Friday, January 28, 2011

Facebook and other Social Media


It seems like no matter what you are doing or who is talking, the conversation always seems to turn to Facebook. Someone went on vacation? The pictures are on Facebook. Want to find out if school is cancelled or delayed because of the snow? Check Facebook. Fans of certain corporate Facebook pages can get special codes or discounts. You can even buy and sell things on Facebook.

Personally, I love Facebook and enjoy the connections I have re-kindled and strengthened through social media.


Recently when I was having dinner with friends, we were talking about young people and Facebook. Many young people don’t realize that the things they post on Facebook are permanent. Their pictures, words, and thoughts will never disappear, even if they delete them.

My nine year old daughters do not have a Facebook page, although they wish they had one. I carefully supervise their online activity and provide guidelines for them when they are online, whether they are playing games or looking at websites. They see me working online and see my posts on different social media sites from time to time. But I’m not ready to let them have a page. And I don’t know when I will be ready for that. Probably about the same time they need a cell phone. :)

Here’s a link to an incredibly useful guide for parents from ConnectSafely.org. In the official press release, the organization writes:

The guide features hands-on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, as well as parenting points on safety, privacy, and reputation protection. It covers both cellphone- and computer-based use of Facebook and the site's newest features, including Places, Groups, and the latest privacy updates.

For parents of teens, a little healthy lurking and supervision goes a long way. And no, healthy lurking is not an oxymoron. But you have to maintain a delicate balance when you are friends with your teen on Facebook. Think about it this way; you wouldn’t hang out with your teen and his/her friends at a school dance. You would be a chaperone at the dance. The same thing is true with social media.

Chaperone. Supervise. Educate.


Now, I’m going to walk a fine line here with my lovely readers. Adults have to apply the same principles to their own social media activities. Don’t write something you would be ashamed to show to your mother. Don’t post pictures or videos you would not share with your priest, pastor, or rabbi. There are lots of supposedly professional and responsible adults on Facebook who are showing things that I don’t want to see.

Just remember this, the children you have or those you may have in the future will learn from your example.

“Live that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.” Will Rogers



xoxo


Pictures from my pinterest

6 comments:

  1. great post and it never hurts to remind everyone about the permanance of the internet.

    happy friday :)

    kHm

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do agree with you on parental rules of the computer.
    I worry about what kids put on fb. I can't believe they don't realize that when they apply for jobs, even the recruiter checks their site.
    I love fb as well for connections to old friends. My children are grown and married or on their own and I am friends with them. It helps us to follow whats going on with everyone.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a very good reminder! Heaven knows, I've got too many pictures of me out there looking a bit less than charming :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. So very true, have been thinking about these things lately, that it's a balance between sharing your life with others and the respect for your children, who mabye don't want others to read about what happens in our family life.
    (Found your blog through Nelle at Stone Hill)

    ReplyDelete
  5. S wants FB, but I'm going with THEIR rules: you have to be 13. End of discussion!

    ReplyDelete

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