PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More than a billion people worldwide are now on Facebook. It’s a great way to keep in touch, reconnect and document your daily life.
But, what if someone else was doing that for you. Say, your mom or dad?
More and more parents are creating Facebook pages for their kids.
Much like other parents, Jodi and John take pictures of their kids every day and are posting them to Facebook.
“I noticed that I had hundreds of pictures on my Facebook page of James. So, I just created a Facebook account for him so I could easily link them,” John said.
By the time Hunter was born, both boys had accounts and were tagged in tons of pictures – using Facebook’s timeline feature to document the days, weeks and years that go by.
“There’s no difference if they have an account or they don’t. We’re going to put their pictures on Facebook. It just helps me keep it a little bit more in order when they have an account,” John says.
“And it’s easier than emailing the pictures to family out of town,” Jodi says.
In order to set up the accounts, John lied about the boys’ ages to meet Facebook’s policy that you must be 13 years old. At this point, some may be questioning the privacy and security of all this.
John says if you’re careful, it’s safe.
“You have security at your house. You have locks on your doors for a reason. You can put locks on your accounts like if you’re using Facebook or any other social media out there,” he says. “We typically only keep it to close family and friends that can actually see their information.”
James and Hunter aren’t alone. A study done just five years ago shows that 90 percent of children in the United States have some sort of digital footprint by the time they reach two.
“Everybody has a digital footprint now. From the time you’re born until the time you die, you have some sort of digital footprint,” RMU Assistant Professor Of Communications Chad Wertley says.
Wertley says it’s not creating a digital footprint that’s the issue. He says it’s more about the kids’ future expectation of privacy.
“I think privacy, feelings of privacy and what we consider private info and what we consider public info is different,” he says.
Wertley says those feelings may change as the kids grow up.
“Will that be a big deal at one, two, three-years-old? No. But, what about when they hit the tween years and the teenage years?” he says.
John and Jodi say they’ll address those issues as the boys get older.
Believing that the age of a photo album is long gone, they say this is a great way to connect family and friends who want to see every moment possible.
“I mean if you look at their motto, all they’re trying to do is connect the world. It’s a pretty simple premise. And it’s working,” John says.