Your own children and Facebook

Discussion in 'General Education' started by glen, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. glen

    glen Companion

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    Jul 9, 2009

    My son (14) is begging for a Facebook page. He has agreed to setting it to private, having me as a friend, and giving me his username/password so I can access it if necessary. We have not decided to allow him, yet. My husband's concern is that kids are already constantly in contact with one another and is this just going to add to that. I think DS wants one because it has basically replaced AIM for teens. I know most of his friends have them, and I'm pretty sure if we don't allow him, he will eventually make one anyway (he is a teenager, after all) and I won't have access/knowledge of what he's up to.

    Jem's thread about photostalker also has me thinking. My older son will be a junior this year and would like a Facebook page,too. I have some concerns that could be more cyber-paranoia than anything else. Do colleges search sites like Facebook and use what they find when considering acceptances/scholarships? Is that unreasonable? It would be easy for colleges to do. He's worked so hard academically and athletically to maximaize his college opportunities, I'd hate to see something like this jeopardize his future.

    How many of you allow your teens to have a Facebook? What precautions do you have in place?
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I don't have kids, but I think this could be used as a positive way to teach about internet safety (and moderation when using the internet, something I never have learned!).

    Colleges certainly do check things like My Space and Facebook--I know many of the graduate departments at my university do this. However, if he has nothing illegal, objectionable, or otherwise negative, what harm can it do? Proper privacy precautions and common sense go a long way.

    Actually, many of my professors are on Facebook and are listed as friends for most of us in the department. People have some party photos and other personal things up, but nothing crazy or anything that would bother schools or employers.
     
  4. glen

    glen Companion

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    I've been thinking along those lines. I know kids are growing up differently than we did, with different concerns and different things that they need to be aware of. While I don't see a 'need' for a Facebook page, I do see where we are right now as a learning opportunity for my sons. I know at some point they are going to have one. Maybe this is the right time to teach them how to use such a site safely.
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Both of my kids have them and they are set as private as possible. My oldest even let me be his friend (one of the hundreds)! My youngest is not really very social and he hardly looks at his page. I agree that it is a really good learning tool. My oldest wants to teach someday and we've had repeated discussions about appropriateness of what's posted.
     
  6. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    My oldest (17yrs) has one I am a friend as are here grandmother and her godmother. I allowed it with the same rules as for her myspace. I must have her passwords and she cannot add people if she does not know them. My younger teen (15 1/2 yrs) does not want them.

    I think with these as long as they are following your rules they are fine. I believe they are great learning tools as others have already pointed out. I would like to point something out to everyone: WHen it comes to safety I do not think that facebook and myspace are the only problems. I know of many people who think that the "bad" people will be able to be friends with their children. I hope people realize that there are worse places than these where teens are everyday. Those are message boards and groups. Every search engine seems to have them and all you need is an email to access these boards. I am talking about things like yahoo groups. I know this as my ex was on these when he was caught, tried and convicted of crimes against children. He met all of his victims in these boards and groups. He told the judge in his trial that these places made it easy it was harder to get kids than on myspace and facebook because parents knew about those sites.

    If you trust your children and know what they are doing online facebook and myspace accounts should be fine.
     
  7. animalclass

    animalclass Companion

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    Jul 9, 2009

    how about you put them under nick names, like instead of nickolas smith put nic smith
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My daughter is only 5 yr olds. However, if she wants a facebook when she's older (or whatever is around then) then I would have no trouble allowing her to have one as long as I was a friend, had her passwords, approved her pictures, and she couldn't have befriend anyone she didn't know.
     
  9. flyingmickey

    flyingmickey Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2009

    My DS is 14 and he has one. He is friends with a few of my friends, all his aunts and cousins - I would know in a minute if he wasn't behaving.
    I have full access to his account.
     
  10. mdith4him

    mdith4him Companion

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    I think it's a good idea to have them accept you as a friend and get their passwords so you can check up on them. Although, I would only use the password to log onto their accounts if you had legitimate reasons to suspect something wrong was going on. I think this would be a good opportunity for them to build trust with you. I know when I was that age, I wanted my parents to respect my privacy and it meant a lot when they showed that they trusted me. I was generally a good kid...never kid anything that was objectionable! You know your kids best, though.

    Even if colleges checked your child's Facebook or MySpace page that shouldn't have anything to do with whether or not they accept them or not. Having an account on those sites isn't the issue--it's only a problem if you have pictures of them doing something wrong or they have information/quotes, etc. using bad language, risque humor or things like that.

    Of course, as soon as your kids get to college, they can create an account without your permission...so it might be nice to supervise it while they're at home and then have that be one of the ways you "let them go" so to speak.
     
  11. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I think given your perimeters it will be OK. It's hard to switch our mindset from our lives as teens to teens today, but it seems like you have created a happy medium. It may actually be beneficial and keep you more in the loop of your child's social life than if you didn't have such access.
     
  12. glen

    glen Companion

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    Thanks for all of the advice. I agree, I would only use their passwords if I had cause to, and I don't think I would allow any pictures. I don't even give the school permission to post their pictures because we have always told them it's not OK to post pictures of themselves. I wouldn't really be upset if the school posted pictures, I just do that for consistency and to reinforce the point. My kids are good kids- three sport athletes, straight A students, the older one holds a job and works 5 days a week during the summer. My gut says to trust them, guide them, and give them a chance (with some strict parameters, of course).
     
  13. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jul 9, 2009

    My 13 year old has one. Her friend list includes all her dance friends and their mothers and grandmothers. Her aunts and uncles and cousins are on that list too.
    I've been on fb for about 6 months and find it pretty mild..lots of silly quizzes, food fights, pillow fights.
    I'm hooked on bejewelled! :p :whistle:
    My daughter can chat with her uncle in Afganistan.

    I don't let her post any pictures without my say so and I don't let her accept any friends without checking with me....

    If you're a good parent and it sure sounds like it:D and monitor your child, there should be no problem with letting kids get a facebook page.
     
  14. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    My children each have one and we have access to it.

    When I allowed them to get Facebook, I was amazed at how many of their friends had already posted pictures of them. So, even if you do not allow your child to post pictures, they probably are up there somewhere with their names attached. I guess I felt better once we had accounts and could actually see what was up on it.
     
  15. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    When Facebook first got to be huge, I was still in college, and at that point in time it was only for colleges. I still think it should be that way. Then most users would be 18 and up. I'm not OK with younger users being on it at all, but what can I do?

    As an adult, I still have to have the most private settings, because I don't want students being able to find me on there.
     
  16. fast chalk

    fast chalk Comrade

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    For the time being I don´t let my daughter get on line w Facebook, I think she is too little and there are so many risks in there, so I´m sorry, no so far
     
  17. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think it is great to get them a Facebook page. I think it's very important for them to understand the current culture, and that involves Facebook. Your restrictions may be a little tighter than I would have for a parent, but you have to do what makes you feel comfortable.
     
  18. Lionteacher

    Lionteacher Companion

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    I know colleges have busted students who are underage for drinking in dorms. Police have also used it for underage drinking busts too, they shared articles while I was in undergrad about it (4 years ago).

    If you read the facebook policy they basically can use anything you post however they want to.
     

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