You’re a fat pig. LOLJK*
You’re so gay it makes me sick. LOLJK
What’s wrong with you? LOLJK
You smell. LOLJK
What kind of outfit is that? Loser. LOLJK
You are soooooooooo stupid. LOLJK
Want to be my friend?
Over 7.5 MILLION kids under the required minimum age of 13 are on Facebook, according to a recent Consumers Union study. According to this article in the LA Times, parents with children on Facebook and under the age of 10 do not even “friend” their child on Facebook.
If you are one of those parents, I would really like to hear from you why this is ok. Are you certain that your child or your child’s “friends” aren’t saying stuff like this online? Are you sure it’s a child talking to your child?
I hear from parents that their kids tell them “it’s not fair” that they can’t get a Facebook page. What’s really not fair is to put kids in sophisticated situations before they’re able to handle it. In all honesty, 13 is even too young.
The LA Times brings up a several key points:
For minors who lack the experience or judgment to use a social network, this raises the scary potential of sexual predators tracking down kids who reveal their age in an online chat, cyberbullying and more.
“A million kids were bullied on Facebook in the last year,” Jeff Fox, technology editor at Consumer Reports, told FoxNews.com upon the release of the study. “A 10-year-old is not well-equipped to deal with those things.”
“Friending” your child isn’t the complete answer, either. What do you do when you “friend” and you don’t like what you see? Do you take your child’s page down when you don’t like what the other kids are saying? Are you sure an adult isn’t posing as a child? When do you step in?
I do believe that kids need to learn how to handle social media but that is best done on sites that are kid-friendly, like Yoursphere, and others. And even then, it’s only ok if it becomes a “teachable moment” and you sit next to them and guide them. How did you teach them how to cross the road safely? Did you stay in the house reading a magazine and tell them to come and tell you if they got hit by a car?
*LOLJK: Laugh Out Loud Just Kidding
Step up parents. This is no laughing matter. Your kids are hiding behind their LOLJKs. And who’s hiding behind the kids?