Do you let your kids have Facebook accounts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 07-31-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another question.

My daughter is only 11 but her friend is moving and her friend's parents suggested they both get Facebook accounts so they can keep in touch. 11 sounds young to me. I thought Facebook had a rule you had to be 13 or so? But then my daughter says she does have some friends with Facebook accounts already.

Do your kids have Facebook accounts, and how old are they? How old do you think is old enough, or is it a "never" thing for you?
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#2 of 31 Old 07-31-2013, 01:53 PM
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Facebook requires kids to be at least 13 to get an account.  


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#3 of 31 Old 07-31-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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Facebook requires kids to be at least 13 to get an account.

This. I insist my kids follow the Terms of Service of sites they want to use. Lots of people don't, but I do. If the TOS are unfair or wrong, then I'd rather boycott the site.

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#4 of 31 Old 07-31-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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My DD got one at 13. DS is 12 but has not interest at all. His buddies who are older don't bother with it either. I doubt he will.


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#5 of 31 Old 07-31-2013, 10:18 PM
 
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DD got one when she was about 9. We just lied about her age. But the truth is, she really doesn't have very many friends so she didn't end up using it much. It was a novelty for a couple of months and then she dropped it. It has sat pretty empty for a long time now (she's 11 now). 

 

I know FB has rules about being 13, but if I, the parent, am okay with it then I don't see what the big deal is and I resent corporations trying to act like a nanny. I knew her password, she knew I knew her password, and I could check it any time I needed to. 

 

Anybody with an email address can set up a FB account. I've never treated FB as any sort of "forbidden fruit" because it is so easy to get an account with parents never knowing, if the kid is so inclined. And also because I don't see what is so "dangerous" about it. 


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#6 of 31 Old 07-31-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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It's a never thing, for the kiddos as well as myself.


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#7 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 08:23 AM
 
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I know FB has rules about being 13, but if I, the parent, am okay with it then I don't see what the big deal is and I resent corporations trying to act like a nanny. I knew her password, she knew I knew her password, and I could check it any time I needed to. 

The reasoning behind it is that it is illegal for websites to collect certain information on children under 13 without parental permission. In order to prove that they have that permission, they need certain paperwork. Some companies do not want to deal with the paperwork necessary to legally deal with kids under 13. Facebook's rule is to protect themselves from potential legal consequences and extra work. IMO, it's their space, and their right to decide not to do extra work to accommodate people to whom their service is not geared in the first place. Letting your child sign up anyway is like pushing your way onto their property and demanding that they take the risk of getting in trouble over collecting information from your child in violation of the law.

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#8 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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Anybody with an email address can set up a FB account. I've never treated FB as any sort of "forbidden fruit" because it is so easy to get an account with parents never knowing, if the kid is so inclined. And also because I don't see what is so "dangerous" about it. 

 

yep. both my kids had accounts before they were 13. We set them up before a move so they could stay friends with their friends. We also set up Skpe.

 

I'm not a fan of facebook and I don't have an account. One of my DD's isn't into it and seldom uses her account. My other DD runs her entire social life from it. She and her friends have a private group set up that they use to make plans. Its a bunch of nice kids from nice families, and I honestly believe that if I were making a big hairy deal about facebook, it would be more difficult for my DD to connect with them because it is just what they use. It would be like banning a teen in the 70's from EVER using a phone. Since it is what all her peers use, it is what makes sense for her to use.

 

If a parent chooses to make facebook a battle, they will lose in the end. You can win now, and may be next year. But eventually your child will have an account if they want one, and the only choice you really have is whether or not you know about it. (they can log on from school, the public library, their friend's houses, their friends phones, etc.)

 

I think that since this is related to a friend's move, the question is whether or not facebook is such a evil monster that you want to make it harder for them to stay friends. For me, that answer was no.


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#9 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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My kids both had facebook accounts years before they were 13. My daughter made one because about half the kids in her class had a page. But aside from the initial excitement of "friend"ing everyone, she hasn't used it since. I recently tried to get her to make a "legal" facebook page now that she is 13. But she has gotten so into internet privacy that she wants a pseudonym, a screen name only. She doesn't want anything online with her real name and birthdate. smile.gif

My son only plays games on facebook, he has never used his page for social networking. Neither of my kids has their picture posted, and I don't post their pictures on my facebook page either - only my own.
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#10 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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The reasoning behind it is that it is illegal for websites to collect certain information on children under 13 without parental permission. ...Letting your child sign up anyway is like pushing your way onto their property and demanding that they take the risk of getting in trouble over collecting information from your child in violation of the law.

 

I understand why the rules are in place, and I can see for some kids and how they use FB there may be a conflict. But there was no information about my kid to collect. We filled out the bare minimum, lied about the birthdate, and the only thing my kid ever posted was 5 second videos of her cat. ;-)

 

Then again, if FB really needs people to stick to the rules perhaps they should find another way to restrict entry than expecting everybody to be honest about their age. I can't see the Liquor Store being satisfied with a policy like that, lol. 

 

I feel no loyalty toward a massive information-grabbing corporation like FB. 


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#11 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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I don't have a problem teaching my children to think through rules they are given and deciding whether or not they need to be followed. "Do whatever the authority tells you" just isn't one of my values.

 

Thinking for one's self, on the other hand, is very important to me. The world has been changed by people who broke rules.

 

(I'm not saying that using facebook before age 13 can change the world, just that I don't buy that we should always follow the rules.)


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#12 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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D.S. has an account and most of his friends do too, many of which are also Facebook friends with me. He is almost 18 so really even if I didn't want him to have one I would be hard pressed to stop him. I hear the kids are using instagram and twitter now more then facebook especially for things like party planning and stuff.


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#13 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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My kiddo has one,  and has for quite some time.  Its not forbidden fruit around here.  He likes the games.  He likes to be goofy with some friends.  He is not registered with his 'real name' or his 'real email'.  I'm fine with that.

 

FB/ twitter/ instragram/ skype/ whatever the medium of communication - its not forbidden.


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#14 of 31 Old 08-01-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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I do not blindly submit to authority in all cases, but I do not believe that lying on a Facebook application is a worthwhile exercise of civil disobedience, so my 11yo does not have a Facebook account.


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#15 of 31 Old 08-02-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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I made my son wait until he was 13. I just figure there is no benefit to teaching him it is okay to lie about his age.

 

He now has an account and his Facebook friends are pretty much limited to grandparents, aunts and uncles because as he says "Facebook is for old people".  All of his internet "socializing" with his peers is on Instagram.

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#16 of 31 Old 08-02-2013, 09:01 AM
 
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I do not blindly submit to authority in all cases, but I do not believe that lying on a Facebook application is a worthwhile exercise of civil disobedience, so my 11yo does not have a Facebook account.

 

 

What if your 11 old year was getting ready to move cross country and was in the process of saying goodbye to every friend they have and leaving everything that is familiar to them? Would it be an "exercise of civil disobedience" or just ignoring an arbitrary, never enforced rule to comfort your child?

 

Have you ever moved your child cross country?  Have you held your child while they cried after saying goodbye to their friends for the last time?

 

The OPer's DD is the friend of a child who is moving. Isn't it right for us to care about other children's feelings to the degree that we care about our own?

 

I don't buy that it is morally superior to follow a meaningless rule rather than to allow kids an easy way to stay in touch. A 13 year old is no more inherently safe on Facebook than an 11 year old. 


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#17 of 31 Old 08-02-2013, 03:11 PM
 
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well dd got her FB account WAAAAAAAAY before 13 because i got sick of her playing games on my account. 

 

FB in our case was heaven sent at 10 when dd was going through her hormonal ups and downs. chatting with her friends all over the country got her access to a 

'mothering' world where she could discuss issues. 

 

she is very responsible. one of her teenage friends wasnt so we befriended her. 

 

dd has a super private account and we have never had any issues so far. 

 

she mostly uses FB to play games, chat and post Harry Potter stuff eyesroll.gif

 

she is under a pseudonym and cannot be googled. 


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#18 of 31 Old 08-03-2013, 01:08 PM
 
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he says "Facebook is for old people".  

 

Had to LOL. My kids (8.5 and 11) know their parents use FB actively to stay in touch with friends and family. They pretty much think FB is for old people, too. I'm pretty sure something new is around the corner, if not already here. 

 

And Linda, loved what you said about teaching kids to think about the rules and not blindly follow authority. We discuss them, why they may be in place, what the consequences are of breaking them, and choose accordingly. 


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#19 of 31 Old 08-05-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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Ds has had one since he was 10.  He used it to mostly play games.  Once he started middle school it became all stupid meme pictures, sports videos and a lot of "sup?" to his friends.  He also friended all my friends so it's no as if he could manage to do something unacceptable on there and not get caught.  


These days all the kids have Vine or Instagram accounts.  No one pays much attentionn to their facebook in ds's circle.  

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#20 of 31 Old 08-05-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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In my kids' circle, facebook is still used to share silly things and make plans, but none of them put anything personal on facebook. They see that as very stupid behavior.  All of those repeated talks about internet safety from home, school, scouts, etc paid off.

 

In their circle, instagram is seen as a good tool for people to stupid to text -- a form a communication that completely bypasses the need for basic literacy.

 

Its odd how things play out in different social circles. Heaven only knows how they will want to communicate this time next year.
 


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#21 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 03:44 PM
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What if your 11 old year was getting ready to move cross country and was in the process of saying goodbye to every friend they have and leaving everything that is familiar to them? Would it be an "exercise of civil disobedience" or just ignoring an arbitrary, never enforced rule to comfort your child?

 

Have you ever moved your child cross country?  Have you held your child while they cried after saying goodbye to their friends for the last time?

 

 

 

Is there absolutely no other way to keep in touch with long distance friends?  Exchange phone numbers? Email addresses and/or physical addresses?  What did 11 year-olds do before FB? 


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#22 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was a kid, I just lost touch with friends who moved away. And other ways of staying in contact don't seem to work well from what I've seen. Facebook is particularly good at keeping people in touch who no longer live close.
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#23 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 03:57 PM
 
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 What did 11 year-olds do before FB? 

not have so much fun sharing silly HP stuff or silly youtube videos.

 

i tell you when we have the kids over at least the first half hour is spent on the computer exchanging notes on what they found. whether games or silly videos.

 

now that they know about FB or any others its hard to go back. 

 

its a place dd goes to when she is down to see who is online (we both only have those we know IRL) and chat with them to help her cheer up. 


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#24 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 04:22 PM
 
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Is there absolutely no other way to keep in touch with long distance friends?  Exchange phone numbers? Email addresses and/or physical addresses?  What did 11 year-olds do before FB? 

 

 

The same thing people of other ages did. I'm just advocating for allowing 11 year olds to do things they are perfectly capable of doing that are normal in our society, especially when it comes to communicating. I'm not into arbitrary age rules set by companies to cover their ass. I think that is a completely nonsensical way to making a parenting decision.

 

I need to have real clout with my kids so when I tell them "no,"  they get it -- at the very deepest level. My kids 100% know  that I wouldn't tell them "no" unless it really,  really mattered.

 

When a parent says "no" to things like Facebook, they aren't going to have that with their kid. Their kids will eventually figure out that when mom says "no," they need to keep it a secret from mom, because mom says "no" to stuff that is actually just fine to do.

 

I also believe that I place far more value on my kids' social connections than many parents here do, and I don't understand why that would be. Why wouldn't you want the EASIEST way for your child to maintain a friendship with a nice kid, when you know that the next year or two will put tremendous stress on that friendship? Why wouldn't you want to make it as easy as possible? That's just a value difference -- I value my kids having nice friends. I want them to be able to communicate with friends in ways that work for them.


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#25 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 05:09 PM
 
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Mom doesn't say "no" to Facebook for 11yos.  Facebook says "no" to Facebook for 11yos.  Mom says "no" to lying.

 

FTR, I'd probably let my 11yo have a Facebook account if it was allowed.  I won't let her lie.  That's a value I feel pretty strongly about.


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#26 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 07:06 PM
 
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You know, the kids could just exchange email addresses and write. It's not fraud to have an email address when you're 11; it is fraud to have a Facebook account. If the goal is just staying in touch, why not just do the email thing and keep it simple?

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#27 of 31 Old 08-07-2013, 10:57 PM
 
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My 17yo has had an account since he was around 14. He rarely uses it. They mostly communicate be email or text.

My daughter is only 9. I don't believe I will let her have a FB account early (but I could change my mind on that sometime in the next 4 years). She has only recently started communicating with friends through email and "texting". She doesn't have a phone but does have an iPad and can use iMessage to send texts when she has wifi access. Her friends also do this with their iPads or iPods. They have also discovered FaceTime, although at this point most of those conversations consist entirely of how cool it is that they are FaceTiming.

She attends a parochial school in a different town and her friends come from several different towns, so they don't live close enough to just get together all the time. This allows them to stay in touch.

If she wants to talk to one friend or even a few at a time, she can do it with email or text, not FB. She knows the age rules and understands that. She also knows the rules for Internet use in our house. I don't check what they're doing all the time but they know that I can and would see if she tried to do it behind my back. I know they can delete histories, but I can also tell when that has been done and that would mean a loss of Internet privileges.

I want my daughter to learn to respect rules, even if she doesn't agree with them all the time. And I also think its not a bad thing for kids to have to wait for some things. They can have something to look forward to and appreciate it more when they get it.
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#28 of 31 Old 08-08-2013, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, the kids could just exchange email addresses and write. It's not fraud to have an email address when you're 11; it is fraud to have a Facebook account. If the goal is just staying in touch, why not just do the email thing and keep it simple?

Fraud is legally lying or deceiving for financial gain. She wouldn't be financially benefiting, so I can see "lying" but not "fraud." I would not be OK with her lying in order to profit, but I am OK with lying about her age on Facebook.

I find that keeping in touch on Facebook works better for me with friends who have moved away, or friends I've moved away from, and therefore I think it would work better for her too. I can't always think of something to send an email about, but I can comment during the day on what I'm up and comment on what my friends are up to easily. I feel more connected to them through Facebook than through email.
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#29 of 31 Old 08-08-2013, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And I am OK with lying in some circumstances. I remember when I was a teenager and started to feel unsafe telling people my parents were expecting me home at, say 10, when they weren't really expecting me until midnight. That's one example but there are times where lying makes sense and I don't plan to teach that lying is wrong in every case. I think you have to look deeper than the surface to see what's right and what's wrong.
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#30 of 31 Old 08-08-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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Mom doesn't say "no" to Facebook for 11yos.  Facebook says "no" to Facebook for 11yos.  Mom says "no" to lying.

 

FTR, I'd probably let my 11yo have a Facebook account if it was allowed.  I won't let her lie.  That's a value I feel pretty strongly about.

 

 

I can see why you feel that way, and I do think that it is a solid argument against letting an 11 year old old have a Facebook Account.

 

I don't see it as lying because no sentient being knows or cares what is entered in that field. It's just a computer loop that checks for a value, and has been programed to accept certain values but not others. No human being on the whole planet actually cares, so to me, that isn't lying. There needs to be someone of the receiving end for it to be a lie. I don't feel that providing a computer loop with an acceptable value is lying.

 

However, I can see how some else could see this differently and feel that a lie is a lie whether or not it is told to anyone.

 

This definitely isn't a cause of "fraud."  Fraud has a very specific meaning, and this doesn't qualify.

 

Like Meemee, I don't teach that lying is never wrong.

 

I believe that complete honest is a very high value, even a spiritual practice. "Ruthless honesty" is part of AA, and non-lying is the second yama. Complete honesty is very difficult, comes at a cost, and is something I respect. I also think it is very, very rare. The first yama is non-violence. Most people think that non-violence and non-lying are easy, but Gandi said once that the he never got past the first 2 yamas to work on the later ones -- that truly living these principles was all he could do. I have talked to my children about these values, but I don't require they practice them to fullest. To me, that is too much to require of another human being.

 

So yes, I can see someone who practices "ruthless honesty" as part of their own personal growth not allowing Facebook until the 13th birthday. I do think that if someone disallows it based on this, but their child sees them lying about ANYTHING, the child will not learn the value. Our kids learn more about values from what we do than from  what we require from them.


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