It sounds like a terrible idea: Facebook is thinking about allowing kids under 13 years old. Oh goody! Let the bullying/exploitation begin. Can't. Hardly. Wait. Please, when may I sign up my 8-year-old for this Facebook Jr.? Because I'm looking for ways to get him more screen time and this sounds fantabulous.
Actually, my son has been asking for a Facebook account for a couple of years. Supposedly one of his friends has one, and while I suspect that kid just uses his mom's account, there's already scores of under-thirteeners on the social network. The thinking is that if they're already doing it, might as well throw open the doors, let all the kids in, and set up some serious parental controls.
ORLLY FB? Fine. Why don't I share with you what I would want kiddie Facebook to look like.
1. No ads. Haha! I know -- what would be the point of that for Facebook? Their angry shareholders would not be down with that. But I'm serious. Don't freakin' advertise anything to my kid. I WILL CUT YOU. Metaphorically.
2. No really, no ads. Just in case you thought I was kidding. I'm not.
3. Total control for parents. I want my child's account linked to mine. I want to see everything he sees in his feed. I want to see everyone who tries to friend him. And I want final approval for new "friends." Any hiding of content from parents would be impossible. I want to be Stalin but with online time-outs instead of the Gulag.
4. Common Sense Media guide for families. It's great that Facebook is talking with other kids' media like Disney. But as an independent organization, I trust Common Sense Media more -- and I would love it if they created a guide for parents to help us teach our kids good netiquette and safety.
As for that growing screen time, I guess that's up to me since I'm the parent. For that matter, since when is it to good parenting to say "oh well, they're already doing it so we might as well set up some rules" -- ??? SMH, Facebook. But let's see what you come up with.
Would you let your younger kids join Facebook?
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