Friday, February 26, 2010

Crossed the line

Before Myspace became a cesspool for all that's RoNg WiT aRe (spelled like that on purpose which I hope you picked up on) youth, I had an account. I got annoyed with attempting to read werdz spelt rongz n iN fUcKd Up LeTtErZ. I actually still have an account, but I rarely log on. The only time I do is when I want to see if my sister has put up any new pictures of my nephews. I was then persuaded to follow the flock to Facebook. (I still refuse to use Twitter) I enjoy my Facebook account because it actually seems like a place for adults to communicate via the web. This is why when Ethan asked me if he could create a Facebook page, I said, "NO!" (in addition to denying Myspace)

He continued to ask me several times, to which my reply was the same. I ended up caving when he showed me that all of his friends have a Facebook page. If you've read my post on cell phones for kids you already know that I'm not the parent who gives in just because "everyone else is doing it". But I thought long and hard about it and decided that it wouldn't be a such a bad thing. After all, I can monitor his page, his friends, and how much time he spends on the site.

The privilege (there's that word again) of belonging to a social networking site came with several rules for him. Aside from the time limits and being nice rules, I told him the following:
*He's not allowed to accept friend requests from anyone he doesn't know. And by "know" I mean actually have met in person.
*He's not to send or reply to messages from anyone he doesn't know.
*He's not to play any games that interact with other people who he doesn't know.
*He's not to give out any personal information to anyone without asking me first. (For example, if one of his friend's asks for his number, he needs to come to me.)
*He's not to accept or send friend requests to any adults, including myself.

I added the last rule because as I mentioned before, to me, Facebook is a nice place for ADULTS to communicate. I do not want messages on my wall from my 11 y/o son and I do not want him leaving other adults messages either. Sure some people may find it cute, but I'm not one of those people. I actually just got a friend request from a former neighbor's 10 y/o son. And I don't know what to do! I don't want to accept him as a friend but I don't want to be rude and decline him either. It's this very position that I don't want my son putting other adults into.

I wish social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace would have a separate section for tweens/teens. This way they could still be part of the network, but they'd still be separate. They wouldn't be able to interact with the grown-ups and vice versa.

Deep Throat of the Day: DON'T BRING YOUR SICK KID TO WORK! (I know some of you have already heard me complain about this, but I'm still chapped about it.)


Britni TheVadgeWig said...

If you make a "limited profile" group, you can choose what they can and can't see on your profile. I have most of my friends on that, and they can't see status updates, links I post, or anything written on my wall. Nor can they see any personal information beyond the basics.

You can make different groups and handpick which sections, which photo albums, and which information that group can see. It's really helpful.

Kira said...

My daughter asked for a Facebook account as many of her friends have one too, and I said not until she turns 13 (she's 12). The end. Actually, for some reason I was under the impression that 13 was the minimum age allowed on FB, but that might have changed--it WAS just college students at first, then they expanded it to high school students too, and then they had it open up to everybody. That being said, I don't care if people 13 and up are on my page. My nieces and nephews are on my FB, and my daughter's 13 yr old best friend, Amber, friended me. I never belonged to MySpace, so I'm not scarred from that experience. I guess that might be the difference. Well, that and the three 13 yr olds who are on my FB are more mature than most adults I know of. What I hate is when folks want to add me as a friend even though they don't know me from a hole in the wall because they just want lots of friends for their numbers. I always turn those down. Oh, and when my ex tried to add me, I turned that one down too :P

Grant said...

A coworker brought her daughter and her daughter's pink eye to work to show her around so that we would know she had a legitimate reason for taking the day off, which we all really appreciated.

Anonymous said...

My 11 year old wants a facebook and I'm against it. I dunno if her friends have one or not. I let the bride handle that!!

Joker_SATX said...

My daughter has a Facebook account. She is 14 now, going on 15. She signed on board at 12 when she decided she wanted to move in with her mother, my ex. She felt that at the time, I was too restrictive...too many rules...she wanted more freedom.

Today my current wife and I got new cell phones..Iphones actually. Immediately my daughter chimed in.."I want an Iphone. Daddy can you get me an Iphone?"

I turned around to her and smiled. I said, "Get one from your mom, my version of the Iphone comes with too many rules."

...And now I wonder why she won't talk to me.

~Kenny said...

Ahhh most of my kids are all older so they have FB accounts, but I got tired of em bein all up in my grill, so I blocked the annoying ones! :-)

Hubman said...

A lot of what you want to restrict with his use can be dealt with through various settings in his account. I blogged about it once before with a link to a site about security and Facebook, I'll see if I can find it and I'll e-mail you the link.

Another Suburban Mom said...

Hubman and I really restrict DB's activity on the web. He is only allowed to visit sites that we have bookmarked for him. If he wants to visit anything off the list, he has to type in the URL right in front of one of us and then we veto.

Yeah, we're mean ass parents. We suck!

And by the way, welcome back to writing. I have missed your voice.