Thursday, 17 November 2011

The possible evil of Facebook for teens.

Dear Son

I am thinking of your internet safety.

One minute your child is a tween and innocently watching ' Wizards of Waverly Place' or other such highly entertaining  benile programs. You have that year of the crossover to senior school where in the case of my son he still believed in dragons. Yes, Yes its all happy skippy , and not we are not all drinking lashing of ginger beer and living in the 1950's.

J is squeaky clean at 13 he doesn't hang around the street corners, he doesn't neck cheap cider at the park and isn't constantly gaming. However Mr T on the day of J's 13th birthday decided to sign him up for facebook, we had talked about it. But it was , well you know it's a bit like when your child is younger and you promise them that you'll do something, it's called a Mummy promise and it doesn't really exist.

Anyway I wasn't really happy about this but what can you do? MR T ensured me that we could monitor J's usage which is minimal ! A little banter with friends about Minecraft ( some game that looks though it's from the 1980's) . We.../I ! could monitor his message through email / his FB account and see the messages. I was slightly alarmed at seeing my son being dragged into some debate with a girl "What the hell are you saying we are going out for?" J of course hadn't don't this girls to him are a distraction before University. So I rush up stairs a speech ensued about being careful on facebook etc etc and to talk about such things at school!

Five minutes later I see another message from one of his rugby friends talking about a girl. Now J HAD not joined in this conversation . It went something like this " We could pass ( girls name) round

like a buffet" Straight up the stairs again and a speech of make not you don't comment on things like that , and I 'll be having a word with his mother if that carries on!

Don't get me wrong facebook can be a great social medium I am not so sure that 13 year olds should be allowed on in and 13 is the age in America where things like that are allowed. It seriously worries me the nature of facebook and young teens!

 And I must stress I AM not blaming facebook for the actions of certain teens there character is their character and they will makes such comments about girls regardlesss of the medium of facebook of twitter, but I am merely questioning if thirteen is an acceptable age  to start upon such things. We do all that we can to protect our children and I am not wishing my son to be dragged into any sort of debate over the web. Now he is sensible not to do this , there are many children who are not and those

who are venerable.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Good manners and parents examples themselves on Facebook and other social mead outlets go a long way to ensuring how their child acts , its not fail safe but guidance helps.

“This post is my entry into the Check and Secure challenge. For more advice on family safety online, see Mums on Security.”

1 comment:

  1. I think social media can easily get out of hand with young people. They are often pressured to copy their friends. It is very difficult to monitor and they can see highly unsuitable things from friends of friends of friends etc.
    A few years ago a secondary HT colleague alerted me to problems he was having in school via Bebo which links (or did at that time) people with their school.I thought there would be none of my pupils using it because you had to be 14 to register so I opened an account and went on to have a look. OMG how wrong I was! Some of the things lovely little girls were posting was hair raising! I did a lot of work on internet safety after that with the pupils and the parents. Pupils told me their accounts were limited to friends only and when I asked them if they would be surprised if I had actually seen their pages, one nearly fainted!
    Before I did all this though, I had to strongly suggest to a young teacher that she unlinked her account from the school and had a good think about what she had online that her pupils could access! She was mortified.
    It is important that kids know that whatever you write online will always be there even when then you delete it. It will be on someone else's page or in an archive so never write anything you would want a future partner, employer or your granny to see!


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