How old do you think the average Facebook user is? How old do you think the average Facebook user should be?Back at Harvard in February of 2004 Facebook was a new social network that captured the attention of the college age student. When Facebook reached other college campuses and universities, it went viral among the college aged men and women, uploading pictures, creating statuses, and writing on each others “walls.” As the attention about this new social networking site spread, more and more people were joining outside of these college campuses and universities. From high school students, parents, relatives, and even some middle school aged students, all of these people were becoming members of Facebook.
However, how old do you think someone should be to join a social network such as Facebook? Back in 2004 you had to at least be in college and sign up with Facebook using you college or university’s email address. As the company rapidly expanded, in 2006 they changed their policies to a person much be at least 13 years of age, and have a valid email address to sign up. Is this too young? Should 13-year olds, or anyone with a valid email address is able to have access to a social network like Facebook?
In class we talked about this issue about the age of social media networking sites such as Facebook. We discussed that sites like Facebook and MySpace are social networking sites that should be used by older girls and boys, at least older than thirteen. According to a New York Times article, Facebook Users Who Are Under Age Raise Concerns, authors Matt Richtel and Miguel Helft, discuss the rise of Facebook users who are under the age of thirteen years old, and how this number continues to grow from year to year. I am personally torn about this question, and do not know where I stand. I believe that Facebook is a powerful social media network, and whoever joins it needs to be aware and conscious about their used of a networking site such as Facebook.
Image taken as a screen grab from the website of Facebook
Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Barron Fujimoto