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Is a Facebook account a new milestone in life?

Good Evening, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.

According to Facebook’s rules you need to be 13 or over to have a Facebook personal profile.

My question today is: Is getting a Facebook profile becoming a rite of passage?  Similar to looking forward to getting your ears pierced (I had to wait until 13) or getting your first mobile phone or being allowed to go out alone with friends in the evening?  With social networking becoming more and more part of our lives I would venture to say “yes”.  Similar to your first pair of heels (girls or boys, lets not be biased) or your first razor this is another way for teens to express themselves, and really a rite of passage is what expressing yourself is all about.

I was thinking that growing up back in the day before the internet we used to look forward to….

  • Reaching 11 to go to secondary school
  • Reaching 13 and being able to be called a teenager
  • Reaching 14 to be able to get a job
  • Reaching 16 to learn to drive
  • Reaching 18 to be able to legally drink (sorry any Americans reading this!)

Now becoming a teenager and joining a social network is a milestone in life.  Obviously there are those rebels who lie about their age and join aged 8 or 9 or 10 or 2 (yes, well his Mum joined him!), similar to people who lie about their age and drink in bars.  But as parents start to get more concerned about privacy on Facebook I am sure they will police their child’s usage more and more.

According to the Facebook ad stats there are 118,880 Australians aged 13 on the network, and 1,928,180 Australian teenagers (aged 13 – 19), this is out of the approximately 2.5million teenagers in Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, September 2009).  Therefore by my, rough back of an envelope don’t quote me, calculations about 80% of all Aussie teens are on Facebook!!!

Back in 2009 we saw social networking overtake email in terms of popularity, now in 2010 will social networking overtake learning to drive?  No need to learn, I have a web cam and all my friends are online…. or getting a job? I can get one online….

Much as I love social media, it sometimes alarms/excites me the rate that things are changing.  I wonder how much my children (which I don’t have as yet….) will ridicule me for saying “back in my day” like some old lady when people no longer use email, and faxing well isn’t that a dance move?

(PS this isn’t me!)

Anyone else worried/excited about the pace of change in the online world?  Would love to hear your comments either below or on the Social Rabbit Facebook Page, but please don’t email me – it’s sooooo passe darling!

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