Friday, July 2, 2010

Kids and Facebook

My wife and I seem to be the only people on the planet who are not Facebookers. I believe that I am fairly savvy when it comes to internet and social networking and made a decision while back to not set up Facebook for myself. I do have some accounts for pseudo-personalities (my real name is not Joe RockStarTri [gasp!]) and have extended some into Facebook mostly to check out what needs checking out but Facebook isn't something that I spend a lot of time on. I know that others feel differently and that's OK for them but our family decided to mostly abstain.

My eldest daughter really hasn't asked for Facebook since she has heard horror stories throughout middle school of kids releasing their inner moron on Facebook. At high school orientation though one presentation had to do with the evils of misused inappropriate social websites (aka Facebook) being the source of many school issues while the next presentation said that they let everyone know what's is going on with most of the after school activities via Facebook. I guess consistency won't be a strength of this school.

My daughter finally asked for a Facebook account so that she can "friend" her friends at camp when she comes home. This won't be done at camp since camp is a cell phone free and computer free zone. She would use Facebook as the way she'll keep in touch with these camp kids and then could use it for the school activities going forward. My wife and I agreed with her on terms and conditions and let her setup her account the night before she left for camp. One of our insane parent rules is that we have all the passwords and the right/responsibility to make sure she (and her friends) are using this appropriately by checking it frequently (yes, some may say we are mean but again, that's OK).

She was home only about 6 hours before she went to camp and sent out friend requests to a handful of her cronies. We've been checking her account while she has been gone. In only a few days, she now has over 30 friend requests.

I don't know what about this frightens me the most is the number of friend requests that she already has, what these kids put up on Facebook, or the amount of time that these kids are obviously choosing to dedicate to being attached to the keyboard. During summer. When there is no school.

Did I mention it was summer and there is this thing called "outside"? I'm sure some of these kids are waiting for someone to post a picture of 'outside" on Facebook so that they can "like it".


Unknown said...

You gotta go to and download the "South Park" episode about Facebook -- some brilliant TV it was!

Caratunk Girl said...

+1 on what Jeff said!

I have a Facebook account, and I check it like email, but not every day unless someone sends me a message or something. BUT that said, it seems that those under 25 live on it. (I feel like an old hag, "KIDS these days.." ha

KovasP said...

I've tried being active on FB, Twitter, Daily Mile, but interacting with the blogosphere is my favorite. The others just take too much effort and time. I'm always amazed that my high school and college aged nieces and nephews have like 700 friends - do I even know 700 people?

Tri Mommy said...

I personally think you are very wise to have access to all of your kids accounts. Whatever happens to be the social media of the day when our kids get to be high/middle school age will be montiored as well. I have a FB account and have a large number of "friends" to the point that I didn't even realize I knew that many people - and I don't "friend" you unless I actually know and like you. And I'm with you - outside is a wonderful place to be and kids don't spend enough time out there!

Unknown said...

I have one in high school and one going into college. Honestly, I'm on FB more than they are. They friend each other, but it doesn't seem to go much farther than that. I think they are more likely to text to keep up, and FB is a way to essentially text all their friends at once

Big Clyde said...

Rock, I am very similar to you on this one. I've not been on it, but otherwise am pretty tech savvy and really value the blogging world. My daughter, also entering high school, just got a FB account and we have the passwords, etc.

I am less concerned with my daughter falling deep into it (she'd still rather read books), but she has mentioned that so many kids use this as a way to communicate things (very publicly) that they would never say to their parents. Seems like a lot of parents disconnect.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Dang it, Jeff beat me to it

Aka Alice said...

If this post had a "like" button, I'd have clicked on it!

Julie said...

Hi Rock Star,
You are not alone....I do not have a Facebook or Myspace account/page. I have this blog and it keeps me busy enough:)

My daughter does have Facebook but honestly, she doesn't go on it much. She is not glued to our computer because I think that the excitement and newness has gone away. I think that you did the right thing by getting all of the passwords...when she gets a little older she might think that you are invading her privacy. Just keep that in mind.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Diane said...

I joined the Facebook gang a couple of months ago. At that time my daughter was asking for an account and I agreed under the terms that she Friend me and that I have access to her account. I keep track of her and leave her, "I love you doodle" messages on her wall.

I enjoy some of what Facebook has to offer - dropping a message to my nieces and nephews or getting a quick message out to my bike friends. Throwing up a bunch of pictures from our latest ride or hike. But I agree with you that it has to be used with caution and care. Like all technology today there is potential for abuse and misuse.

My favorite quote from you ever Rockstar - "waiting for someone to post a picture of 'outside' on Facebook so they can like it". Absolutely brilliant!!

joyRuN said...

We just had a scare about my neighbor's 10yo & some FB mischief she got herself into.

SCARY STUFF - I almost took my account down, but it's been a good way to keep in touch with the distant family.

Very smart that you have access to your children's accounts.

Al's CL Reviews said...

I'm on it, a lot. Just because what else am I going to do right now?

2 of my nieces have accounts and rarely use them. One uses it for cheer (HS) and the other uses it to talk to friends at other colleges (college obviously). They are friends with their mom. My other niece...she is the "horror stories" of FB that you worry about (pics posted, calling people unflattering things, etc.) She has everyone in the family blocked (but forgot me so I can see it because her security settings are low).