Sunday, April 26, 2009

How Old is Old Enough?

My darling daughter wants to join Facebook. I won't post her age because I really do try not to give too much identifying info about my children on my blog, but the people who read this know her age.

She pestered me about this for a few days this week and I finally just said NO. She has a couple of friends who have joined, who I happen to be facebook friends with, so I know there are others out there who have FB accounts, but I just don't know if I want to open that Pandora's box.

"I knew a girl in school named Pandora, didn't open her box though." (Name that movie)

A friend of mine told me her brother quit FB after getting porn advertisements on his page. How does FB advertise anyway? How do they decide that I need to get multiple DIET ads? Or my latest, breast augmentation? EWWWW.

I don't want my daughter looking at this crap. She is young and impressionable and I want her to stay happily ignorant for a while longer. Is this too much to ask? Or am I being overprotective? I could let her join with the following caveats:

1. I know her password.
2. I approve all people who ask to be her friend and all people she asks to be friends with.

Would this help? Or am I fooling myself?

On another note: Another friend of mine from long ago posted my 6th grade picture on FB. Holy crud, time flies. I remember that picture being taken. I wore my best dress, I took all kinds of time curling my hair. Then we got to school and had recess before the pics were taken. Oops, hair is straight and pulled back with a barrette. Then I look at all the other names and remember who I had a crush on, which girls were popular, which girls got on my nerves, which boys were a little on the outcast side, and my teacher-who seemed to have a pretty stern look on her face pretty much all the time. Sixth grade must have been a fun one to teach. Hey, I just remembered I can download the it is:

In an effort to jog my memory, here are the deets of my 6th grade class:
Tiff had asthma.
Carol and Lynda were the popular ones/hotties. They were super nice though, so it was hard to hate them.
Lots of girls dug Scott, I remember thinking he was decent, but being that into him.
Christine was a good friend of mine through 6th grade. We were semi-friends in high school.
Jenny had the same initials as me but everyone in our class called HER JJ. I was annoyed.
Louis's sister joined the church when she was in her early 20s or late teens. She got married the same day as me, we were both in the bride's room at the Oakland Temple at the same time.
Audrey was snotty.
I once tattled on Shauna. She stole some colored pencils (I think) from a teacher. She hated me after that.

The pictures help me, I need to get my own pics out and start writing things down for when I am super old and can't remember a dang thing. Because at least now I can remember by looking at the photos.


Abbie said...

Not that I understand your dilemma but I've already started wondering when Ella will want a cell phone and her own social networking page. I will refrain from advice simply because I have no idea. I don't blame you for not wanting her to do it though. I fear for my own daughter.

hyker said...

As a single, childless, adult, I have no advice for you. Good luck with that......

Collette said...

Brent has a few cousins that are her age and they have a facebook page. One cousin's dad is extremely leery of any social networking site, so I was surprised when he allowed it. I think as long as you had the stipulations you mentioned, she would be fine. She is a smart girl, you've taught her well.
There are my two cents. From a girl who only has toddlers! Good luck.

Brittany said...

a couple girls in my YW have an account. i think that it could be either good or bad. i guess i agree with collette, as long as you monitor it you'll be okay. i just thought of something too - one of the bishops in our stake joined FB so he could keep in touch with the youth. i guess like anything else, it's not bad if she uses it for good.

PS - i LOVE your shoes! i am uber jealous because i've been wanting new shoes for a while. i love the red! my asics are some lame 80's metallic blue - i don't know what they were thinking when they designed them...

Reed H. said...

As a parent of a couple of 'tweens, I would absolutely say NO to the social networking stuff if they asked. We haven't had to deal with that just yet. We have also said NO (emphatically)to them having cell phones as that one has come up several times. Heck, we don't even allow them to use the internet without supervision. We just think that kids need to be kids. Besides, that would also be one more distraction from doing their chores, piano practicing, homework, reading a good book, etc. We have a focusing problem around here. In your case, you have to go with what you feel good about. You know your kids and what they can handle. If you are having doubts, postpone it for 6 months and take a look at it then. Good luck!

Jules said...

If this helps. I believe there is an age limit (14) on facebook. One of the dads of my former YW was telling me that his daughter joined and he cancelled her account because she had to lie about her age. I know there are plenty of kids in my Ward who aren't 14 shoe are on there and I always shake my head because of that. I actually recently got a friend request from a neighbor who is 11 I wonder if her parents even know about the age thing.

Anyway I think you were right to say no. As far as I know Facebook is the best at monitoring stuff, but there is still plenty that gets by. I don't know if you heard about the lady that posted herself breastfeeding and then was all angry and protesting FB because they took the picture off, seriously there are some loony people out there. Stick to your guns, you give in to this and then hit with something else like a cell phone.

One more thing, there is a YW in my ward who is on there and she is always posting where she's going and how ticked off she is, it's just a little too much, I just think it's unneccessay for kids to use this stuff. Times were so much simpler when you couldn't talk to anyone unless you were outside playing with them.

Jules said...

I just got on FB and read the terms I guess the age is now 13, I think it should be 16, but what do I know?

Julie J. said...

That would be a giant, "Heck No!" if she were my daughter.... I'm thinking I'm not even going to let Sam talk on the land line phone with his friends. She doesn't need it, it's not detrimental to her social life or any other aspect of her life, but it could effect her safety in a huge way. There are no benefits so they can't out way the risks.

Sandy said...


Katie said...

Well if you're having any doubt just watch Oprah....she seems to know it all. LOL. Actually she discussed this exact topic a couple weeks ago (yes, i DVR and watch the interesting ones) Let's just say that there is some scary crap out there. Most of it happened when the girl was given a laptop to use in her room....And I found out that a lot of the kids who grew up in good homes were more naive and ended up being brain washed etc. by psychos b/c they have the trust factor...i feel like i'm rambling. Anyhoo I am definitely not ready for my kids to partake of the internet.

mom/Janet said...

ok, I have experienced teenagers and some of the bad stuff that comes off the computer. I would not allow it if S were my daughter. Use the old fashioned way of talking with your friends. You can monitor it all you want but it doesn't erase the things that might pop up and then the innocence is gone. Life will still go on if she doesn't have a FB account. Stay true to your instinct. If you have to justify and analyse it then it's what's called a "stuper of thought" Getting down now from my soap box. :)

Cote Corner said...

J, I too watched the Oprah show and I would say NO WAY to S. In fact, I looked for her on FB b/c I wondered if maybe she had a page that you didn't know about. Hey.. I worry about her because she is at that age where it gets scary. I guess if you decided to let her on it eventually then approving her friends & having her password is a must but a lot of these kids get on their friends computers and set up accounts that way. (so you might want to be on the lookout) I would hate for something bad to happen to S all because she wanted to be like her friends and use FB. There are programs you can put on your computer that will track EVERYTHING your kid does on the comp. (that would be a GREAT idea if you decide to let her on!) :)

Brenda said...
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