Facebook Suitable for Kids? Not according to Michelle Obama

The use of technology and social media for kids is something that divides many people. We recently told how tech skills were outpacing lifeskills for some children and how even toddlers were now learning a form of social media and we’ve also reported recently about a Facebook scam targeted at children.

Although of course technology can also be a wonderful thing and many children have gained a great deal from using it, it can be very difficult as a parent to decide where to draw the line. For example at what age do you allow your kids to start using social networks such as Facebook? Now the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has added her thoughts to the subject of Facebook and kids and made it quite clear that she’s glad her daughters don’t yet use the site, according to Stan Schroeder over on Mashable, sourced from The Associated Press.

Apparently security reasons means that Malia aged 12, and Sasha aged 9, are not able to have Facebook accounts anyway but Michelle Obama isn’t too unhappy about this saying, “I’m not a big fan of young kids having Facebook” on NBC’s ‘Today’ show. It seems that President Obama also has thoughts on social networking, cautioning high school kids in Virginia about it and telling them to be careful if they use it.

We should point out that Facebook restricts registration for users below the age of 13 and also asks minors over 13 to request parental permission but I certainly know children of younger than 13 who frequently use Facebook and only recently received communication from my son’s school stressing that children at the school (up to age 11) are too young to be using Facebook. Thankfully my own child has shown no interest in this so the subject hasn’t arisen yet.

Chris Matyszczyk over on Cnet also reports on this and if you take the link to the article you can also see a video of Michelle Obama talking on ‘Today.’ What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you have young children that use Facebook or do you think this is a definite no-no? We’d be interested to hear your comments on this.