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Old 02.05.2011, 19:47
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Re: Kids -To facebook or not to facebook?

We went through this same issue a year ago.

I've been to a couple of lectures regarding children and use of internet, chat rooms, facebook, etc.

Basically, forbidding facebook won't get you anywhere. The real danger will come, when your child then opens an account at someone else's home (or ipod touch) - and, believe me, they will. The worse thing that can then happen, if the account is taken over, when there is an argument of sorts.

The advice I took from the lectures was to go onto facebook myself and see what it's like. Set up the strictest privacy options. Talk to your children about privacy, mobbing, what to post and what not to post, etc. Set up limits, sure, but keep open.

A year on, facebook is now only being used by our son for the occasional chat and games. It's lost a lot of the novelty that it had to start with and I don't regret allowing it in the end. We've had lots of interesting conversations.

The advantage of guiding your 11 year old through this, is that this is an age where they still listen to you. A couple of years on, when they're 13? Probably no chance!

Facebook says from 13 years - yes. All of my son's friends are between 14 and 24 (from the same school year, mind - also a lot of them have pseudonyms and even change them regularly. Facebook does not care.

If you can speak or understand German, then this is a good site: www.zischtig.ch
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