The Facebook mania has spared no one with even younger children, as young as seven or eight, signing p with or without the consent of the parents to be “in”.
There could be several implications of the wide exposure that the internet and specifically social networking can have on impressionable minds. It could vary from simple distraction from daily routine studies to more serious ones like addiction to the net and falling prey to online stalking.
Children in the teens and pre-teens are vulnerable to peer pressure and having a personal email and being on a social networking site features high among the other things that are products of the current age which is a combination of upwardly mobile people class and rampant invasion of technology in our lives.
Therefore, the constant need to be present online and sharing updates about the other’s life is not restricted to adults alone. With young minds, it is difficult to also reason out with why one cannot and should not be competing with friends who are always visiting exotic places or whose social life does not resemble ours.
Kaveri Subrahmanyam, a professor of psychology at California State University-Los Angeles as a different view point here. She feels that for all the bad press that these online activities gather, they are something that the kids anyway do.
*Many parents also worry that younger users of social sites could be targets for online predators. While there are some concerns that kids aren't mature enough to make good decisions about their privacy, Subrahmaynam and Lenhart said most are savvy enough by their early teens to know what, and who, to avoid. Younger children, they say, need more parental supervision.
*source: the linked article.
Whatever the compulsions and reasons behind minors using the internet/Facebook, the hours they spent must be controlled (even during holidays) and monitored by guardians/parents. Since there is no way we can reverse the effects of technology, we need to, as much as possible, at least keep off the dangers of “having too much too soon” from the children.
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