My then seven-year-old daughter created a Facebook account for herself with an email address containing her name. I explained to her that many people have her name and that that email address likely belongs to someone who’d receive emails on her account activity. My daughter memorized her log-in information, and has lectured my son and me about respecting her Facebook privacy. I told her that that could only apply to her brother, and that I have every right to monitor her account, which I have since legitimized in terms of creating a real Yahoo email address for her to apply to her Facebook page. I utilized my birthday where a birthday is requested, however, considering that Yahoo email and Facebook are designed specifically for adults.
I was very concerned when I realized that my daughter was sending friend requests to suggested individuals, all of whom are adults, and many of whom neither of us is familiar with. I realize, however, that children, like adults, love technology and they like to socialize.
In the context of Facebook and other social media, children should only be capable of communicating with other children and any adult relatives and/or other acquaintances that parents approve of. Accordingly, there should be a Facebook for children, which would be a safe platform for children to remotely communicate with friends and make new friends within their age group. Facebook for children should consist of varied age levels of minors, including young children, pre-adolescent, and teens, and friend suggestions should be based on these specific age groups.
Facebook for children would not only be a spectacular social tool that would provide age-appropriate companionship for children, it would be a wonderful educational tool that could help especially younger children learn to spell and write complete sentences while making small talk with their friends.