You think that today’s attention-starved, narcissistic social-media addicts are acting like 12-year-olds?
So, is it any wonder Mark Zuckerberg is under fire for an idea to enable actual 12-year-olds – and under — to jump into their own form of Instagram?
Seems like a bad idea to more than 100 member of an advocacy group who, on Thursday, urged the Facebook CEO to rethink his plan to roll out the junior-level version of the popular photo-sharing app to kids under 13.
Saying it would put them at “great risk” may sound hyperbolic, but it’s easy to share their concern.
Acceptance from peers is perhaps the key to pre-pubescent survival, and a platform that allows – even encourages – snap judgment of an individual comes with serious risks.
The letter to Zuckerberg from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and other groups and researchers say the app would prey on the youngsters’ fear of missing out.
“The platform’s relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation, and branding presents challenges to adolescents’ privacy and well-being,” the letter said. “Younger children are even less developmentally equipped to deal with these challenges, as they are learning to navigate social interactions, friendships, and their inner sense of strengths during this crucial window of development.”
Zuckerberg confirmed the early-stage plans during a Congressional hearing last month.
“I think helping people stay connected with friends and learn about different content online is broadly positive,” Zuckerberg told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 25. “There were clearly issues that need to be thought through and worked out, including how parents can control the experience of kids, especially kids under the age of 13.”
CCFC is a nonprofit organization that believes child-targeted marketing, along with the excessive screen time it encourages, will damage kids’ healthy development.