Facebook has been a common phenomenon among the modern-day children. We live in a world where the high school kids communicate through Facebook updates and less when they meet together. The number of kids and teens using Facebook has always been on the hike and hardly does Facebook do anything to counter that.Thus the dangers of using Facebook for kids and teens is a really prominent issue to be discussed.
As per the Facebook terms and conditions, no child below the age of 13 is allowed to have a Facebook account. But do you think this rule is being followed online? Kids are being taught to ignore terms and conditions and agree to any pop-up that comes up on your desktop screens.
Facebook has more than 40 million user profiles and many believe that the number of actual people profiles will be less than half of that. So actually Facebook is a world of illusion where people make multiple accounts and multiple profiles to do whatever they like. The question here is…Are our kids and teens safe over there?
The recent incident involving the suicide of Amanda Todd is a clear pointer to what may happen if we leave our kids to the online world recklessly. Parent s need to be aware of what their kids are up to online just as the same way we monitor the activities of our children in the outside world.
As far as the kids and teens are considered, the dangers of using Facebook are enormous and here we have listed some of the main Facebook dangers which parents have to look out for :
Adding strangers as friends
Facebook is a tool to keep in touch with your friends and enjoy a close relationship with them. So explain to your children not to add strangers to your friend list even if they receive the friend request. Accepting a friend request from a stranger will be tempting for any teenager who loves to make new and new friends, but make it a point to monitor the relationships your children maintain on Facebook.
Do not play Facebook games which requires you to provide account info
Playing Facebook games can be tempting for your children. But educate them not to accept to play any Facebook games that will require you to share your account info. Most of the Facebook games and apps will require you to do that. Explain to your child the horrible things that can happen by allowing unknown game makers accessing your personal details.
Do not fall for Facebook scams
Because of the wide popularity Facebook enjoys, it has become the home of scams. Every now and then links are being distributed online like Win Apple iPhone now and get free mobile recharge. These scams never work and all you do is spread those messages to your friends and sharing your information with them. Even if it is hard to resist, explain to your children that such offers are always going to be scams and never to fall for them.
Do not click on malicious links
Facebook is being widely used as a medium to populate tempting links making the users to click on it. Once you click on it, your account gets compromised and without your knowledge, it will start to generate links and spread It among your friends. Beware that many of the links being spread through this method will not be proper for the children and sooner it may affect your life outside the Facebook.
So prohibit your children from clicking on links and downloads unless they are 100% sure of its destination.
Using Facebook late nights
Facebook has the unique feature that once you start using it; you will never know how many times you log in and log out a day on the site. You will get addicted to the usage and most of the kids and teens will start using the Facebook during late night hours.
This on one side starts affecting the studies and further Facebook addiction for a long time starts creating personality disorders on the minds of those young children.
So as a parent it is necessary to monitor the number of hours your kids spent on the social networking sites.
Creating multiple accounts is very easy on Facebook I have many friends who maintain around 3-4 Facebook profiles at a time. Creating multiple Facebook accounts comes as Facebook addiction grows and you can be pretty sure why a person will need to create multiple accounts. This is the first step to doing something which you in your original profile will hate to do.
Kids and teens are more prone to this behavior than any other age groups. Parents need to be on the lookout for such traits on the character of your children.
There are endless Facebook groups now and most of them will be controlled by some of the bigwig Facebook users’ .Kids and teens are prone to getting abused online on many of these groups as there is no one to monitor the behavior in such environments.
Many children may not be able to live with the shame of having being bullied online by other members and will lead to depression on their minds and even taking them to the extreme case like suicide and crimes. There have been many incidents in UK where the bullying has led to suicide from many teenagers.
There are predators out there. You need to warn your kids about that. Adding unknown strangers as friends and chatting with them will lead to the issues like Amanda Todd. Be vigilant about with whom your child keeps chatting on the internet.
There are issues where the photos uploaded by girls have been used by the Srilankan scammers to make illicit pictures. There were other reports that many of the Indonesian companies were concentrating on Facebook as a means to maintaining their human trafficking business.
Facebook claims there are more than 40 million users on Facebook Anywhere there are such number of users, there will be predators’ looking for their innocent prey and generally those innocent preys will happen to be kids and teenagers who are yet to understand the difference between good and bad.
So monitoring your kids Facebook usage is the only way to counter that.
Need to become popular on the Facebook
Recent reports have come up that the children are using Facebook to record their daredevil stunts and upload on the internet. The only reason children risk doing this is to become popular overnight and enjoy the popularity. Everyone loves to become a celebrity and children find doing this an easy way to attract the attention of other toward them.
Such childish activities pose a risk to the children and this temptation to become popular on the online world is an after effect of the Facebook addiction.
Less Social and Less PhysicalFacebook Addiction
Social networking sites like Facebook was developed to increase the social interaction. But what has happened is the opposite of that. Children using Facebook more often are becoming less social and more of introverts. They interact less in the open society and long to live in the online world. Such children have very less time to play physical games and concentrate on playing online games.
Ultimately these factors account to the personality disorders.
It is the role of the parents to decide the limits of these social networking sites. They need to be aware constantly what their children do online. They need to filter out the unnecessary results and Web Pages on the computer using proper software and make the computer safe for kids to use.
Further, know you children. Talk with them more often and make them open the minds. If allowed to talk freely, there is no barrier in the minds of the children and you will see a change in their behavior soon.
Parental care is what every kid and teen needs and using Facebook needs to be minimized for kids and teens. Once the children start to grow they will start to understand the world they live in. And then they will be better prepared for the dangers out there waiting for them in Facebook.