Thursday, July 23, 2009

OMG My Kids Are On Facebook!

If you've been around social media for a while you've seen the articles, blogs and jokes about the college and high school kids freaking out as their parents joined Facebook.

Well, I have the opposite problem. My Kids are now on Facebook...

I've been on Facebook for a long time (well, relative to most people at least). I received one of the first non-college accounts within a week of it being open for anyone. Actually, I created two accounts one for work and one for home. Back in those days there wasn't a lot of privacy and grouping features so I wanted to keep those parts of my world apart.

Plus the reason I got the account was to figure out how to use social networks for marketing. Well, I think we nailed that one pretty well.

A year or so ago Meghan, my now 14 year old asked for a Facebook account. I thought about it for a minute and didn't see any reasons why not. I did set some ground rules, the main one is that I had to know the password and that I'd check it whenever I wanted. If I found she changed the password I would destroy the account (I own the main email address her email is created under so I can do that easily!)

She's very responsible so I didn't have any issues, nor think much about her having one. Since she sat in on my presentation about Facebook at Middle School I didn't think there would be any problems.

Then my brothers, their wives, my cousins, friends from high school, friends from college, friends from the neighborhood etc. started getting accounts. Again no big deal. Until realized that since Meghan is friends with Deb and I, that she is being 'suggested' to be friends with our friends. Not a good idea.

This year Courtney goes to Middle School, so I created her a Facebook account. Unlike Meghan who was on Facebook well before most of my friends, Courtney is 'new' so all my friends are now seeing her. And wanting to Friend her. Again, not good.

The reason it is not good, is there are some things we joke about or post that I don't want my 11 year old seeing or asking about. Or that the friends post.

Family is one thing to have as Friends, but I've been telling the girls not to accept or Friend adults without first talking to me. I'll see who they are and make the decision.

One more parenting thing I never expected. Sigh.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Ah how to tackle the tech beast in parenting. I'm worried about this issue and I'm not even a parent yet. By the time I have kids and they start growing up the question won't be "when to get them a cellphone" it will be "which phone", and there will be a good chance that no "non-smartphones" will be left for purchase. Same goes for social networking. I'm 24 and the Internet first started to become "user friendly" about when I was in middle school, and it certainly wasn't filled with quite the level of danger for kids as it is now.

On a slightly different matter, I am slightly amused at how you were on Facebook "relatively early" meaning when they opened up outside of college networks as I was on the week my college was added 5 years ago.