What's Too Young for Facebook?

Jeanne Sager
26


Flickr photo by whiteafrican
I got a Facebook friend request last week from an 11-year-old.

I didn't hesitate. "Ignore."

I barely know the kid -- he's the son of a cousin I haven't seen in more than a decade -- so it was nothing personal. But I did the same thing when I got a friend "suggestion" from the father of yet another 11-year-old a few months back. 

I don't friend little kids.

 

Yes, I'm the old lady I swore I'd never be.

I hate loud music at 11 p.m. and little kids on Facebook.

Pass me some Geritol.

But don't expect me to friend your kid. I don't want the responsibility of keeping them safe from my adult opinions.

I post stories about abortion, health care, and alcohol. I have the good sense to keep it all kosher, but I'm not here to keep your 6-year-old from reading my response to Jesse James's sexual proclivities.

And I hate to break it to you parents, but by letting your kids fake their age to get on Facebook, you're breaking a cardinal rule of parenting.

The rules of the site specifically state, "You will not use Facebook if you are under 13."

"It's really important that you stick to your guns with that," says Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, CEO of Pediatrics Now. "Because if you show them it's okay to lie here, but not here, that's one of the ways you confuse your child."

Abiding by site rules, she says, teaches your child "you can't fudge it."

Do you friend kids on Facebook?

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