7.5 million Kid’s under the age of 13 are lying to get on Facebook? This is quite the revelation. Pre-teens are lying? That is unthinkable. How is the media able to uncover these amazing facts? Most of us as parents are still trying to figure out how the failed math test found its way into the trash. This kind of detective work is mind boggling. I can’t wait for the media to discover a Microsoft program that actually works for more than a year.
Honestly, these parents don’t know that their kids are on Facebook? When did the integrity of the pre-teen adolescent exceed the need for parental guidance? When my son was 12 he covered the cat in chocolate syrup and swore he didn’t do it. I would love to believe that. However, after our dog licked the cat like a giant Dilly Bar, leaving my husband and me to pay $200.00 dollars in veterinarian and carpet cleaning bills, I became financially skeptical. At some point, between 10 and 12 years old, both of our adolescents ran up a thousand dollars in texting charges after swearing they have only texted occasionally. We have survived BB gun incidents, small fires, spaghetti fights, flooding issues, computer hacking, and a bad circus trick that rendered a large piece of furniture useless. Why would we “assume” our children to be unaffected by the largest social phenomena to hit America since lava lamps and mood rings?
This past week a 12 year old in Washington State was charged with first-degree computer trespassing after she stole another girl’s password for Facebook and posted sexual content that went viral. The 12 year old who committed this heinous act is now on probation, and the little girl who was victimized will suffer the ramifications of this incident for the rest of her life. The question that is being posed by the media is, “How can Facebook get away with allowing kids under 13 to become members?” A better question might be, “Where are the parents?” This question is becoming harder to answer. We have chocolate cats running all over the streets of America and no one knows where the parents have gone.
Here’s an answer: $$$$$$. When your child throws rocks at a car: $$$$$$! When your child assaults another child, $$$$$$! If you didn’t know your child was illegally on Facebook, $$$$$$! If you are unaware that your child is cyber stalking another child, $$$$$$! If you are too busy to put safeguards on your computer, $$$$$$! Money can be heard by any parent in any walk of life.
When the courts put a 12 year old on probation nothing happens. When parents start getting charged large sums of money for allowing their child unsupervised access to the world, then real change can begin. Facebook will on long be a fabulous babysitter for parents. It will become a financial liability. Parental locks will begin to appear on children’s computers. Access to many internet companies will be denied because the mischievous neonate’s computer won’t allow it. There will be whining, complaining, tears and begging, but there won’t be Facebook, MySpace, or court ordered restitution.
It is not Facebook’s responsibility to watch our kids. If it was I would have clicked on better results a long time ago. Responsibility for any part of a child’s life begins and ends with the parent. That is the reality of God and nature. So suck it up and clean up the cat, for there are no shortcuts to raising good people.