No one wants to be the last kid in the class on Facebook. How embarrassing, right?
An estimated 7 million children are on Facebook these days, with over 5 million of those children being under the age of 13. To sign up, they use a fake birthday, create a profile, and they're off and running in the world's largest cyber-playground.
Parents who know about their kids' online activity need to know how to keep their children safe as they navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of social media. Faye Rogaski de Muyshondt has a solution: socialsklz:-)
Socialsklz:-) is a 2-hour, $75 course designed for children ages 9 to 14. Muyshondt begins the class by asking the children signed up for her class what they believe to be inappropriate for sharing online.
"Like, a picture of your butt!" exclaimed one child! Yes! A+ for him!
Muyshondt teaches the children how to use Facebook and Instagram by discussing the things they've already seen but probably shouldn't have. She walks them through declining friend requests, understanding cyberbullying, and ends her class by having them sign an Internet contract.
Among the stipulations to which they sign: "I will share with parents the things I'm doing on the Internet" and "I will obey any house rules for computer usage."
She also advises children to balance their online time with face-to-face interactions with their peers. And no, she tells them, Facetime doesn't count.
What do you think? Should kids be allowed on Facebook and social media?