Is It Appropriate For Your Child To Have A Facebook Account?
Whether you like it or not, kids are obsessed with images, fans, and followers.
Whether she’s ready or not, we shouldn’t even discuss this topic. Legally speaking, commercial websites and apps can’t enable minors under 13 to open an online account without verified parental approval, as mandated by COPPA. The law was passed to prevent firms from obtaining information about children and marketing to them. Most children can circumvent this limitation by utilizing a parent’s email address and phony birth date.
However, there are also questions regarding a person’s maturity. When youngsters are between the ages of 7 and 11, they are still highly concrete thinkers and cannot consider hypothetical scenarios. Understandably, an 8-year-old child sharing a video on styling her hair is thinking, “My friends will watch this, and it will be amazing!” Not even thinking about who else might see that video and make negative comments or repost it to promote hair products is an option for her anymore.
It isn’t easy to draw broad conclusions regarding the ideal starting age. While some children may be able to use social media before the legal age of 13, in the absence of a miracle, it is quite unlikely that they will succeed. You are the best judge of your child’s character. Find out if she can utilize it in a good way and be kind to those around her.
Establish a Plan of Action
If you decide to allow your child joins in on the social media fun, treat it like you would introducing a new swimmer to the deep end of the adult pool: When you initially enter, go with him and keep a close check on him to make sure he doesn’t get lost. First, sign up yourself (if you’re not already a member) to familiarize yourself with the site’s safety concerns and potential uses.
The next step is to ensure that you have full access to your child’s account by knowing his login and password and following him with your account. According to Slater, even his wife and sister are fans of Katie’s Instagram. A few times a week, I look over her list of followers and double-check that they’re all her genuine friends. (Slater logs in and blocks them if they aren’t.)
As a parent, you can request that your child’s YouTube videos be “unlisted,” which means they can only be watched by those who receive a link from him. Warn him that anybody can see and post snide or offensive comments if they’re public. Geotagging (stamping a photo with the place where it was shot) is another critical safety issue to keep in mind: Turn off location services on your kid’s phone before he posts anything online.
Also, make sure he knows he can come to you with anything strange or scary in his life, such as being bullied by another student or receiving unsolicited contact from someone requesting personal information. Before you give him the gadget or allow him to join the site, you must initiate a conversation and keep it going. The rules for utilizing technology should be laid out from the start (when and how he can use it, and what sanctions he will face if he breaks them).
As difficult as it will be for your big kid to comprehend that his actions now can reverberate in the future, stress the “Grandma Rule.”. Do not post or take pictures of anything you would not want your grandmother to see online.
Assist Her in Gaining Control of “Likes”
On social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the number of likes your photo or joke receives, and even the smallest children aren’t immune to doing so. My daughter, Molly, is obsessively checking the number of Instagram followers she has for the Broadway show Hamilton (I allowed her to join at age 11). While submitting videos, quizzes, and images, she’s had a good time engaging with other fans that share her interests.
But experts warn that social media isn’t all about music and deep thoughts; instead, it’s all about photographs and videos that emphasize how good-looking the person is. It’s dangerous for young girls to be exposed to images depicting attractiveness, popularity, and even “sexiness.” My appearance can be viewed as more essential than my character. Encourage your child to post about books she likes, causes she cares about, and sound messages she’d like to share on social media to keep her profile from veering too far into the “see how gorgeous I am” lane.
Molly’s current pastime appears to be posting photographs and lyrics from her favorite television show to her Instagram account (with occasional shots of cute animals on her account). If she is distracted by social media or starts uploading indecent images, I’ll be the first to know. I am, after all, one of her most ardent fans both online and in person.