Social Networking and Common Sense

social-networking1Is Social Networking an obsession? A movement? A craze? I certainly don’t think it’s a fad. It has it’s uses, that’s for sure. What better way to build up a PLN? 

O.k., let’s be honest, we like to look in on other people’s lives, as well. Knowing that, I find it strange that it’s so easy to come across what I would consider to be VERY PERSONAL glimpses of other people’s lives. I get even more worried when I hear from our Lower School (grades 3-5) computer teachers that they know of some 3rd and 4th grade students who have Facebook accounts! My children are in grade 3 and some of their friends have Facebook?

How many of us know high school students who list their age as 18 on Facebook or My Space when they’re not. The listed minimum age limit for one of those accounts is 13. Parents! Let’s be aware. We may be (rightfully) proud of how well our children adapt to rapid technological change but we need to be right there with them, promoting common sense, security and… yes, honesty! I have no doubt the reason My Space and Facebook have a minimum age of 13 is because younger ones are simply not mature enough to handle the flood of very personal glimpses into the lives of those who are older.

I cherish the innocence my own children have. I want them to be aware, street smart and mature… but, not before their time. My wife and I supervise their web time and won’t let them sign-up for anything that has an age limit older than they actually are. Social Networking is here to stay, no doubt. Let’s employ common sense when it comes to the privileges we allow our children and balance their innocence with their growth in maturity.

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