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Why Facebook Is Not for Children

As Facebook considers extending its membership circle to include pre-teens, one parent is resolved to keep her kids off the social network so they can establish friendships in the real world. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Facebook is looking to allow individuals under the age of 13, whom are currently banned from the social network, to create profiles on its site by requiring some amount of parental oversight. The move is an acknowledgement that pre-teens can simply lie about their age to circumvent online regulations but privacy advocates are also worried about what Facebook might do with children’s personal information. One parent, Michelle Maltais, is resolved to decrease the presence of Facebook in her family’s life so that face-to-face interactions might form the base of her children’s personal relationships. 

What’s the Big Idea?

While Maltais is a self-confessed Facebook addict, she does not believe adults and children should have the same experiences, especially when it comes to relationships. In pre-teen years, it is hard enough to navigate real-world relationships, she says, without the added problem of online bullying and the stress of online etiquette. “Why would parents want to invite 24-7 access to their child’s precious psyche in the sanctuary of their homes on computers and mobile devices?” While relationships might be maintained online, they should be formed face-to-face, and that is what youth is for, says Maltais. 

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