But everyone is doing it…

Is your child social networking? Facebook, Twitter, MySpace…?

Apparently, children as young as 3 years old, ahem, Tori Spelling’s son, are using social networking sites like those mentioned above. What on earth does a 3 yr old need to tweet about? I’m almost 30 and don’t have that much to tweet about and I can read and write. My oldest is almost 7 and thinks tweeting is something birds do.

I personally think that 13 is too young for an account. Heck, I think if you are younger than 13 you shouldn’t have an account on the internet. Period.* For adults, I think facebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends you haven’t seen in years or current friends that you don’t see very often. Twitter is equally great for updating family or blog followers with a quick sentence. But, what could an 8 year old possibly have to say online, to their friends from school, which they see everyday, that they can’t say at school during recess?

Most social networking sites agree with me, and prefer that you not sign up for an account if you are under a certain age. The reason is simple folks, it’s illegal to collect information from anyone under the age of 13.

An excerpt from the Facebook privacy policy:

No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible.

Another reason? Sex Offenders – Just because you live in a good neighborhood with no sex offenders, doesn’t mean they aren’t targeting your child. The internet is the perfect setting for them to locate and meet children online. Cyber Bullies – Many children have committed suicide due to this one.

I’m sure the list could go on, but I don’t really know of any more than that at the moment. So what do you think? Is thirteen too young to have a facebook page? Or do you agree with parents who allow their non-teenage children to have a social network account? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

*I’ll probably be eating my words in a few years when my now 6 year old comes up to me asking for a facebook account. ‘But Mom, ALL my friends have one.’ Lord help me.

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3 thoughts on “But everyone is doing it…

  1. I think 13 is too young for the kids to be networking on the computer. There is too much weirdness going on for them to have their personal information lurking around in cyber space.

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