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Parents Unconcerned About Kids on Facebook?

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Parents Unconcerned About Kids on Facebook?

By Monica Wilcox

Consumer Reports just came out with some startling evidence about age limits and social media: of the 20 million minors on Facebook, more than 1/3 (7.5 million) are younger than age 13, the age limit set up by the site. Five million are 10 and under. The shocking news was that the parents of this younger group are largely unconcerned. Only 18 percent of parents in this group are “friends” with their child, and only 10 percent said they have had a frank discussion about proper Internet behavior.

Facebook responded by saying, “We appreciate the attention that these reports and other experts are giving this matter and believe this will provide an opportunity for parents, teachers, safety advocates and Internet services to focus on this area, with the ultimate goal of keeping young people of all ages safe online.”

Alright, let’s take this opportunity. Join me for a chat.

We Create, But We Don’t Monitor

The problem with most parents today is we don’t get it. How could we? We were the creators. We were the ones ogling over the power of Atari, totting our Merlin, testing our abilities in Dos. And the miracles kept coming: speed-dial, caller-id, VCR, CDs, and DVDs. When we were 10 years old, “computer geek” was an insult, not an identity. We are damn good at creating technology miracles in someone’s garage. If only we’d been as gifted knowing how to live appropriately with all this technology.

Our generation has done an abysmal job applying the power of the Internet for our society’s highest good. We’re electronically transferring images Hustler would never publish, making indecent proposals to absolute strangers, bashing and bullying and hating faster than the speed of light — all without the consequences of seeing the impact first hand. I could feasibly cause someone — anyone — great emotional harm at this very moment on my Facebook page and would probably GAIN “friends” for doing so.

And yet, here we are, parenting our kids through a technological world. Just last night I asked my husband what the weather was supposed to be this week.  He looked at the iPad, laptop, iPhone, NOOK Color and computer surrounding us and said, “Take your pick.” Technology is going to entrench itself into our children’s lives in ways we can’t imagine. Keeping technology from them would be a huge an injustice to their future.

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6:40AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Where did we fail in educating today's parents?

6:56PM PST on Dec 1, 2011


10:31AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

facebook used incorrectly can ruin a person's life.

4:31AM PDT on Jul 6, 2011

Seems that legislation is less critical than spending time with a child to talk about appropriate communication.

2:27PM PDT on Jun 16, 2011

Are we really passing the buck again? REALLY? FYI! We should be the ones (parents) to be teaching our children how to behave AT ALL TIME but how many parents send their little one to pre-school,day-care,babysitter? How's really respondsable for how are childre behave? the parents! They may TRY to pass the buck but the buck stops with them...if they don't spend time with their children is it FACEBOOKS fault? No. The networks? No. It is the parents so suck it up and be the adults you should be and love your children enough to actually spend some time WITH them.

5:30AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Yea, It's really sad sometimes

8:20PM PDT on May 17, 2011


12:01PM PDT on May 17, 2011

I could not believe that text the kid received from a girl. Kids can't be kids, society does not allow them to be.

3:29PM PDT on May 16, 2011


11:07AM PDT on May 16, 2011

I hate texting. I never had a cell phone in high school (and I just graduated 2 years ago) and I survived just fine. I am so sick of kids my age constantly texting, during class, conversations with other people, during movies...ugh. I deactivated my facebook account because I got tired of the gossip and displays of narcissm. I appreciate the power technology has to create positive change in the world, but I am also tired of the way it is misused by many people.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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