Children on Facebook

by admin on December 2, 2011

 

Http://LeonardSipes.Com

This site is devoted to government, associations and nonprofits and some come to me with complaints about the number of young people they interact with.  They want older audiences; people of influence; people who support causes.

Older audiences are rapidly catching up with some of the highest percentage increases in social media use. See http://leonardsipes.com/your-fear-of-social-media%E2%80%94your-older-target-audience-is-within-reach/.

But the other part of the spectrum involves kids—really young kids. See the following from Media Post:

“Social networks like Facebook and MySpace are supposed to be limited to people who are ages 13 and up, but this is far from being the case, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that nearly half of American 12-year-olds — 45% — have profiles on these sites. Assuming the 12-year-old population has remained stable, around 3.96 million since the latest Census projections in 2009, that means 1.78 million 12-year-olds are evading Facebook’s age limits.”

“These figures, while large, don’t come as much of a surprise following an earlier estimate from Consumer Reports that 7.5 million children under the age of 13 are on Facebook, including five million children under the age of 10. And they’re in line with separate data from Harris Interactive, which found that half of parents with 12-year-olds know that their children are on Facebook. What’s more, seven out of ten of these parents actually actively helped their children evade the security protocols meant to prevent anyone from under age 13 getting on the site.”

Developing world citizens:

As strange as it sounds to some, we have an obligation to treat young people with respect. It’s like the story of the 12-year-old who opens a bank account with $10.00. It’s going to cost the bank more than the investment is worth “but” the bank’s interaction with young people is an investment in the future.

When we do social media we invite all to the table; we have an obligation to provide the young person with respect and interact appropriately.

As world citizens, we need to invest in their future. Like the bank accepting the $10.00 deposit, we need to guide them on the path to responsible social media citizenship.

I would rather have young people get involved with causes and responsible organizations than open themselves to the trash and stalkers. Yep, “Hey dude, your organization sucks,” makes you wonder why you are doing social media. But engagement (“Well Bob, what makes you feel that way?”) may be the first step to teaching younger people the art of discourse and social manners.

Parents:

Parents, if you’re going to allow your children  internet access, please have age appropriate conversations about the dangers. My assumption is that many are on the internet and social sites with or without your permission.  See http://projectsafechildhood.gov  for additional information.

Best, Len.

Source: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/162981/half-of-12-year-olds-are-on-facebook.html?edition=40622

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