Sure, kids under 13 aren’t supposed to have Facebook accounts. And yes, some parents bend the rules and set up accounts for their underage progeny. But some don’t, like Maria McPhail, who is profiled in today’s Wall Street Journal. McPhail said no to Facebook, but OK’d Instagram, thinking the app might foster an interest in photography for her daughter. Turns out mostly what her daughter did with the app was to “‘like’ Photoshopped photo-jokes and text messages they create on another free app called Versagram.”
Essentially, they used it like Facebook. Navigating our kids’ connections gets tricky in a hurry as the article points out:
Parents worry about the risks of online predators and bullying, and there are other concerns. Kids are creating permanent public records, and they may encounter excessive or inappropriate advertising. Yet many parents also believe it is in their kids' interest to be nimble with technology.
With promises of anonymity and parental controls, social sites for kids are cropping up all over place. So far, however none have been able to strike a balance that lets both parents and their children feel comfortable.