Children On Facebook

After reading the article Playing I Spy with Facebook, I have only one comment.

The first thing that came to my mind is, when my children start a facebook account, I shall be the one to show them how and what they should or should not do. I would also insist that I be their friend on facebook.

However, I would never leave a negative comment on their accounts. Encouraging comments are okay but not negative ones. If there is anything I need to talk to them about their conduct or their friend’s conduct on facebook, then I will talk to them in person instead of leaving a comment. I think it is ridiculous to leave a comment on your children’s facebook account when you have something important to discuss with them.

Firstly, they will be afraid of being laughed at and ridiculed by their friends. Secondly, facebook is not the place for any family or even lovers discussion for all to see. Family discussions should be kept private.

Lastly, no, I do not think that I will be invading their privacy by being their friend on facebook. Certainly not! I am their parent. For their own safety, I SHOULD know what is going on in their lives. I would not read their diary but a facebook account is unlike a diary. Sometimes, if the privacy profile is not set up, the whole world can read what is being written, so why shouldn’t I, the parent? However, as I said, for the sake of their privacy, I will refrain from commenting anything negative. I will also refrain from reading it in detail and discussing things with them in detail. Just enough to know that they are doing the right thing is good enough.

As a parent, I would make it a point to know my children’s friends so that they do not get into the wrong company, all the more so for cyber friends with its different set of rules for friendship and relationships.

Thats my two cents. Whats your take on this?

Related post:

When should kids have a facebook account?


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4 thoughts on “Children On Facebook

  1. Interesting to read your post about FB and children. There is also much discussion in Oz about FB and how children as young as 8 have an account. In yesterday’s papers, there was an article that mentioned parents should be the keepers of their children’s access to FB and not the school. I agree with the points you raise.

    Charmaine, my 9 year old has been asking for a FB account since she was 7. By then half her classmates were on it. I know because she gave me a name, I had a looked and saw the rest of her classmates there. Obviously lots of ppl are flouting the 13 years age and below ruling on fb. That particular classmate had over 200 friends and he was only 7 at the time. Madness isn’t it?

  2. I told my daughter I will not allow her to get Facebook until she is 16. Maybe 18. I don’t think she needs the distraction (her mother is already so distracted by it. hahaha). And like what you said, what they post there is for all to see. So, to say they want their privacy is nonsense. If they feel they need to hide something from their parents, then for sure they are not choosing the right.
    I’ll definitely make sure they put me on their list of friends. Our children are forever our babies and forever we will want to look out for them. That’s why we are called Mother. That’s part of our job.

    “So, to say they want their privacy is nonsense.”

    Totally agree with you on this.

  3. Hello MG,

    I believe in today’s IT world, almost everyone, who has ever “touch” a computer, mobile phone or other apparatus that connects the person to the internet, needs to be very aware of the difference between the real and virtual world.

    In the virtual world, we tend to let our guard down, as we are “faceless” and do not see each other’s body language as the case in personal interactions. This is not to say that being “open” is bad entirely, especially if one is “connecting” with love ones or people whom we have already met in person before OR genuine personal blogs like yours where people share or give opinions on what they know.

    The main concern is being overly “open” with strangers, who became friends online and whom one has never met in person. Of course, it does not mean that one cannot ever get to know the online friend as a friend in person ultimately – although’ care must be taken here especially for children and it also applies to adults.

    I am also not saying that one should be overly paranoid as I believe most people are good at heart except for a minority amongst the human race, who maybe born with some “goodness” defects or are not brought up properly.

    To me personally, social networking is actually a good way to stay in touch with family and friends or people whom one wants to get to know better but have already come across in person or people who are trustworthy friends online and maybe ultimately do meet in person.

    Social networking is like any tool. It has to be used properly to enjoy the full benefits the tool is made for.

    As for FB, children should be barred from using it esp. if they get too addicted to the games or chatting away precious time with friends when they should be studying or doing more productive activities. In the very first place, they should be taught how to use this tool properly so that are aware of its benefits and not abuse them because there are always ways for children to circumvent the ban imposed by parents or caregivers. So with the proper teaching and understandings by adults, the children will learn to be responsible in using the tool themselves. Restrictions by parents then will be easier to impose, as the children would know why they are being barred for a specific period.

    As you already mentioned, the privacy setting in FB should be set to “friends only” esp. for children but optional for adults.

    Well, I think I better stop here else my thoughts on this issue will get longer and longer.

    Have a good day.

    Hello Greg, No worries about the length. Long comments are most welcome.

    I really think you should start a blog soon to voice your thoughts. You are one of the few who are good with written words, I don’t know about spoken but definitely written. 🙂

    As for me, well, I express myself better in writing. In person, you’d probably think me a snob and very stuck up. 🙂

  4. My eldest is going to be 8 soon. She has not asked me for a FB account and I am not keen for her to have one too, so soon. She does not have many close friends to ‘chat’ with in FB. If one fine day she begs me to have an a/c, I will make sure she adds me as her first friend!

    Haha. I can imagine you doing that. Yes, I shall make sure I am my kids first friend too.

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