I have been on FB since 2007. For the most part it has been fun, sometimes a waste of time, and others a way to encourage and be encouraged by others. I am now in contact with friends from when I was a little girl, met women that I have never met personally, I read great articles, and hear great music. All while I am sitting at home with a cup of tea.
I have 2 boys who wanted to join FB soon after I did. Why? not so much because I was in, but because friends the same age as them were on it. So what can be the big deal right? They will have friends the same age, keep in touch with them in a virtual world an that is it. No harm done.
Well as I started being part of FB, I realized some things besides the obvious (time wasting machine and pointless status updates) but my concern was their soul. That is my number one priority for them, my main responsibility before the Lord.
First of all, a secular world, who cares none about the soul of my children forbids them to join their social network until they are 13, that should be a good enough warning for me. If I want them to join before the age 13, I have to lie about their age. There is no way around it (unless I do not know about it of course). So by me agreeing to lie about their age, is to say that lying is really "not that bad".
Another reason we are waitingfor my younget to join, is because as parents we have some "cards" that we can play wisely or we can throw them all at once in raising our children. At least for our family, there are privileges in growing up that are worth waiting for (staying alone at home, having a cellphone, joining FB, watching certain movies, and so on). If we give them all those perks at a young age, we have no cards to play later! So when they are in their youth, what else can they look forward to? they already have it all and have seen it all. So they have to find something more exciting for themselves that is more thrilling or that feeds their need of accomplishment. But in our family, we decided to wait for those privileges. To have them looking forward to reach that age where they can join, or get the "cool phone" or look forward to be old enough to earn privileges that come with maturity and responsibility.
We want our children to know how to use wisely social media. To watch what they write, what they read, where they comment, what they comment, who the allow as friends, who they reject. If they use it, is to be used for a purpose, not for simple amusement or because they are bored. Their identity and reputation is on the line and they need to be wise about it.
It is hard. But we strive not for what is easy but for what is good for their souls.