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View Full Version : Facebook - at what age?



dbmamaz
09-04-2014, 01:08 PM
So, Raven, who turns 11 in a few days, has been asking for facebook. We'd been saying he had to wait until he was 13, because thats what the User Agreement says when you create an account.

I know Orion started before that by lying - I think his sister 'helped' him to do so. So we let it go and that was 6 years ago, before Raven was even asking.

At this point, though, we are leaning towards yes. He wants to play some facebook games with his friends, so he cant really use one of our accounts. I know the main reason they limit to 13 is for CYA about bad language and other 'dangers', and at this point I trust Raven to be worldly enough to figure it out.

but still . . .

what do you think?

Pilgrim
09-04-2014, 04:57 PM
I voted 'other' since it depends on maturity level, etc.

DD has an Instagram account (got it when she turned 12 in June) and has rules about only being friends with people she knows in person. We check it regularly.

She hasn't asked for FB, but I'd be hesitant if only because FB annoys the piss out of me. So much crap, so much drivel. If she asked, and we decided yes, we'd definitely put similar rules in place.

alexsmom
09-04-2014, 05:38 PM
I myself play online games that have chat compoments and I see how brutal these strangers can be to each other. And players, especially kids, hounded off the game.
So its not the problem of the friends the kids have for me, but the other people they come in contact with. Plus if you see how much personal information adults put on their facebook, kids lack that discretion and sense of privacy.
So my boys arent allowed to play any mmo games or be *out there* advertising themselves on the internet until theyre grown up. Maybe they will miss out on linking with their friends on a couple games, but most games you can play on your own without the fb connection.
Sometimes I want to grab the parents through their kids phones and scream LOOK WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE SAYING AND BEING TOLD!!! JUST BECAUSE THE GAME IS 14+ DOESNT MEAN ITS SAFE FOR THEM!
Sorry this is something that really bugs me.

PoppinFresh
09-04-2014, 06:02 PM
My son will be 13 in December. I asked him if he wanted a Facebook account, I was going to let him get one now, but he told me that Facebook is for old people and isn't cool. Sigh.

PoppinFresh
09-04-2014, 06:05 PM
I agree with that! I took a wonderful 9 month break from FB for that reason. I made a new account back in June at the insistence of others who seem to think FB is the only way they can contact me, but all I really post are pictures and I'll make comments on posts other people make, but only if they are set to 'friends only'. If someone has public privacy settings I never comment on anything they say, or if I feel I must, I send them a private message.




She hasn't asked for FB, but I'd be hesitant if only because FB annoys the piss out of me. So much crap, so much drivel. If she asked, and we decided yes, we'd definitely put similar rules in place.

dbmamaz
09-04-2014, 06:16 PM
I have a lot of fb friends, but none who offend me - because I will remove them if they do. He does already have a skype account (no idea if that needed an age or not), and a joint google account with me, and he plays various online games. So maybe we just got kinda hypocritical about fb? hmm

ok, asked him - he said he put in his actual birthday and it was ok. then he said no, he put it 1 year older. He said no one helped him. I guess he didnt ask us? But he mostly chats with kids we know. and honestly i like the fact that he's learning social skills on line since he doenst seem to want to go out much either

PoppinFresh
09-04-2014, 06:35 PM
For my new FB account I only have 62 friends at the moment and my rule is that I have to know all my FB friends in person and, while they don't have to be close friends, I have to like them enough to have a cup of coffee with them.

My son does have a Skype account, but the rule is he only has people who he actually knows on his contact list and he also has a youtube account, but he doesn't use a last name or tell anyone where he lives or his phone number or anything like that.

hockeymom
09-04-2014, 07:40 PM
I've never thought about it. I'm not on FB at all, DH has an acct but uses it very sparingly, and I can't imagine DS being remotely interested. None of his friends are on it and knowing their parents, they won't be for a long long time. What would they do anyway? I guess some kids game, but yeah...that's just not our world. If it was, I'd wait til 13 just cause I'm a rule follower that way. :)

Shoe
09-04-2014, 08:29 PM
So, Raven, who turns 11 in a few days, has been asking for facebook. We'd been saying he had to wait until he was 13, because thats what the User Agreement says when you create an account.

I know Orion started before that by lying - I think his sister 'helped' him to do so. So we let it go and that was 6 years ago, before Raven was even asking.

At this point, though, we are leaning towards yes. He wants to play some facebook games with his friends, so he cant really use one of our accounts. I know the main reason they limit to 13 is for CYA about bad language and other 'dangers', and at this point I trust Raven to be worldly enough to figure it out.

but still . . .

what do you think?

My kids opened Facebook accounts at ~10 years old. At the time I had an account, too, and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea, as long as my wife and I had full access to their accounts, so we could oversee it.

Since then, I've deleted my account completely (got some very creepy e-mails from former patients, who shouldn't have been able to contact me because of my privacy settings), and wish that my kids (now 17 and 15) didn't have one. I've discovered that the invasiveness of Facebook, combined with adolescent drama and cruelty, is a really horrible combination.

I wish I could talk my kids into deleting their accounts-they sometimes realize the hurt they have suffered from it, but are blinded by the benefits. But, the problem I see with it is that the hurt can invade right into the home, their sanctuary so to speak, and there is no real way to escape it, as long as they stay connected to it. Other hurtful comments, etc. by phone and in person, can be avoided, but on FB, they are always right there in front of you, even at home.

I'm no longer as worried about creepy adult predators, but by other nasty teens...

My two cents, for what it's worth (probably worth less than that).

Cheers

dbmamaz
09-04-2014, 09:29 PM
Raven already got in to some drama with a kid who he met on a game and connected with on skype. They got along really well when playing, but the kid would suddenly get really mad and block Raven for a few days, and Raven would be really upset. Then theyd play together non-stop for a while, then more drama. I think Raven finally learned to deal - last I heard of any drama, the other kid was mad at Raven for saying he was logging off and then NOT logging off, but seemed to understand when Raven explained that he thought if they kept playing together, they'd end up in a fight.

He mostly now chats with someone we know irl and some friends of his (tho there has been some drama there, too, just not as much)

So really, fb doesnt seem like much more exposure than he already has and . . . idk . . free games. There are fb games where you and your friends help each other, so its more fun to play as a group. My daughter used to let him play some of her fb games that he really liked, years ago.

Avalon
09-04-2014, 09:33 PM
My daughter set up her account at about 12.5yrs. She was going to school at the time and it seemed like one way to keep in touch with some of her homeschool friends and also get into the loop with school friends, too.

Pilgrim
09-04-2014, 10:02 PM
I agree with that! I took a wonderful 9 month break from FB for that reason.

I use FB sparingly now, whittled my friends list down, and have thought about ditching the whole thing. But I admit I'm a Scrabble-holic. Thank goodness for the Scrabble app.

zcat
09-05-2014, 12:48 AM
I think age 13 is a decent age to wait for facebook. I know a lot of people don't and you know what is right for your child and family.

We made my dd wait until age 13 for facebook. We talked about it. We set rules for conduct. We thought she was ready. After a month she had broken our rules of facebook/internet behavior several times (being nasty to other kids, posting pictures to sites without permission, family complaining to me, etc). We removed her internet access for almost a year. Now I have a password for her facebook account. She does not know the password. She only uses facebook while I am in the room. It is going to be like that for awhile. She basically plays one facebook game right now and does not post anything.

Stella M
10-02-2014, 02:29 AM
Other. I made dd wait till she was prepared to write me an essay on how to build and maintain a positive digital image.
By the time she could do that, no-one under 100 was on FB. She has a Tumblr account instead.

Norm Deplume
10-02-2014, 09:26 AM
I'd told DD a year ago that she'd have to wait until she turned 13 (she's 12.5 now), but it looks like she might not bother once her birthday rolls around. Between her texting app, email, Instagram and Twitter, she is already connected with most of her friends. She has plenty of app-based games to play.

Teri
10-02-2014, 10:04 AM
13 at our house. It's not just a FB rule, it's a federal law. If FB isn't willing to do the extra things to comply with the law and make it "safe" for under 13, it can't allow kids to be on it. My kids have gotten it on their 13th birthday. Libby's birthday is today, as a matter of fact. ;)
13+ age limit a requirement NOT a recommendation on Facebook | 3103 Communications (http://www.3103communications.com/facebook-age-restrictions/)

I will say that I don't necessarily agree with the arbitrary age thing, but I am not one to set an example of breaking rules/laws that I don't like.

Aroura
10-02-2014, 10:26 AM
I hate FB, and almost voted never. However, I can't control what my DD does (entirely) after she's an adult, so I voted 18.

I do have a FB account, but I've been considering deleting it for ages. I rarely even use it except to connect with other programs, apps, etc. My DH deleted his a while back. It's just so invasive.

Also agree with Alexmom, the internet can be a cruel place. I also play (or used to) online games and MMO's, and know how cruel people can be with a wall of semi-anonymity between them.

IEF
10-02-2014, 04:07 PM
I hope that ds will choose Diaspora instead for the same reasons I do without having to live through the mistakes I made before I deactivated my Facebook in 2012, but "Never! Not in my house!" is too extreme; I enjoy sharing living quarters with my 22 year old even though he does use Facebook and puts proprietary software on his own computer. ;)

skrink
10-02-2014, 05:41 PM
I don't have strong feelings one way or the other. Dd is almost 13. She's never expressed any interest at all in her own acct. I'm fairly active on FB, mostly because the homeschooling groups we're involved with all communicate that way. I was missing a ton of stuff. She sees me on and wants to check if there are any cute animal pictures in my feed, but that's the extent of it.

beachbum
12-26-2014, 10:57 AM
I'm 42 years old and I deleted my FB page 2 years ago. I am super private and it didn't settle with me a bit that my child's photo (or mine) or name was out there on the web. My husband has a page and he knows DO NOT put our child's real name anywhere and limit photos, I also have his account on the highest privacy settings that I can but I still beg often that he just delete it. Sadly many businesses and things use facebook as a tool and I felt I was missing out on deals, coupons, ect so I made a fake page, fictitious everything. I even have a few fake "friends" so it looks real. I only use it to follow certain pages again to receive specials or announcements. I say it all the time, social media is quickly killing humanity.

BatDad
12-27-2014, 10:50 AM
I am going to leave it at "other" as well. My oldest is nine, so we have some time to see what develops both in his interests and available technology. I will say, it would depend on what fb is used for. My fb is used primarily as a place where I can get news all in one place. The news I am interested in does not play in-depth on mainstream media, if at all. So, my fb feed is for stories from the Planetary Society, NASA, etc.

I am also a member of a few fb groups because as I mentioned elsewhere, it can be tough to have conversations with people in my local area. However, I may give up on that part due to the drama that outweighs anything beneficial. For now, this is a decision that I can put off for a while.

aspiecat
12-27-2014, 11:29 AM
DS has had a FB account since he was 11. At first, I supervised it, and in fact set his account up so I could go into it at any time. When he was 12, something went screwy with the settings and he couldn't log in any more (even the peeps at FB had no idea what had happened as the p/w hadn't been changed) so he set up a new account and he's been master of it ever since.

Basically, he has no real wish to connect with people. He only uses FB to "Like" the odd thing someone puts up and to ping me from his bedroom if he needs a snack LOL. He doesn't use email, he isn't into Twitter or Instagram (although I think he has accounts), and the only thing he uses to stay in touch with the outside world is Xbox Live when he's playing games with others online. Oh - he does enjoy going through Reddit.

Overall, he is easy to trust as he's simply not interested in making friends or chatting with people very much at all. In RL that can be frustrating at times, but when he's online, it's a huge relief for me.

Aspie

Angelia
12-27-2014, 02:44 PM
to ping me from his bedroom if he needs a snack LOL.

Yours too? LOL

On note here, Mine has his own. He created his own account a few years ago and I only maintain my own account for a few groups I belong to and to keep an eye on what he's posting. If I find anything that I feel is inappropriate, I make him deleted asap. I don't allow him to add people I don't know, nor do I allowed him to have his profile or post images that might suggest where we live. And I make sure his settings are private. Though, I've noticed lately he's really lost interest in FB. He hardly post anything anymore, and he's not really keeping up with it.

CrazyMom
12-29-2014, 04:34 AM
I just asked Elle when I let her have a Facebook account. LOL....this is what she said:

"Mom, young people don't use Facebook. It's for middle aged women who are trying to find their high school friends and post really lame jokes to their relatives. Younger people get face book accounts to basically ignore them and lead their parents into a false sense of security about their disinterest "I only got Facebook for the game apps". In reality, younger people have switched to other social media sites long ago, like Instagram or Snapchat. We text and private message. We don't do it publicly. We share files privately. We value our privacy. We respect each other's privacy. Only a few of us are attention whores who think the world cares every time we breathe or have a thought."

So....there you have it.

I asked again what age she got her first Facebook account. She said she wasn't interested enough to have one until theater in high school because they posted updates to the rehearsal schedule and pictures of the plays.

I asked what kind of media accounts she has...and at what age she started them.

Turns out she's had a DeviantArt membership since she was about 10, has belonged to a beta-tester community for a genetics game called FelisFire for years, has talked to people all over the world online since she was 10, she always used pseudonyms, never gave out personal information, and never had a situation that concerned her enough to show me....though she really believes she would have, had something come up. Mostly, she talks to friends on Skype, websurfs with them, and it's all private. She's been working on a LinkedIn page for her resume and work/education contacts.

She assures me that most kids know how to get around about any kind of parental control software available (we never used any, but we did keep computer use in the living room and talked about internet safety ad nauseum until she was highschool age). She further assures me that every kid alive has seen any sort of porn they've ever imagined, and find it tedious and boring now that it's so readily available.

So.....

I guess you learn something new every day. LOL.

I never knew she was a beta tester! The game is really kinda coolio...you get to genetically design and breed cat creatures.

Also....Elle says to beware double accounts. One of her girlfriends kept a Facebook account that her parents had the password to, where she posted a few really tame vanilla things to a few parent-approved friends (Elle was one of them)......and ANOTHER account set to friends exclusive that her parents didn't know about....where she actually talked to people and posted crazier stuff (Elle was friended on this account, too) I guess this solution is commonly suggested to kids whose parents are internet-restrictive.

Ultimately,...it's next to impossible to keep track of what your kids do online. You can maintain a false sense of security and believe that parental filters work and that you'll keep two steps ahead of your kids..... Elle says by eighth grade, it's all over. The kids run technological circles around the parents and simply avoid conflict by keeping their histories clean, their browsing private, and their parents in the dark. Don't ask, don't tell. LOL.

Surely not all kids do this?

Elle says it's more common than you'd ever imagine.

MNDad
12-29-2014, 06:46 AM
I voted never.

FB is a privacy nightmare. Then again, I'm sure any big social media company that wants to monetize its service will become the same privacy debacle. The adage: "If you're not paying for the service, you aren't the customer...you're the product." applies.

I can unequivocally confirm the existence of double accounts and other such ruses mentioned by CrazyMom. DS 18 was the sneakiest of all sneaks. He lived mostly with his mom and his bedroom there could apparently reach an unsecured WiFi network belonging to the neighbor. I never endorsed a FB account for him. Or Snapchat, or Instagram, or Twitter. Ever. But given that explicit parental consent isn't required... And given that cellular traffic doesn't pass through my network...

I understand the impulse to share, which is the foundation of social media. If DD seemed interested, I'd probably steer her toward writing a blog. Something in long-form and under her control.

PoppinFresh
12-29-2014, 08:52 AM
I'm not sure about the blog. I had one for a long time and it was pretty popular. I was even linked to and quoted by the big news stations from time to time. However, I quickly picked up stalker which was creepy. At least on FB I can be private. It is difficult to find me unless I want to be found and nobody can send me a friend request unless we have mutual friends. Every single one of my friends I actually know, and the ones I don't know well are on my 'acquaintance' list, which means they can't see anything I post. I trust my other friends (and my friends list is small) enough to know that they're not going to take the pictures I post and spread them elsewhere. I also never talk about religion or politics, I stick to fluff and mostly pictures.




I understand the impulse to share, which is the foundation of social media. If DD seemed interested, I'd probably steer her toward writing a blog. Something in long-form and under her control.

aspiecat
12-29-2014, 10:25 AM
I personally tried to take an extended break from FB last year, but friends in NZ and Australia kept emailing me to say "I don't like to email! I can only contact you via FB!"

*sigh*

Needless to say...

CrazyMom
12-29-2014, 11:05 AM
"his bedroom there could apparently reach an unsecured WiFi network belonging to the neighbor." This happens all over the place.

We learned the hard way on this one! But in reverse...

I didn't realize that my network was unsecure until the day I got a letter from my phone company....saying that my IP addy had been used for illegal downloads, and would I kindly knock it the hell off or they were going to come after me! LOL. My first thought....was of course Elle or her friends. I asked and they denied it. The phone company listed the movies that had been illegally downloaded using my account...and they were films her peer group would have absolutely no interest in. Sugary Disney stuff that cynical teens would hate...and a chick-flick film about an Indian soccer player (the kids at my house were markedly NOT sports people). Had it been dark, broody, vampire anime or something....that would have been a smoking gun. But the film list didn't add up.

It was a mystery, given that we live in the middle of nowhere, and none of my neighbors (who are half a mile away) have young kids. In the mean time, I got out my user manual for my router and changed the settings to make our network private.

Then, one day I'm outside, and hear two little voices behind the barn. "Shhh! It's not working." I came out just in time to see two tween girls in matching teeshirts with a cell phone go scurrying down my driveway, and back across the road to the woods.....about a mile hike from the Christian Summer Camp up the road.

I entertained telling the camp director, but since I'd secured my network, the problem was solved, so I opted against it. I told the phone company what happened, and they made me promise to keep my wifi secure with passwords. That was pretty much the end of it.

But, oh yeah...kids find a way. Even the best kid.....has a percentage of "sneaky little bugger" in their DNA. They're like people that way. LOL.

ScienceGeek
12-29-2014, 11:32 AM
I let my older ds get an account at 13 but he didn't use it much til this year (almost 15 now). He uses it like I do, likes organizations that post interesting articles - I f*cking love science, NASA, etc. Its where I get my news as well. We are only friends with family and people I know and haven't had any problems yet.

dbmamaz
01-02-2015, 06:10 PM
I ended up letting the 11 yo start an account - and in the month since he got the account - he probably hasnt logged in 6 times.

bcnlvr
01-05-2015, 11:42 AM
When DS turned 13, I offered to help him open an account. His reply: "No thanks mom, I don't have time for Facebook."

Ok then. lol

Norm Deplume
01-06-2015, 09:33 AM
When DS turned 13, I offered to help him open an account. His reply: "No thanks mom, I don't have time for Facebook."



My daughter will be 13 next month. I asked her if she was planning to get a FB account, and she said no. Most of her social interaction is on Instagram; very few of her friends are on FB. A handful of her cohort have FB accounts just for the games.

Mariam
01-06-2015, 06:55 PM
Instagram is way more popular than I expected. I signed up for an account to try it out and I discovered a bunch of people I know are using it regularly.

Maela
01-06-2015, 11:24 PM
I was thinking 14/high school age. 13 seems so much younger...even though I know it's only a year.