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Marija Kovačević

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How young is too young for social networking?

Kids nowdays have facebook accounts as soon as they start reading. I had to make a special group of my fb friends who are under age (mostly family friends' kids), so I can block certain content from them.
But today, a 10 year old girl posted some photos of her friends. The girls wore little clothes, one only a shirt, and the picture was titled: Be stupid!, as the famous jeans company campaign. I found the pictures disturbing... and got me thinking how easy it is for the creeps on the internet!
So, I'm asking you:
Should there be/is there a way to control the kids online, now when there are so many "security" features on facebook? It's easy to hide a picture/a post only from certain people (like your parents)
Is it really important for a 10 yo to have a facebook/myspace/google+ account?


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  • Aug 10 2011: Unfortunately, this goes back to the parents. It isn't hard to say "I have all your passwords, you only use the computer in public areas of the home", and to explain to them clearly what is acceptable and unaccpetable despite what their friends might be doing. It's a crazy new concept I call "Parenting".

    So I see no reason for 10 y/o's to be barred from social networks. My 9 y/o has a FB account. I have his passwords, all his messages are directed to my email, and he only uses it when I am around. He gets a kick out of it, and so do his friends (who frequently message to ask if he is allowed to come out and play, which I must say works nicer than in my day when we used to just show up at the door).
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      Aug 11 2011: Hey Jason I totally respect your view and the way you handle it ( since I dont have a kid I can say that probably I would have done the same things ) I have just one critical objection. Maybe it is because of my nostalgia , I would prefer neighbor kids knock my door to ask my kid out rather than page him or e-mail him.
      • Aug 19 2011: "I would prefer neighbor kids knock my door to ask my kid out"
        That is probably still true in small communities, in cities however its a lot harder, when I was in primary school my best friend lived one hour away by bus, I couldn't exactly just show up at his door.

        I totally agree with jason on this one, the kids Marija mentions were taking semi nude pictures of themselves and publishing them openly, I think its a much greater issue the fact that they are doing that than the possibility of a creep downloading them.
        Why? because the first gives place to the second for starters.

        If the kids are well taught they would be able to enjoy FB and similar mediums without feeding the creeps. A healthy father-child mother-child relationship is more often than not the best defense against inappropriate content and untrustworthy strangers.

        I often hear the argument "with todays media its almost impossible to properly educate our children!"
        This often leaves me the taste of "with todays media its almost impossible to keep our children in a bubble!" which is not the same as educating.

        The day I have a child the first thing I'll teach him is to think for himself, then come consult me, and then do some more thinking.
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      Aug 11 2011: I must agree with Erol, I loved when someone of my friends would just show up at my door, and ask my mom if I am allowed to go out to play :) Looks like now even kids are on schedule!
      • Aug 11 2011: I was being a bit facetious, I wouldn't really mind if they just showed up. One thing though, my friends all lived very close to me growing up, but I'm guessing school boundaries expanded between then and now, so sometimes the distances to friends are just too much for them to just walk over. So I do think it helps them connect and manage the friendship at greater distance.
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        Aug 18 2011: At the risk of sounding like a fuddy-duddy...I prefer when kids notify us ahead of time, as often we ARE on schedule.... I feel it's a bit of an unfair situation when my son's friends show up, often just as we are about to do something and ask if he can play. I could say, "no, we're going grocery shopping" whatever, but then I'm the Bad Parent...and unfortunately, where we live borders on properties that are occupied by the not so socially acceptable, let's say and I wouldn't feel safe leaving them to their own devices.

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