Do you think Pre-Teens should be on facebook?
I read an article this week titled, Should Pre-Teens be on Facebook? I am not too surprised the announcement that kids will be able to use facebook came just after facebook went public. Initially, I was saddened by the news that facebook will open up the draining pit that is social media to a younger audience. But, then I checked out my facebook profile only to see Pre-Teen’s in my ministry’s comments. According to a Mashable study, ” that 7.5 million children under 13 are already using the social network”. Churchm.ag stated that, ” 48% of all teens have lied about their age on Facebook when they signed up. 52% of those teens being 13 years or younger…” Inevitably, facebook will bring the Pre-Teens into the world of timelines, and status updates, if they already aren’t there.
What does this mean for youth ministry? Here are a few ways to help parents and pre-teens deal with online identity.
1. Teach a crash course on facebook. This something I am looking into this summer. A lot of the parents I work with already are tech savy, but there are always some that want to “chat” after seeing a facebook status from a child. I think youth pastor’s need to partner with parents to help teenagers navigate this tricky digital world we live in.
2. Meet one on one. I love meeting up with parents to see how I can support their family. This is a place where I am able to speak into their family if I see an issue.
3. Write some new policy! Right now, I have a policy in place to protect my leaders working with grades 8-12, but if facebook let’s pre-teens in I will have to draft up some new policy. I want to protect my leaders and the pre-teens that they serve.
What do you think? Should Pre-Teens be on facebook?