Today, everybody is on the social media. Being social has a totally different implication, altogether. Everybody wants to have a social media account, especially a Facebook account. With so much that you can do on Facebook, everybody wants to be socially active on Facebook. It is a great way to stay in touch with friends, share pictures, chat with people, share and promote your business and much more. Like two sides of a coin, Facebook also has its evils. We almost share our personal lives on Facebook, and there are online predators, who are out there to take advantage of this and do harm to ourselves and our loved ones.
We make friends on Facebook, without even knowing about a person or share our personal details, chat with someone unknown or even agree to meet. In this age of cyber crime and online thefts, even adults are not safe, so will you endanger your child by letting them loose in the digital world?
Well, this is a long debate, but I guess, parents will agree at some point that social media can get ugly and they need to protect their kids from it. You, probably cannot stop someone from technology or the Internet today, but you can always safeguard your kids and educate them, about both the good and bad effects.
As per Facebook rule and regulation by the Children’s Online Privacy Protect Act (COPPA), a child is not allowed to join before the age of 13. However, there was a controversy when Facebook said that they can allow kids under 13 also to join Facebook, but bound by COPPA. However, COPPA doesn’t necessarily stop Facebook for this, but they say that the site operator needs to have verifiable parental consent before children disclose or share information over Facebook.
However, you will be surprised that there are more than 7.5 million Facebook users, who are under the age of 13 years and around two-third of those are under the age of 10 years. And, how did they open the account? Simple, either they or their parents lied about their age.
Kids only see the good things about maintaining a Facebook account, sharing status messages or personal photos, but they do not understand the evil implications of the same. Even, some parents feel that if they regulate their kid’s account or they themselves share personal photos, nothing will happen. But, they are unaware about the scope of harm that online predators can do.
Keeping yourself and your kids updated with the latest technology and trends is fine, but putting your own private life and your kids up for display over the web is not wise. Due to the growing rate of cyber crimes, kids under the age of 16 or 18 should not be allowed to have a Facebook account. Moreover, it also depends on your child’s ability to understand and handle social media and technology.
There are many other ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Kids need to understand that just because of peer pressure that cannot ask for anything, which can have dire consequences. On the other hand, parents also need to keep complete control over their child’s account and not let them use it without their supervision until they are adults.
To be frank, the age is not the issue to discuss here; rather the maturity, knowledge, awareness and the application are more important. Anyone can be prone to unknown dangers over the web and it is important to use it wisely, without giving predators a chance to make them their prey.