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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

McBalls Fri 05-Jul-13 21:09:26

It wouldn't be the risk of predatory strangers that'd stop me allowing dc to be on facebook.
It'd be my opinion that it seems to encourage a way of viewing, and ineracting with, the world that is fucked up.
Needy, gauche, self-obsessed...
Also, I honestly believe in 10,15 years time young people will howl at our generation for the tacky over-sharing.

WaitMonkey Fri 05-Jul-13 21:11:21

Why can't they just email/write their sisters/friends ? As a pp has already said Facebook does not allow children of that age to have an account. Think It's an unwise decision to be honest. My dc wouldn't know what Facebook was, similar age to yours. And I don't remember children in the 80's not being allowed to watch tv. hmm Totally different anyway Imo.

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 21:11:46

I dont think my Mum or Nan or either of my girls sisters are likely to send them disturbing images and if you have the privacy right them neither can random members of society.

I am glad to see that some people agree with em on this one. I am genuinely interested in the reasons people disagree though....

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 21:13:24

MummaEss, you might want to actually look at FB there is no way to stop messages coming into your 'Other' folder.

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

Incidentally, the age limit is there because if FB openly allowed U13s to set up accounts, all sorts of data protection constraints kick in, which aren't worth their while.

It's not a legal age limit. It's not even something like BFI classifications. It's a commercial decision taken by a commercial company to cover their arse legally.

They really don't care how old their customers actually are!

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 21:15:01

There is texting and e mail which is as instantaneous as FB.
I simply do not understand the mindset that 6 year olds need to be on social networking sites.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 21:15:17

why can't you use Flickr to send pictures? And Skype to video call them? I don't like it, and be prepared, once they get a few more friends, so see a load of bad language on it - children are not meant to be on FB, and if I want to post that I've had a fucking shit day (or whatever, I wouldn't actually post something that dull), too bad if there are any kids reading it, they shouldn't be.

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 21:15:40

....oh and if they mention it to school I imagine you will get a letter/phone call as you are contravening FB rules.

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 21:16:43

You're right Raven. FB don't care about who their customers are. This is why there are THOUSANDS of misogynistic, sexist, defamatory and all out disgusting pages and groups on there.

They are easy to access, you don't even have to 'like' them to see the content.

I would not want me U13 reading through a group called 'Slags That Want Banged' or "No Is Another Word For Yes".

FlightsOfWhimsy Fri 05-Jul-13 21:17:23

Absolutely wouldn't ever let a child that young have a FB account. My 7yo isn't even allowed unsupervised internet use at all.

They don't have the knowledge or judgement to see what is or isn't safe and there's a whole heap of dangers from sharing information, cyber bullying and god knows what else.

My DCs network by going to play with people. Bonkers.

HeySoulSister Fri 05-Jul-13 21:21:37

Neglectful parenting really

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 21:24:08

Oh dear oh dear. My kids do play out and do all the things kids should do. They did not have unrestricted access to the internet when they were little and enjoyed conversing with friends and family.

As I said earlier, I feel a lot more worried about safeguarding issues now that the girls are legitimately old enough to have an account and are out and about on their own. When they were 6 they would not be able to go and meet strangers at the park. Now, who knows. In fact I am as confident that mine wont as any of us can be but they are a damn sight more likely to now than when they were at primary.

teetering13 Fri 05-Jul-13 21:24:16

Yes, my 8 year old has a facebook account. Monitored, no friends apart from me and 2 other family members ... we are hidden on it. He plays candy crush.

It's no problem if you know exactly how it works ... many facebook users don't though, they assume it's all public or anyone can search for you or message you .. you can set it up pretty much in lock down mode, and if that's the case then no problem. Would he be on it if I didn't have total control? ... nope

CSIJanner Fri 05-Jul-13 21:25:39

My DH does a lot of work with CEOP. He say YABFU and that the accounts should be reported and closed - he says that you wouldn't want to see/hear some of the cases that just start with FB online.

Can you honestly say you have completely locked down their accounts when even grown adults have to recheck their settings every month or so? If you really wanted or them to work on their spelling and English, you could have bought them a writing set. That's what email/FB was called before it was invented. Or skype even, so you can interct in the conversation. Children are not old enough to understand the consequences of what they post online. Do also let them watch 18 horror movies? There are age limits for a reason.

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 21:26:47

Teetering, thankyou! Someone who actually knows about Facebook and not just assuming they do smile Xxx

McBalls Fri 05-Jul-13 21:27:36


givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 21:27:40

As someone else said upthread- you cannot control "other" messages so that ^^ is incorrect

FlightsOfWhimsy Fri 05-Jul-13 21:28:31

they didn't have unrestricted access to the internet when they were little

6 years old is little you numpty.

Jengnr Fri 05-Jul-13 21:32:19

I don't really see a problem tbh, as you as you're putting in the time to monitor them. That's true of all their internet activity.

Although there is the extreme danger of a picture getting shared and a stranger clutches pearls seeing your child OMG!!!

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 21:32:23

Methinks you started this for a bunfight. you clearly think youre in the right and others are wrong. well we have our opinions, you have yours, we are trying to make sure our dcs are 100% safe online, its up to you if you don't realise/understand the consequences of social media use at such a young age

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Jul-13 21:32:42

Just out of interest MummaEss, would you consider yourself technologically literate?

givemeaboost Fri 05-Jul-13 21:34:08

jengnr- how is that not a problem!?
I for example came across a teenage nieces pictures of them all in onsies, they weren't rude pics as such but were imo opinion questionable in the wrong hands

teetering13 Fri 05-Jul-13 21:34:37

You can control who messages you

ravenAK Fri 05-Jul-13 21:34:49

There are indeed some pretty grim pages/groups mrscumberbatch.

I'm reasonably sure that my 9 & 7 yos won't be actively looking to access them (& in the three years ds has had his account, he's never yet had anything like that shoved under his nose by his extremely limited, vetted by me friend list).

When they inevitably do come across something unpleasant, probably shared by one of their peers, they'll be able to ignore it or tell me about it. Kids who are banned from using FB - but have accounts anyway - are in a really awkward position when stuff like that happens, & can find it really distressing.

Tbh, I'd be worrying much, much more about newer social media like snapchat or chatroulette. FB is relatively easy to monitor as a parent.

MummaEss Fri 05-Jul-13 21:35:01

No no they were supervised at 6!! I didnt log them in and leave them to it! Also, I have only just discovered the 'other messages' folder this year, after being a member since 2007.

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