Why Facebook isn’t for 8-year-olds

Montreal Famiies Magazine March coverIn this month’s Montreal Families Magazine cover story, I explain to my eight-year-old why she can’t have a Facebook account. Even though she really, really want one. Even though it’s not fair and I’m the meanest mommy in the whole world (for that moment anyway).

Check out this brief excerpt. (You can read the full story here.)

Maya sidled up to me the other day to watch a funny video I had found on Facebook. When the giggling subsided, my 8-year-old daughter became unusually quiet. This is usually a sign she’s got something brewing, so I mentally steeled myself for the ensuing debate. After a few seconds, she looked at me with a determined expression and asked:“Why can’t I have a Facebook account?”
It was not the first time she had asked me this question. And we both knew that I had a well-developed list of reasons for saying no. But this time my precocious third-grader had her arguments at the ready.  Eyes narrowed and brow furrowed, she launched into her opening arguments. She only wanted to play games on it. A number of her friends are on Facebook (actually, we only personally know two her age). Her two sisters were allowed to have Facebook accounts when they were 11, and were they really that much more mature than she is now?


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