Facebook for 10 year olds! Good or Bad?

So,  I just found out that my 10 year old has a Facebook account.  I should of known something was up because they spent the night at a friends house and since they have been home today all they talked about was could they have a Facebook account.  Moments before we got home we discovered that my wife had become friends with the 10 year old neighbor child down the street.  The same child that had the pleasure of having my child presence felt in their home, where the account was created.

I am still a little shocked because it all started out this evening with them asking repeatedly that they wanted to get an account and then it switched to could I help them get their email setup.  After getting the email setup I quickly  discovered about 15 friend requests, via Facebook. and then we had the moment of truth(that they were dreading) had a sad moment or 2 then a moment of crying honesty and then we got to where we are now.

So initially before I knew they had the account I refused to comment on wether or not they could have one and I simply said,  I would think about it.  Once I found out that the account was created I was surprised that my initial reaction was one of calm.  I had thoughts that I would have them just immediately vacate the account, but decided to let them keep it so they would not go underground with it.

So here are the rules that were layed down.  If you would care to add something to it I would appreciate it.

1.  You, your mom, and your dad are the only ones to know your Facebook password.  Nobody outside of these three people is ever to know your password.    The reason is twofold,  one so we can monitor what they are doing and 2  that no unauthorized individual can post something in my good child’s name.

2.  That he is to invite all of there adult family members to be there  friends so they can help  monitor this new found freedom.

3.  They are not to post photo’s or video’s of themselves without us reviewingthem prior to the posting.   PERIOD.

4.  If a friend posts a picture or video of them, they are to tell us immediately.

5.  They are not to physically meet anybody they meet on Facebook.

6.  They maybe called friends on Facebook, but be aware of who really has your back.

7.  That everything they post is recorded forever and who knows where it will end up.

8.  That rambled posts of a 10 year old today, could hinder a 24 year olds job search in 14 years.

9.  That if the password to the Facebook account changes with out everybody knowing  somebody was going to get in trouble.

10.  That they are never to do something on somebody’s else’s behalf or have somebody do something on there behalf.    This rule came about when my child accepted a friendship request on behalf of the 10 year old up the street, for my wife’s Facebook account.  Which now my wife must go up and explain to them.

luckily the account in question was created in their home and not mine.  so

maybe an explanation will come quickly.

11.  That Facebook like XBOX and sleep overs can be taken away.

I have no doubt that eventually I would of found out.  I have setup Google Alerts a year ago to monitor mentions of my family member’s names.  I haven’t been that concerned and I have not been actively monitoring it because well they were 10.  I guess from this day forward I will have to keep a closer eye on it.

I am sure that Facebook has terms and conditions but I somehow doubt that a 10 year old can enter into a binding agreement and sign off their rights with Facebook’s or anybody’s terms and conditions for that matter.

In conclusion,  get in your family’s business,  find out what they are doing and what they have access to.  If they spend the night at a friends house will they have access to the internet?  will they be able to sign up for stuff?  how easy was it for you to get an email account or to sign up for a Facebook account?    The 10 year olds of today are all digital, this comes easy to them.  They can surf the web with the best of them, unfortunately they don’t have the experience of what is acceptable and what is not.  I am saddened that they have to grow up just a bit quicker than folks a generation or 2 before them.

Chris Dunlevy is a partner in IT Service Station LLC, and an IT Consultant serving the Greater Oklahoma City area and beyond for the better part of 10 years. He believes in shooting straight with his clients, returning his calls, keeping his appointments, and generally being available to his clients. Chris realizes that if you treat your clients like gold they might share some of it with you and if you don’t they might blog about it. Chris can be reached at 405-843-8324 or you can drop him an email @ chrisd@itssok.com

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