Facebook: Friend or Foe?
Over the past few years, debates have raged as to whether children under the age of 13 should be allowed on Facebook.
Many parents believe that Facebook is good for socializing. Children can stay in contact with distant friends and family, not only all over the country but even on the other side of the world.
Facebook can also provide other services for children. There are many games that are free (although you can be lured into buying extras that let you progress to more ‘exciting’ stages). Overall though, Facebook provides an impressive range of services.
One Year 7 said, “I’m member of a Guide group, their Facebook page provides me with information not given during the meetings. This is a good way of telling others about any arrangements.”
But there is a dark side. Facebook can be a dangerous place for youngsters. Older people, who wish to harm children, can pretend to be much younger and form relationships online, leading to 1 to 1 meetings and the possibility of something bad happening.
Sadly, some Facebook comments are hurtful with some young people using this platform to voice suicidal thoughts; But it is worth noting that it is still unproven whether these acts of virtual abuse are directly linked to a real suicide attempt. Bullying is a massive issue that often happens in schools, but Facebook allows the bullies to continue harassing a child at home, when normally home is a safe environment.
Many though believe that it is unfair to not allow under 13s on a social networking site such as Facebook. Awareness is surely the key; children should be warned of the dangers and use Facebook safely and, if deemed necessary, monitored carefully.
Keira, Year 7
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar, Alford