This is a warning to black parents everywhere. No, your child should not be on Facebook. If you have a child under 13 years old they should not be on Facebook or at least not unsupervised. Now before I go any further let me point out that I have a Facebook page and I don’t have any children. But that does not stop me from making sure you understand the mounting evidence that Facebook and social media is not a good place for children.
First and foremost, as a parent your child should not have a computer that you don’t have access to. Its simply too dangerous. If your son or daughter withdraws to their bedroom to go online then you need to put a stop to that. You need to know who they are communicating with. And don’t let a computer or video game babysit your child. Evidence indicates that this practice leads to psychological issues including addiction, withdrawal and behavioral issues. You need to budget your child’s time with electronic devices of all kinds.
But back to Facebook. Facebook is about information collection and advertising. The Center for Digital Democracy has an excellent guide to why all children, including black children, should not be using Facebook.
Everything that goes on Facebook is public unless you know and understand Facebook’s privacy and security settings. If your child set up their own account then they probably did not go that far. As a parent you need to know how to set up a Facebook account to protect yourself or your child if you permit this.
But I don’t want to pick on Facebook alone. All social media poses a problem for children. Black parents need to stay focused on what their children are doing online until they are old enough to do it themselves.
I don’t need to tell you all about the sexual predators that lurk online and in social spaces like Facebook. You know all that. But black parents also need to understand that information is the currency of the digital age. What information is your child giving out and to whom?
Now you know.