009. What message are we sending our children if we are directly supporting them lying in this situation? Where will it lead? Perhaps it seems benign, right now – but the next step…just around the corner could be them lying about underage drinking.
So back to our story, where does John, the “bully” from our story fall into this issue? He has a Facebook account, is underage, and is making verbal threats to others. Do you think his parents know about his account? Should they be notified of his behavior? Should this be parent to parent or should the school get involved? We want to hear your thoughts as the reader – what would you do? Is your underage child using Facebook? What guidelines, if any have you set?
If you have an underage child on Facebook – and this pertains to all ages of our kids on Facebook – We at KidSafe Foundation, strongly recommend that as part of the privilege and responsibility for using the site is that you be “friends” with your child. This gives you an open door into what he/she posts, language used by them and others, unfamiliar friends, how much personal info they are sharing and choices they make. Parents need to set guidelines and boundaries with their children and let them know that your privilege for having a Facebook account comes only with complete and open access by you the parent. That to have this privilege you will be having ongoing discussion about “friends” on Facebook, posts and anything else you the parent feels necessary to discuss. This is one way to help keep your child safe on line.
People Under the Age of 15 Should Not be on Facebook Essay
1420 Words6 Pages
There are things in the great world of Facebook that kids should not be exposed to at a young age, and it also can get quite annoying to older people who are using Facebook the way that it’s intended to be used. Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard undergraduate student, who was into creating websites. He started off with making a website that permitted students to see what classes their friends were in, so that they could see their friends in the class and want to join also. Later he wanted to transform his idea to an even greater website that would transform the world of social networking forever. He made a website that connected Harvard students to each other, in which he called Thefacebook. Thefacebook quickly spread…show more content…
There are profile settings that allow who you want to see your profile, without even adding a person if the settings for your profile aren’t secure anybody can see what you do. When managing an account it gives you the options of whether you want everyone to see your profile, friends of friends, or friends only. The things that a lot of people have on their profiles shouldn’t be shared with everyone such as the kid’s interests, address, and the school they attend. This is the basic information that some parents don’t let kids put on their Facebook pages to keep them private. That’s not the only thing that sexual predators feed off of though, it could just be a simple thing that the kid’s post. Some examples of posts that predators might like could be as simple as, “going to the movie’s tonight at 7,” which gives the predator the exact location and time of where the kid would be. They could see a post that is posted by someone else that tags the kid in about being somewhere, which in that case the kid has no control of keeping that post private. Even if the kid has their profile completely private from all outside access, predators could also act like they know the kid, which makes the kid want to add him or her and now just like that the predator has access to everything the kid does on Facebook. It might not even be about knowing people for some kids, I’ve heard of kids adding people to make themselves look popular with all the friends they add and not care who