Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Michelle Obama’s Facebook Warning: How Young Is Too Young? - TIME NewsFeed

Michelle Obama’s Facebook Warning: How Young Is Too Young? - TIME NewsFeed Parry Aftab was thrilled to learn that the First Lady understood that Facebook is not for preteens. Its terms of service expressly restrict users to those 13 and over. Parry wishes that more parents understood this and talked to them about lying about their age if they try and set up an account before they are old enough. "If more parents understood that Facebook is for users 13 and older and helped enforce that rule, children would be safer. It wasn't designed for preteen users." Further, if children lie about their age, people they wncounter have no idea they are communicating with a child.
While the US Secret Service does a great job protecting the First Children online and offline, most parents have ot do it themselves. Take a tip from the First Lady. Keep your preteens off Facebook until they are old enough to use it honestly. Then play an active role in their lives, not just on Facebook, but on their cellphones and email, IM and YouTube. Friend them. Learn their passwords. Make sure they are using the new privacy controls and only sharing what they should.
Parenting, online and offline, begins at home - whether your home is the WhiteHouse or that dutch colonial on the corner.

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