April 4, 2019 Read More »
Kids and Facebook Privacy
This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by joe_r82 6 years, 8 months ago.
July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm #1351
I have allowed my son to create a Facebook account. He is a pretty good kid and he just wanted to create a Facebook account so he could keep in touch with his friends over the summer. I trust him, so I am not worried about what he might do on his Facebook account. What I am worried about is the fact that people might bother him or try to engage him in a conversation that would be harmful to him or might lead to some kind of virus or something equally bad. The worst thing I fear is that some pedophile will try to contact him. I think my son would tell me if something like that happened, but I don’t like to take chances.
I made my son give me his password so that I can check his Facebook account. I have his password to everything else, like the sites he plays games on, so he didn’t think much about it when I asked him the password. But today, I checked on his Facebook just to see who was sending him what and I felt like I was violating his privacy. Like I said, I’m not worried about what he is doing. I am worried about everyone else in relation to him.
Would you check your child’s accout like this? Am I just being paranoid or would a normal parent do this? How far would you go to keep your child safe and how far is legally too far?
July 22, 2012 at 4:18 am #1352
It is kind of a shame that things have come to this, where parents now need to check on their kids, not to see what they are doing, but simply in an effort to try and keep them safe. But, I suppose this is the world we live in today. As far as the last question, I do not think that you can go too far legally. After all, assuming your son is a minor, you have the total responsibility for keeping him safe. If you think that this is what you need to do, then do not feel guilty about it.
No, I for one do not feel like you are being paranoid. I am quite sure that there are many parents who do the very same thing. If you do not watch what your kids are doing, how are you going to know? It also sounds like your son was not bothered by this at all, since you already have all of his other passwords anyway. This sounds like good parent to son training to me.
The real question is why does doing this make you feel like you are invading his privacy? Maybe my parents were a bit old school, but I remember them telling me that as long as I lived in their house I really did not have, nor was I entitled to any privacy. Just remember that your job to keep him safe is more important than privacy or even feelings.
August 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm #1353
Unfortunately, this is something that you just have to do these days. There’s no getting around it. The Internet has changed the game for parenting and you just have to accept it. You have to protect your son. I wish you could have said “No,” on him having a Facebook account in the first place, but it’s kind of cruel to not let him have one to communicate with his friends. It’s like punishing him because of the other idiots in the world. It’s not his fault. You should not feel like you are violating his privacy until he is 18 years old. There are some exceptionally dangerous people in the world and they are using Facebook and other places to target minors. Accept that and act accordingly.
You need to install parental monitoring software so that you can log his activity online. There are even a few free programs available these days that are supposedly pretty good.
Next, sit down and talk with your son about your concerns. I think if he understands exactly what you’re afraid of happening, he will monitor himself too. I think you should be specific with him. If a kid is old enough to have a Facebook account, he’s old enough to know what might happen to him if a pedophile kidnaps him. He needs to know about international trafficking of minors and gang violence and that there are bad people in the world that can hurt him by tracing his location through these social websites. Another thing that is concerning is that Facebook tracks so much of your activity and then shares that information with others, so it’s very easy for people that are his Facebook âfriends,â to understand what he’s interested in and charm him by making him feel like they are kindred spirits. Also, make sure that he understands that dangerous people are not above pretending to be pretty girls that are his age and interested in him, to get information about him.
Here are some really good resources that you and he can read together. If he understands the scope of what you are protecting him from, he will begin to feel grateful instead of leaning in a different direction as he gets older of feeling like his privacy is being violated.
August 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm #1354
There is a TV show that I think that all kids that are around 12 – 14 should watch too. Only you can know though when your child is ready for this show, but with most kids I think 12 is probably the best age. The show is called, "Beyond Scared Straight," on A&E. I think the only real way to get kids to make good decisions is to show them what the consequences are truthfully. We tell them not to do drugs or get involved with shady people because, "we said so." This is ridiculous, and the kids are just going to go do it behind your back. They have to understand what they are actually doing in order to make a good decision. If you have a kid that’s routinely making good choices, then he's not going to be the one responding to Internet predators. He'll be thinking about college and the type of job he wants to get in the future, while everyone else is posting their drunk photos on their walls. Positive kids won't even be that into Facebook most of the time.
Now there is a chance that your kids will stop agreeing with you at a certain point, and if this point is 18 years old, you have to let them make their own choices. At that point, they know who they are, and there's a solid chance you will be wrong in your assumptions of what they need once they have started to live as an adult. You're just not around enough to understand fully what's going on.
Though you might feel like they’re your baby, after they've lived as an adult for some time, you should make your opinions clear and what you feel could happen if they don’t follow your advice, but they know themselves much better than you do at that point. That is why it's essential to tell them right from wrong before society does. That usually starts with peer pressure and the pressure to be beautiful and handsome that starts, in my opinion, around the age of 12. You have a few good years where your opinion matters. You can use them, or let them pass by, the choice is up to you.
I also recommend teaching them about Jesus, and God. If they accept Christ, He will help them to be better people and make better choices. Again, this is just my experience. You can take it or leave it. I hope you take it though.
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