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letting my kids have Facebook?

(145 Posts)
MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 20:42:08

I know this might be a bit controversial but I just want to know any rational arguments against kids having a facebook account.

My girls have had accounts from the age of 6. They have older sisters (my step daughters from their Dads first marriage) who live elsewhere and although we are all close as a family and see each other regularly, facebook was a fantastic way for the sisters to keep in touch. My eldests best friend moved miles away and she was able to keep in touch with him, share photos etc via Facebook, and they remain firm friends despite seeing each other once a year. Also, the amount of reading, typing, spelling etc involved in using FB is surely beneficial to literacy development?. Also, back in the day it stopped the kids from wreaking my work on Farm Town ;)

I know lots of people think that having kids on social networking leaves them vulnerable to all sorts of predatory people but I fail to see this if the necessary precautions are taken. My girls (at least when they were little) were told that they were not to add people. I added close friends and family to their accounts and sorted privacy so no one else could see their inane posts. MY friends and family have also been told to just block them if they become annoying. Also, my kids know that although they may read (and hear...quite often) swear words they are not to repeat them EVER!

Basically I just want to know what the massive problem is? Opinions please smile

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 20:46:49

I totally disagree with having social networking at that age.

It's a highly narcissistic pursuit and I don't think that children can understand all the ramifications at that age.

Even if you are careful about privacy settings you would have to monitor them every second they were on it. It's too easy to contact/be contacted by people you don't know. And the 'stranger danger' might not be as obvious as it's not a real life person.

They don't need it. If they want to play on a computer why not sign them up for Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters?

janowicz Fri 05-Jul-13 20:50:06

Adults should give children the opportunity to just be children. They can be attention whores and sell their soul to Mark Zuckerberg when they grow up.

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 20:51:31

They did have Club Penguin and Moshi Monster too back in the day. i am genuinely curious about how children of an age where they do not leave the house without their parents can come to harm via a facebook account?

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 20:55:20

They both desperately wanted accounts after seeing their big sisters (and me) on them. Do you remember the kids at school in the 80's who were not allowed to watch telly? I think that eventually the kids whose parents are afraid of technology will soon be their modern equivalent.

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 20:55:33

don't agree with this at all, mine are 8+9 and they wont be having accounts till theyre 13/14 if I can help it. its dangerous, especially with the fairly complex system fb uses ie privacy settings etc

they are many kids sites; moshi monsters, bin weevils, club penguin, name a few....far safer and for seeing family/friends pics etc, can they not just be shown by you on your account?

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 20:55:33


I know that some of it is scaremongering, but if somebody with a children's profile started chatting to your child on FB privately they might assume that it's just another child and someone that they can trust....

They could send them explicit messages or material. Scare the shit out of them. Threaten them. Bribe them. Threaten your family.

Not to mention the fact that it's highly addictive.

For me, there are no benefits for a CHILD having social networking. Let them be kids with other kids.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Jul-13 20:57:19

Facebook terms and conditions prohibit it.

That should be good enough

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 20:57:54

MummaEss- my DP and I are extremely technologically literate.... in fact, we are usually early adopters.

I think it's incredibly short sighted to compare television with the internet- a completely open sourced platform where anything goes.

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 20:58:51

are you seriously going to stand by them and watch them everytime they use it? if not then I would say its quite obvious it could be dangerous- whos knows who they might add to their friends lists-(fraudsters et all often use child cover as their account) and then whos looking at their pictures/information/ messaging them etc etc.........

HeySoulSister Fri 05-Jul-13 20:59:06

So you lied when you set up their accounts?

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 20:59:47

>>>bangs head against wall<<<< confused

janowicz Fri 05-Jul-13 21:01:09

There are lots of technologies that are beneficial for children. That doesn't mean they all are. There is little that Facebook will teach children that is good for them or can't be done better by some other means.

teenagetantrums Fri 05-Jul-13 21:01:16

both mine had face book at about 11 I think, I had the password and monitored them, no problem with my son, my DD was adding random friends and I had to take her of it for a while, I think if you set it up and monitor it there is no problem.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Fri 05-Jul-13 21:01:24

It's not allowed by Facebook until they are 13...surely that should give you reason enough.

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 21:01:30

People looking at pictures cant harm them though, anyone can legally take pictures of my children as they walk down the street. They are older now and to be honest I think they are far more vulnerable as teens than they were as primary kids.

janowicz Fri 05-Jul-13 21:02:40

In fact if you consider Facebook to be 'technology' you probably aren't very technology literate yourself.

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 21:03:00

well you seem to have already made your mind up that its right!

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 21:04:46

MummaEss, there are grown women on this site who have been linked to pages that they found incredibly disturbing.

What if you found out that your children had either been accessing of their own volition, or being sent pictures of dead bodies, of executions, of extreme sexual imagery, of diseases, of horror films etc etc etc?

I'm a hardened person but there's still things that I have stumbled across on the internet that can't be forgotten easily.... why would you even let there be a chance that it could happen to your child?

TobyLerone Fri 05-Jul-13 21:06:46

Also, the amount of reading, typing, spelling etc involved in using FB is surely beneficial to literacy development?

Hahahahahaa! Have you ever been on Facebook, OP?

ravenAK Fri 05-Jul-13 21:07:33

I'm with you OP - my older two (7 & 9) both have accounts, which they use to keep in touch with cousins etc.

I find it quite straightforward to monitor their accounts; I just log in as each of them every week or so & have a poke about. They aren't allowed to add friends or post pictures without checking with me/dh, & their profiles are set to private.

It hasn't proved addictive. In fact, both are healthily 'meh' about the whole thing, which means that they won't be bothering to set up unmonitored secret accounts, which pretty much every 11 year old whose parents think they've 'banned' them does...

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 21:07:53

mummaess- let me spell out to you what I mean, your dc has a sleepover say, with numerous other dcs, they take lots of pictures, most dcs post their pictures on fb, they tag each other into the pics, the dcs all have different privacy settings, your dcs pics may only be viewable to HER friends, but when others are tagged in, it depends on who they let see their pictures-they may be friends/ friends of friends or public, so a innocent phoot your dc posts between friends could v easily become publically viewable.

is that understandable or even more confusing? ^^

Dixiefish Fri 05-Jul-13 21:08:06

Come to that, how do you know the little kids they're swapping pretty dull messages with on Moshi Monsters are actually little kids?

McFarts Fri 05-Jul-13 21:08:20

Sorry i think youre insane! i actually think the age should be upped to 16, FB cause so many problems!!

Why can they keep intouch with their friends and family via email?

mayoandchips Fri 05-Jul-13 21:08:56

shocked that you have given 6 year olds facebook accounts! There is an age minimum for a reason.

You have basically just given them ammunition for when they are older to argue when they ask for something else non-age appropriate- 'Yeah but I had a facebook account when I was 6, why not this'.

And to think when I was six my biggest concern was whether I would ever have my stabilisers taken off my bike. Let kids be kids.

You tell your kids to not repeat swearwords. If you are aware this could be a problem why put them in a situation where they are faced with this content? You're meant to protect them.

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