Facebook Messenger Kids App
Facebook is trialing a new Messenger Kids app in the United States.
The standalone app is aimed at under 13s, who aren't eligible for a normal Facebook account. Currently, Facebook has a mininum age requirement of 15 years of age. Parents will be responsible for setting up the account and approving any contacts their children add.
Children using the app can use video chat, send videos, images and text message.
Since the app has been released, an internet storm has been created by commentators who believe there is potentially issues for data privacy, technology addiction general kids' well-being.
My opinion is that there are already apps available to children of this age, so this concern is mis-directed. I am not saying that these issues are not legitimate. My point is that we should not be so concerned with the apps that children use, but moreso with how our kids use these apps. I remember when my kids were young, we would monitor what they were doing and try to educate them how to responsibly use their technology. Some guidelines are:
- Don't let kids use technology alone
- Monitor what the kids are doing and who they are speaking to
- Educate your kids about internet etiquette
- Talk to your kids about dangers and what to look out for
- Don't allow kids to accept friend requests or chat requests without your approval
These are simple guidelines and easy to put in place. Talk to your kids about the internet, how they can use it and some of the dangers they may come across.
Not only will this keep your child and their privacy safe on the internet, it will also set them in good stead for their future internet usage and image.
Find out more about Facebook Messenger Kids here.