Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FACEBOOK FOR KIDS?? {IS IT OKAY?} ADVISE NEEDED


My daughter has been BEGGING..... yep, I said BEGGING for a facebook account for about a year now.  Many of her friends have one (to which she OF COURSE hears the reply "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it to?"  OR "Good for them, I'm not Susie's mom"  and many other smart butt remarks but the truth is I'm on the fence.

I wasn't on the fence......now I'm on the fence.  She is in 7th grade, many of her friends have it and are always sending me emails asking me to please let my daughter get an account.

The predator thing is, of course, in my mind BUT the computer is on the desk next to my desk in the middle of our home and they youngsters aren't allowed to take it to their rooms.  If you are going to type it, it better be okay for Momma to read it.  I don't read every email or get way up in their business but I know WHO they are emailing and if I feel the need to get up in their business I have no issue doing it..  It's my job as their Momma.

BUT my biggest concern is.........

DRAMA...... DRAMA.........DRAMA......  Anyone with daughters has to know about the DRAMA.....

Can you believe how mean girls can be??? It's crazy.  What's even more crazy is the Mommas that tend to join in and make things worse.  Fortunately I haven't had too much of that YET but I don't want it.  And this concerns me.....

I remember when my oldest was on MySpace.  OMYGOSH....  so and so says this about so and so and then everyone is telling everyone and then they are arguing and then there is a fight at school.  Or one kid says another kid is ugly or who knows....and I'm afraid of that.

Even 40 year olds are going on there with their drama.  Saying something "without SAYING it".....so someone else will read it and figure out it is about them.  GROW UP PEOPLE as bad as you might wish you were WE ARE NOT IN HIGH SCHOOL. 

If 40 +year olds can't help themselves can I expect it to be different for 12 and 13 year olds?

My daughter argues that she won't get sucked into the drama and she will only be friends with her good friends on there.....  I'm just thinking it's 7th grade, granted at a little K-8th mountain school but still......

Sooooooooo ....... Am I being over protective?  Am I over thinking it? I tend to do this allot.... Do I let her get a CLOSELY MONITORED facebook page and if the drama starts to go on and close her page?

OR

Do I just stick to my initial thought of Nooooooo.....

I NEED your opinions please......What do you all think and why?

Ciao Bellas~

Momma

P.S.  It's only right that in a post about Facebook I ask you to click the link on my blog join me on my facebook page.  No drama on my page... promise.... (smile)

17 comments:

  1. I went round and round about this also and I have boys. Unfortunately, they are teenagers, so there will always be drama. I let them set one up, but I know their passwords, I'm their friend and all their security settings are for friends only. If I see something on their pages that I don't like or don't think is appropriate, I make them delete it with me standing right there watching. They don't like this, particularly since they are almost 17 and 15, but I always remind them that I can take it all away...and that's because I'm their momma ;) I guess what I'm saying is that we can never be too diligent in monitoring their activity. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Steph, My best friend went through this last year, and she allowed the page - however, she told her daughter that she can only be friends with the people that she's actually friends with, she monitors the "friend" accepts, her page is private, everything is set to "only friends" and does not allow her to put her age, grade she's in or that she's into "men", you know that section, also, she asked her friends, not to friend Daughter, and vice versa -because does a 7th grader REALLY need to see a 40 year old's drama....NO!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a tough one. I don't have kids, but I am of the generation of the original facebook, which started as something that only those enrolled in a college could have. Back then it was fairly harmless since it was literally only college aged kids on it. That was about 8 years ago and since then it has really morphed into what it is today. I guess I would say that as long as you found a way to monitor it? It could be a lesson for her, via you, about internet etiquette and how to conduct yourself online. Just a thought. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with Jociegal. I don't have children either, but it seems like you are trying to do the right thing and be involved in her life, which is so much more than most parents now-a-days! Monitor it closely, especially what pictures she puts up and what comments people write about those pictures. One way to avoid 'FB drama' is to log on before her and check her notifications maybe? That way if there's anything hurtful you could delete it before she saw it? Yet again, sheltering her too much isn't good either... Ahhh, parenting is so hard! hehe I don't envy you, but I'm sure you'll make the right decision!

    BTW, thanks for the comment on my blog! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I also don't have kids, but I have already thought about this issue. I have been on FB since the time when it was only college students as well. As someone who admittedly checks Facebook too much, I worry about kids gluing themselves to a computer for hours on end. It seems like if you monitor her page closely and maybe limit computer time that it would be fine.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you all soooooo much for your advise and opinions. I really really really really appeciate it. This has been an on-going issue for the last year and I think it is so great when we can bounce things off of each other and get outside opinions and ideas on how best to handle situations.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have allowed my 2 older children (15 and 13) to have facebook on the understanding that I am 'friends' with them and can access their pages.
    I sat with them to amend the default settings to make them as 'safe' as I could.
    They have rules about what not to discuss on their pages and they know any getting involved in what u describe as drama and they will be off. Also reminded them not to accept anyone they do not know or like pages just for the sake of it in case these pages have a sinister motive.

    Is working ok so far.

    carol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good to know Carol and great idea about pressing "like" on pages just for the sake of it. Great point, I didn't even think about that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't have facebook - discovered everyone was posting things that were time-suckers. Nothing wrong with it but then again, how many games can a person post about in one day? My take is: if you have to ask, you already know your answer. Then again, a former "e-stalker" found me on there so I deleted my account and haven't missed it. I think there has been some terrific advice on here - keeping it safe!

    ReplyDelete
  10. My 13 year old niece was down for a visit this summer. Within two days of her being here the drama "hit the fan"! I remember how mean girls can be when I was her age. My niece's experience proved that things haven't really changed with that. There are just more opportunities to be mean now than when I was her age ~ bullying only happened in person because there weren't cell phones or computers back then. (Yikes, I just let on to how old I really am!)

    I wish my niece wasn't on facebook yet. Her time could have been easily monopolized by the computer if we had let it. Not to mention, I had to step in and tell a young lady to stop sending threatening facebook messages to my niece. The poor kid was upset for days.

    My daughter is only six so we have a few years to go before we cross that bridge. We're a bit freaky when it comes to online security. Even though I'm on facebook, blog and post photos, we never use her first name online. Nearly all of our family lives out of state and so blogging & bacebook is an easy way for family to keep up to date with what's going on. Yet everyone knows, even my 13 year old niece, not to use our daughter's name online.

    Are we overprotective? Absolutely! I have no regrets about that. But I'm also of the mindset that you only get once chance to protect your child's childhood and innocence. You can't regain those once they're lost. All that to say... follow your gut!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My 12 year old (7th grader) also wants a FB account as well.. but when I told her "listen, as long as we answer the questions HONESTLY when we set up the account -- that means NO lying on the year you were born.. and if it allows you to have an account using all the information you give, then you can have one." I knew the age minimum is 13 years old. Now, when the time comes, she will have one, but I will be on her profile, will see her friends, etc. ALL that stuff, and she knows it too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am new here! Would love for you to come visit me too :)

    Have a great day!

    http://www.trying2staycalm.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Not in my house! But that's just me. I figure if they can't call and talk on the phone or at school then they certainly don't need to be on facebook. I feel like too much time is wasted with tv computers and whatnot that they can be outside or read a book for that matter. But again that's just me!

    I like facebook I do and I have an account but it's also a time suck... :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mike couldn't until he turned 18. I just wasn't comfortable with it and what happened is I did it first just to see. Mine is very generic but good enough to feel the water first.
    Just my thoughts on it all.
    Take care and God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  15. so many good points! I can't thank you all enough for all your input.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My son has a FB page, he's in 8th. And it's not under his name. It's a nickname. I worry about giving too much personal information. Like those questions that want you to answer all these questions about yourself. Also, when you "like" pages it tells you that your information will be visible to others who "like" the same page.
    He is very careful. Thank Goodness!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I know this input may come a little late, but I just saw the post now... oops!

    Anyway: I'm 25, at university and I don't have FB. I refuse to have FB, the main reason being that they have security glitches (at best!) and scandals and shady backdoor information selling deals that creep up in the news literally every week. I also admit to finding it very confusing (I've had friends show me their FB pages to get a feel for it) and I don't feel a need to be flooded with irrelevant information like "Sarah would like a muffin" or "John threw a sheep at Joe". I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but to me that's the essence of FB. I am way happier interacting in a fun, simple way on twitter and via my blog.
    That's all to say: I don't think kids need FB pages, even if peer pressure makes them think they do. If they are going to be monitored, made sure that they only friend people they actually know etc etc, then why do they need it anyway? If you're friends with someone in real life, isn't texting, the phone and email more than enough?
    I don't have children, but maybe there's a lesson in handling peer pressure to be learned through this. My brother (who's 17) has had FB for about 3 years now and I can tell you that none of the stuff he does on there actually adds to his quality of life or the way he gets information about his friends. He just wastes time dillydallying on it, *thinking* he's connecting in a way that is unique. That's not so.
    If there's no real advantage (and frankly, I don't see it for most adults, much less for children) to be had from having a FB account, then why get one at all? In my opinion, childhood is a great time because we learn how to make friends, we learn every day a bit more about the world and our place in it and what we want and what to do. These are all real experiences and if we don't learn them as children, it'll hinder us later in life. FB is a virtual universe in which drama is inevitable (just think of all those murders and other crimes that have happened because of seemingly harmless things like FB status changes). And we all know that online arguments are the worst because they are almost always unsolvable.

    Anyway, that's my (lengthy) two cents on the subject. Do let us know what you're final decision was and why, so we can learn something from it. :)

    ReplyDelete