Wednesday, May 25

Should kids be allowed on Facebook?

Good ol Mark Zuckerberg is now coming out and saying that he wants to talk about having kids under 13 on Facebook. He went on to blab about education and technology and a few other things that rich people talk about a lot. Here's the full article. CLICK ME. 

So should Facebook let kids on the site? No. Seriously, what a terrible idea. Not that little kids aren't already faking their age and getting on anyway; this has the makings of a huge mess.

Kids today are growing up far too fast. At my job at the zoo, a girl about 12 years old dropped her brand new Droid on the ground and cracked the screen. Of course, tears ensued, along with a panic attack and then an emotional call to mom, who obviously bought the phone for her daughter. I'm 21 and my phone cost about 1/4 the price of hers. When I was 12, I was worried about getting another Adam Deadmash card in a pack of hockey cards, not dropping my smartphone on the ground. (I seriously have about 15 Deadmarsh cards).

Kids are too young to have a Facebook at age 13. I logged on for the first time in 2007 (I was 17), and I still occasionally see the stupid stuff I posted and cringe (then click delete). I was young and pretty annoying back then. I can't even imagine what my 11 year old self would have said (probably something about Star Wars).  One quick glance at my newsfeed reveals that many people my age can't even maturely handle a Facebook (or a grammar test). And who are all these kids that go to Lutheran North that think they can just request me? I don't know you, little freshman posing in front of your bathroom mirror in your best Hollister outfit for all 342 of your profile pictures. Denied.

Yes, eventually most of us mature. But for me, my maturation process during my pre-teen years was not permanently documented by hundreds of statuses, pictures, YouTube videos and inbox messages. I am so thankful that no one can see my old sub-profiles in AIM or the notes I passed in Miss Otto's class. But for today's kids, everything they ever say is recorded. What might seem like a great idea when you are 13, usually ends up being something embarrassing by the time you hit 20. I mean, look at my stupid 17 year old self over there, thinking he is all funny and stuff. What a moron. Wipe that grin off your face, Aaron. You don't know anything about anything.

Pre-teens shouldn't have to worry about whether Bob and Suzy are Facebook official, or if Johnny poked Kim back. They should read a book or go outside and play sports. Do I feel bad that the girl at the zoo broke her phone? Nope, because mommy will just get her a newer, nicer one so she can tell all 25 people that she knows about the zoo on Facebook. Leave Facebook to the people who's brains aren't still growing. No matter how small those brains might be on average...

By Aaron Brandt, who still regrets using the screen name "BenWallaceDude3"