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October 26, 2008


Dunno if this would help...but if you sign her up with HER name and YOUR e-mail address, every single message sent to her will be sent to your inbox. Every "post" to her wall. Every "friend request." AND if she "forgets her password" and has to reset it, she can only do it via you and your e-mail, which means you can always get into her account.

HOWEVER, she can still use a chat program within Facebook, to chat with anyone on her "friend list" online. So that would simply mean monitoring her "friend list," approving those who she may add to the list, and setting ground rules about the consequences of adding friends without parental permission, or making very sure one knows who one is adding.

Facebook rocks, and these days, social networking sites like Facebook are an integral part of a teen's social life. Heck, I'm 42, and it's a big part of my life, as I reconnect with college friends, communicate with my brothers from half a planet away, and network with potential clients! It's also the ONLY way I was able to get in touch with a headstrong niece who'd cut the rest of the family out of her life.

My vote (which counts for NOTHING, of course!) is to let her do it...or fit her for a bonnet and start saving for her horse and buggy...

carolie makes me laugh.

but seriously, roo has a facebook account -- and so do i. she and i are "friends," which means that everything she does shows up on my feed. i learn a lot that way, and keep tabs on things too.

and the day she unfriends me is the day she loses her facebook account.

(btw, i STILL refuse to let her have a myspace -- and she is chomping at the bit for that one. but i dont have the kind of control i need over that.)

Listen you have every right to want this to occur under your supervision.

People were surprised when I wouldn't let my kindergarten child go on a field trip into a very big city. Parents aren't allowed to go, that means close to 250 kids and 11 adults, and my son....my son the one who will talk to anyone about anything, could easily be swayed into going somewhere with a stranger.

And, with a 1 to 15 ratio, he could easily get out of the adults sight. We don't even let him go to the bathroom alone in restaurants yet and they want me to let them take him with all those kids and a few adults into a big city...no freakin' way....

HIs teacher agreed that his personality was such that he would just go with anyone that was convincing enough. I told him the other day that he needed to listen to adults and do what they say, not what other kids say. He asked my mom a few days later if she was an adult. See he is vulnerable...

And, facebook, myspace, it all makes our youngsters so vulnerable...but moderating could work, couldn't it?

My daughter (age 21) has a Facebook page, but no MySpace. She says MySpace is creepy. She appreciates the safety features in Facebook.
I support the idea of starting her with a page now, placing limits on it, and keeping close tabs on it yourself while she's still under your roof.

These comments are incredibly helpful. Thank you! Now I know where to start, at least.

Although Carolie didn't bother telling me where I could find that horse and buggy...

my two cents. (ok, so it is never just two)

i agree with carolie, we need to understand that this is their world now. social networking is THEIR social world.

i forget how old your daughter is so this may be some advice for older teens, but i am a little wary of the constant monitoring. you don't want to know every detail of her social world. if you are worried about inappropriate behavior, talk about it with her. ALOT. teach her about the ramifications.

but spying is just that. did you want your mom reading your diary or listening in on your phone calls?

I know this is different as it is the big bad internet and I get the fears, but we as parents of the generation who were born into this social networking world had better learn to embrace this and help them navigate the right and wrong of it or we are doing them a disservice.

honestly, most of what goes up there is regular teen drivel. yes there is inappropriate behavior and ramifications tied to it, but we need to find a better way to help them with this than forbidding and spying.

ok, maybe 10 cents, but I am very passionate about this topic. (can you tell?)

oh jeez, i just became one of those commenters that wrote more than the original post. shoot me now!

I don't monitor Facebook or MySpace every day, but I do have the passwords and the only Internet access is in the family room.

I've seen too many kids driven underground (they have accounts at friend's houses and the parents are none the wiser) to flat out forbid it.

Glad I could make you laugh, Janet! Hee hee!

I agree with Jenn that it isn't a matter of monitoring every day, it's the fact that you COULD monitor that might make your teen a little more thoughtful about posting, "friending," etc.

Amy, I agree with you as well, in that I think reading mail, journals, diaries, etc. is a serious violation of privacy. Everyone, even a teenager (especially a teenager?) needs to have some expectations of privacy somewhere in his or her life. I think keeping tabs on a social networking site is different than opening and reading your teenager's mail or diary...it IS a safety issue. I think you have to walk a fine line, to let your teen know that you trust her, and your monitoring is primarily a way of protecting her, not trying to catch her doing something wrong.

Monitoring a teenager's Facebook account is sort of like making sure her miniskirt, while fashionable, isn't so short she's inadvertently (or purposefully!) flashing the world...it allows her to leave the house and "hang out at the virtual mall" but still allows you to ensure scary pervs aren't following her home.

As for the horse and buggy, I'd say Google it, but I guess most Mennonite and Amish communities don't post "Buggy For Sale" ads online...

Sorry...I'm obviously one of "those commenters" who can't leave a short comment!

Online networking isn't the same as a diary. With a diary, you have an expectation of privacy. But what I am trying to teach the teens is that, online, you should expect no such thing. So I agree with Carolie - just the knowledge that I could see what is on her page instills in her the right amount of caution for networking online. And, hopefully, that habit of caution will continue into her adult life.

I have full access to her e-mail account for the same reasons. Believe me, there is no way that I would want to spend my time wading through all those exclamation points and deliberate misspellings! But her knowing that I could do it keeps her aware of what she is sharing in what is essentially a public forum.

I think Carolie had an excellent plan/advice. When my oldest signed up for myspace (which is not as cool as facebook...myspace is on the way out, as I understand it) I gave him the choice: either share your password with me or friend me. He chose to friend me. He & I both have everything set to private (photos, information, everything) so only friends can view those things. He rarely uses the "wall" to talk with friends anymore - they mostly send a message or use the "chat" feature (he just showed me how to use it). He's a good kid and I trust him - and I tell him so. Like Jenn, our one-and-only internet access computer is in the most visible site of the house.
So far, the 17yo is the only one who social networks; the 16yo hardly notices the existence of other life forms, and the 7th grader only uses the internet for watching funny youtube videos and playing games on funorb.

PS: Anna could use her first name only, or a first name & last initial. MM has some female buddies who do that.

I have no idea but I'm taking notes here from your comments.

Facebook is pretty much okay, but you want your kid to understand that she "friends" only people she knows in real life, and makes her site visible only to her friends. Probably that's the way most of her peers operate too. It's only kids who are really naive, or lonely, or wreckless who make their pages visible to others, or "friend" people they don't actually know. I think that happens more on MySpace.

Just make sure its set to private not public, I once googled my own name and there was all my details and photos for the world to see, I had no idea!

Also tell your daughter not to put anything on facebook that she wouldnt want on a billboard outside her house, school or local town centre? Its the same thing but worldwide!

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