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Social Networking For Six-Year-Olds

SS Member Image By drodriguez 11.03.09
Social Networking For Six-Year-Olds
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With the list of popular social networking sites expanding every day it is no wonder people of all ages are being drawn to them.  For parents, this may mean making a decision of when to let their children join in and create their very own account.  The top sites like MySpace and Facebook set their age restriction at 13, but they have no real way of verifying a person's age. 

A recent article from CNN reports that 38 percent of respondents in a study between the ages of 12 and 14 said they have an online profile on a social networking site.  Parents often worry their young children could be subjected to viewing inappropriate photographs, comments, or worst of all coming in contact with an online predator.

A professor of psychology from California State University, Kaveri Subrahmanyam, is not too worried about placing age limitations on these websites.  She says, "For the most part, although there's so much press about all the bad things they're doing, much of what they're doing is stuff they would be doing anyway." 

There are sites, unlike MySpace and Facebook, that cater specifically to young children and place limitations on what the children can do while online.  On one site, loosely based onFacebook, called KidSwirl there are children as young as 5 that have active accounts.  Both Webkinz and Whyville are also social networking sites for kids that feature a more supervised level of networking like KidSwirl. Toby Clark, creator of KidSwirl, points out that kids spend an average of 5 minutes signed on to his site compared to the 20 minute average FaceBook receives.  Some parents view these sites as a way to get their kids ready for the more adult versions of these sites.

What do you think of allowing young children to take part in social networking sites?

Do you think joining a site specifically targeted to young kids is a good way to prepare them for more adult sites in the future?

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  • Momto3AmazingKids By Momto3AmazingKids

    I have to say I too agree with many of those who commented against this kind of social networking sites for such young children. It is bad enough when teenagers and 20+ kids use it and "get into trouble" with the wrong person or crowd, we must protect our children. It is truly unnecessary! I think that more emphasis should be placed on health, getting exercise and playing outdoors or with friends NOT only computer games, Wii, Nintendo DS, etc. What happened to good old fashion fun like hoola hooping, playing barbies, legos, drawing, doing art projects, sports, etc. The world has gotten way too much into cyber world. I do think that computers is a handy tool WHEN used properly, but we must monitor what our children are doing. I am NOT old, but I have to agree with my parents generation, etc. that we don't need to have all these things and feel like we need to be one up on technology...our parents survived, we survived, etc.

  • Matta0914 By Matta0914

    I dont think young childeren should be able to have these accounts. Their is alot of bad things on the web that they could get into. I think that 14 years old is a good age for them to start a myspace or facebook because they are going into high schoolat this time. A parent should still monitor it tho.

  • whslibrarian By whslibrarian

    Why do they need this? Teenagers are already addicted to social networking. Don't lower the age of the addiction.

  • amgaer09 By amgaer09

    I believe that any and all six year olds should not be allowed on any social networking sites. Children should be outside playing with other children. There are too many bad people on these social networking sites. Children who are six years old should be spending their time watching tv, learning new things, playing outside, and anything else for little children to do.

  • joy9281 By joy9281

    i do not understand why a six year old needs this. children should spend less time in front of the t.v. or computer at this age and more time playing outside or even inside with their toys using their imaginations.

  • countrycouponclipper By countrycouponclipper

    No way, I would never allow my child on a networking site not even if it was only for children. I have a 9 year old and a 5 year old, kids need to be playing on the playground running and playing with kids there own age thats all the sociallizing they need.

  • birdie19 By birdie19

    i wouldnt agree with this either its bad especially when there is online preditors that probably talk to you 6 year olds and acting like there 6 or 7 when really there in there late 30's to 40's our world isent a safe place any more .. an i really dont think our young youth should have a social networking sight until they are old enough to relize that there are creepers oout there ..

  • thrillby By thrillby

    I agree with smiling1 also. I have stepsons who do nothing- literally- but sit with their laptops in the den while watching tv at the same time. My 5 year old daughter will absolutely not be raised that way. What's more, the commercials on the so-called kids channels also encourage computer use and time-wasting activities. I feel like moving to the top of a mountain!

  • Eper29 By Eper29

    No way! I think it's ridiculous that companies are targeting our children so young. It's not as though they don't already encounter advertising everywhere. The "mouse company" even has their own site with a fee. Kids are only kids once. They don't need to worry about "virtual" friends when they can make real ones.

  • h2ocrazy By h2ocrazy

    I totally agree with 'smiling1' - we need to protect our children. Like the Billy Dean song says.....Let them be little cuz their only that way for a while!

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