Preteens are savvy media consumers, and among the kids I know there is significant buzz about Michelle Obama’s views on Facebook. “Pre-teenagerdom” is such a difficult and challenging time for parents and for the kids themselves. Many children want to hurry up and become teens and joining into social networking activities is one way to make them feel older and even wiser. Feeling and sometimes believing that your parents simply don’t understand technology is another way. So it’s a bit of a blow when the First Lady and First Mom — a person many of them admire — tells their parents to slow things down.
Perry Aftab, whose blog and Wired Safety website are linked from several places on this blog,posted a terrific statement for parents, clarifying Michelle Obama’s statements and providing additional background. Two excerpts are below, but checkout Perry’s blog for her entire response.
- I suspect that much of the media will miss the boat here. I am not a fan of young children using Facebook either. Neither is Facebook.
- I commend the First Lady for understanding that Facebook is not for preteens. It does not permit users under the age of thirteen to register for the site, for the other parents who didn’t take as much time to read and understand Facebook’s terms of service.
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