Tweens and Facebook

A friend of mine posted the link to this blog today and the author states quite clearly my feelings concerning tweens with facebook accounts. There are children as young as 8 or 9 with facebook accounts, and the legal agreement for facebook clearly states account holders must be over the age of 13. This is me stepping on the toes of everyone I know who has a child under the age of 13 with a Facebook account, but this lady has a point. Cracks in integrity show up in the “small” things long before they show up in the “big” ones. Teach your children to live above reproach in the smallest of things. Scripture teaches we will be trusted with the big things when we prove ourselves faithful in the small.

Not only is it an integrity issue, but it is a relationship issue as well. Adults have enough trouble defining relationships; why add to the struggles of a late elementary school or middle school student by giving them another misuse of the word “friend” and just one more place for them to torture one another socially?

I by no means believe that all parents who have children under 13 are purposefully teaching their children to be deceptive. I know that 9 times out of 10 I check yes to agree with the terms of service without ever reading them. But ignorance does not release us from responsibility. The question remains: now that you are aware, what will you do?

If you were aware of the policy and ignored it, and being called out makes you mad, I do not apologize this time. But I do pray that you will look past your anger or frustration and prayerfully consider the example you are setting for your child. Are you living above reproach or are you passively teaching your children it’s ok to break the rules if you think no one is going to get hurt?

2 thoughts on “Tweens and Facebook

    • Hey Alexander,
      First of all, I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond to your question; it was caught in my spam blocker and I don’t check it very often.

      Great questions! Thanks for asking them. Let’s take a little time to look at what Scripture says about authority. Romans 13:1-2 says: “1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God ; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”

      We all have authorities in our life who give us rules to live by. We obey those rules set down by those who are in direct authority over us or by those to whom we agree to place ourselves in submission. When we sign up to participate in certain activities, we sign a Terms of Agreement (or Usage) statement, saying that we agree to abide by the rules of the organization in which we are participating. By signing your name (or clicking “Agree”) to the Terms of Agreement, we give our promise and sign our name saying we agree to follow the rules given. If Facebook says that those under the age of 13 are not supposed to have a profile, and you sign up for a profile, agree to follow their rules, then if you are under 13 you cannot keep the rules you just agreed to.

      If Facebook had no legal agreement concerning age limits, then I would say, yes, your parents permission would be fine. Sometimes parents give permission not knowing that there is an age limit– I know I don’t always read the fine print. But when we find out something in our life should be corrected, we need to submit to legal authority, so I would suggest that you and your parents sit down together, read the Terms of Use for Facebook and consider together how to best approach the situation. It is the goal of believers to live above reproach, so even the small things matter when we are learning to become more like Christ.

      This can be a tough situation, especially when it seems like it’s “no big deal” and “everyone else has one.” I would encourage you to read about it some more, pray about it, and talk to your parents and see what they say about it all. I’ll be praying that you receive much wisdom while thinking and praying about it!

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