Facebook has made some recent changes as of late. One of which now allows kids from the ages of 13 to 17, to publicly gain followers. Before this change, users of this age group were only able to share their personal content with friends and custom groups. Now, they too, have the freedom to be able to gain followers and spread their posts to a wider audience.
As we find ourselves amidst the age of all things digital, the impact has been immense. Children born from the 90’s onward fell straight into a life that’s all things digital. From playing “pick-up-sticks” to rocking GTA on a portable Playstation, technology has dramatically impacted the concept of childhood. More importantly, the way we socialise has also been impacted.
On many nodes, online platforms such as Facebook or Myspace, make life easier. You are able to access details about others lives which you wouldn’t know. And in this hectic life, between work, school or college, there isn’t always time to be actively socially engaged.
A Thought to Ponder…
Although, how many would agree that this is a good idea? Do children between that age group have the knowledge, wisdom and responsibility to utilise an online platform? Do they understand the repercussions to which their say could inflict?
On 15 October 2013, a report from America shocked the world. A young teen, 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. What is the connection you ask? She was a victim of online bullying. Online bullying is real and its consequences are dire. 14 and 12 year old girls were arrested and charged with felonies of aggravated stalking.
After bullying Rebecca and telling her to “drink bleach and die”, the victim of this online bullying succumbed and committed suicide. Once the bullies found out of her untimely death, they posted “I know Rebecca killed herself but I don’t give a f___.”
So… With Facebook’s recent allowance changes, how many teens are going to be able to use this online media profile responsibly? Would it just be more of a platform for online bullying? We’ll have to wait and see…