Facebook Eyes Reducing Age Limit For Kids

Facebook’s think about lowering the bar for membership to let in kids who are under 13. The company’s reportedly exploring ways to connect kids’ accounts with their parents, who would then be given the power to decide whom they could friend and the apps they could use. It’s apparently hoping that such a link with mom and pop would lead to a link with their wallets — so the kids can buy games.

As a parent of an adorable tween, who yearns for a Facebook account, let me weigh in. A number of her friends are already there, some with their parents’ knowledge and some without.

The smart parents require their children to friend them, so they can see who the kids are connecting with, what they’re talking about, and what apps they’re using. Yes, it does have a chilling effect, but it also keeps bullying, inappropriate pictures and the like to a minimum. And if the parents want a friend to be deleted, there’s always the parental threat of no Internet access over the summer. Whaa…

But the new rub here is the money. Kids will have an easier time buying apps if there’s an automatic link to the parents’ charge card. As hawkish as her father and I try to be on our daughter’s use of apps, she’s managed to purchase a few on my husband’s iPhone without our knowledge until the telephone bill arrived.

As her 13th birthday approaches, the whining has gotten progressively louder about her desire for a Facebook account. And our resistance is wavering…

What should I do? Tell me in the comments below.

Comments

  1. BY Susan Hall says:

    Despite all the whining from my son, I made getting a Facebook account one of the perks of graduating from middle school. Of course, I was his first friend; his dad was his second. He doesn’t get to buy anything, and he’s shown to be responsible and incredibly, cynically funny. I still think making him wait was the right thing to do, though.

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