T.H. asks from Lakewood, WA on June 18, 2009
Myspace Question Regarding My Teenager
I have a question for all of you SMART Computer people. My 15 year old has finally convinced her dad to release the "leash" LOL. She told him last night that she doesn't have text or myspace. She doesn't have a way to communicate with her friends. Now we do have a home phone but apparently no one uses the phone anymore LOL. So last night my hubby signed her up for myspace. Well, I don't have a clue about myspace, facebook, twitter, pretty much NOTHING. Can anyone tell me how this works? Do you have children, nieces, nephews, young cousins who has myspace? I'm a little nervous because there are weirdos out there, so how can I protect her from that? Oh and I'm not just talking about "old weirdos" but I'm including the "young weirdos" as well. She is 15 and sometimes at that age, they are not that smart. I don't want her putting "risque" pictures on there or doing something that she will regret. How can I prevent that? Also if one of her friends has "facebook" could they still "talk" to her on "myspace". I just want to say in advance, you are AWESOME for your wonderful advice.
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you everyone for your advice. So my husband and I talked about it and we decided to give her both myspace and facebook. The funny thing is that we also made an account for ourselves. I think I enjoy facebook more than my daughter does lol. With us being a military family it has helped her reconnect with some of her old friends. It has also helped me reconnect with my old friends. We also decided to give her text. She actually said she would use her babysitting money to pay for unlimited text. So we decided she didn't have to do that. However the deal is that she has to keep her grades up or she loses the text. So far so good. I'm very proud of her. So once again thanks everyone for the advice and introducing me to facebook lol
A.G. answers from San Antonio on June 19, 2009
My niece has a myspace and facebook. My sister set it up for her under my sisters e-mail address and also made her profile private so that when some one request to be a friend or even sends messages my sister could be aware of things that she doing on myspace and facebook. A.
Z.L. answers from Houston on June 19, 2009
Perhaps you could get a MySpace page and a Facebook when she gets a Facebook which is actually more popular. then you can follow her on those pages as a "friend" and always know what is being posted in terms of comments and photos etc. It can be fun.
K.B. answers from Houston on June 18, 2009
I'm on facebook, but not myspace so I don't have any advice about the site in particular. But one thing I would suggest is for you to go out there and set up an account for yourself. You'll learn about the site (what your daughter will be able to do and how people can contact her) so that you are aware of what the possible uses of the site are. When used appropriately it's so much fun to use. I've made contact with old friends and coworkers that I haven't talked to in ages and it's so easy to drop quick notes and keep in touch.
2 moms found this helpful
A.J. answers from Killeen on June 18, 2009
I am at that awesome in-between stage where I can be of help to you =) I'm 26 and HAVE a myspace, facebook, etc. accounts, I'm still young enough to remember being 15, but I'm also old enough to have 2 little girls and know what it is to want to protect them!
Anyway, #1, this is going to be about trust. Your daughter can EASILY set up her own e-mail address, set up a 2nd myspace account that you have no clue about, and do risque things on there. There's no getting around that. You are just going to have to openly and honestly talk to her about internet safety and hope she "gets" it.
I would say #1, ask for her sign-in information (e-mail address and password she uses to sign onto the account). Tell her that you will be signing into her account on random days JUST to see if the log-in information is valid. At first, I would tell her you will be monitoring what photos, blogs, bulletins, etc. that she posts to ensure she is being safe. If she proves herself trustworthy, you will stop doing this and give her some privacy. She needs to set the account to be "private", which means it can be viewed ONLY by her "friends" that she adds. She should ONLY add people to her "friends" that she actually knows in real life. Stress to her that she does not "know" ANYONE online who she has not met face-to-face! She should set her photos to "friends only", so that only her added friends can see the photos. She should be fully aware of Myspace's photo policies regarding photos (NO nudity, NO pictures of illegal activities like underage drinking or drug use, etc.) She should NOT use her real name as any part of her username on Myspace. She should choose NOT to display her full name underneath her profile picture (used when a person on Myspace is searching for someone). If one of her friends wants to be her "friend", she should search for them on Myspace, not the other way around (so the person can't just pass out her username to everyone at school or something). She should set all her blogs to "friends only". She should never post personal information, including full name, house number, street name, phone/cell number, class schedule, landmarks near her home, parents/siblings names, parents place of work, etc. And remember, pictures tell stories, too! I've seen so many adults with pictures of the front of their house where their house number can be easily seen! Stress to her that she would not only be putting herself in danger, but her family as well! Find news stories about kids who were raped or assaulted or whatever because of Myspace. Show her that the dangers ARE real and not just parents being paranoid!
But like I said, there is nothing preventing her from setting up another e-mail address with another Myspace account that you would never know about. (Unless you lock her in the house and through all your technology out the window LOL) You can give her all the facts, give her all the tools, show her all the evidence...but in the end, she's going to do whatever she wants, and hopefully she has a good head on her shoulders and will listen to your advice =)
2 moms found this helpful
J.B. answers from Houston on June 18, 2009
You cannot communicate between the different type of pages but she can have a myspace account and a Facebook account. A lot of kids have both these days! They have all the same friends on both pages, but you can dress up a myspace page but facebook looks the same for everyone. You can ask her to set her page to private view only. If your husband is helping her, he can easily make it where only people she approves as friends can view her page. That will help with any wierdos you don't want viewing it young or old;) You can check that her page is set to private view only by logging out of her site and then searching for her and trying to view her page, if you have done it correctly a flag will come up saying she has set her page to be viewed by friends only and that the person has to submit a friend request for her approval. It really is easy, I am not computer savvy either and I did it:) As far as the safety of a myspace or facebook page for a teen, I guess it is right up there with driving a car or going to a big school. There is some risk no doubt but if you have raised her well and just keep in good communication and don't let her sit for hours on end alone on the computer, I think she will do just great. Most of my friends with teens allow them this level of social networking and they do really well. Best wishes!!
1 mom found this helpful
G.J. answers from San Antonio on June 19, 2009
One thing that you can do is to impress upon her the fact that whatever she puts out there that many more people besides her friends will have access to.
Dr. Phil just did a show the other day where he showed 2 young people (one was still in high school and the other was going to graduate from college). One had posted many pictures of parties she had been to where she was drinking or had a drink in front of her. I can't remember what the other one had; but he pointed out that when you go to apply for a job - the employers can now look at your MySpace & Facebook pages. One wanted to go into criminal justice and Dr. Phil pointed out that the pictures of the drinking - even though she was of age - would count against her.
You do need to sit down some guidelines. If she goes over the guidelines; her MySpace is frozen. Period. End of Discussion. Remind her that words hurt and that just because she is behind a computer and people might not realize who she is, it does not give her license to do things she would not ordinarily do or say.
Most of all, keep the lines of communication open. She will listen. Lord, you can't watch them all the time; sometimes you just have to let go and trust that you have done what you can. Just let her know that no matter what, you will always love her.
1 mom found this helpful
J.G. answers from San Antonio on June 18, 2009
I just wanted to add my two cents to the previous posts. They all say pretty much the same things I wanted to tell you. I have accounts on both myspace and facebook. Like one of the other posters, I have gotten into contact with old friends from high school, and even a cousin I had lost touch with almost 20 yrs ago, thanks to myspace. I only recently signed up for facebook, so it's still a little new to me. Both my kids have myspace accounts. My oldest lives about 9 hrs from me, with his dad, so I don't have much control over him, but my daughter is a different story. Her myspace account was set up using MY email account, so any changes she makes come to me, like changing her password. I know her password, so there isn't any thing she can do on there that I don't/won't know about. That may sound like a bit much, but I know my daughter, she's way too trusting. Someone could talk her into something horrible. It's not the she doesn't know the dangers, but she trusts people too easily. She has the myspace account so that I can actually use my own cell phone occasionally!!! (She tries every day to take over that cell phone so she can text her friends all day long! LOL) She also uses myspace to keep in contact with her brother, who's 9 hrs away, and her dad, who is about 7hrs away. Both her stepdad, her aunts, uncle, NaNa, Granny, and a couple of my friends are on her friends list. We ALL do what we can to make sure that her experience with myspace and the internet are good ones! And she never uses the computer if I'm not VERY near by!! (Not sitting in her lap, but still in the room! lol)
Anyways, I guess my point is to trust your daughter, do what you can to respect her privacy, but maintain a vigilant watch over what she does & who she contacts on the internet, whether it's myspace, facebook, whatever!!!
1 mom found this helpful
L.A. answers from Austin on June 18, 2009
I agree that your daughter should set up her account so it is private. Only the people she approves can look at her page.
The biggest responsibility is to remind your daughter. Once it is online... It can NEVER be erased. This can effect all types of things.. Her Scholarships, Her college acceptance, Jobs, Resumes..... Future relationships.
It is good that she is learning this at this age, while at home and not later with no guidance.
In our family we have family members on our children's pages.. Yes, even Great Grandparents, grandparents and Aunts, Uncles, cousins..
We do not pry into their messages. We do not judge what they say, but we are there and we do see what is going on.
What ends up happening is the kids end up telling us, yes that person is doing that, but I am not. (lots of language) The proof is right there. If there is danger, we of course would intervene, but it has not gotten to anything like that. Our daughter and her friends are very open to us. They even "friended" me. Sometimes they send me private messages asking questions or seeking advice.
Some of the other parents think it is odd, that we are on there, but they are the exact parents, that their kids seem to be pushing the limits.... We do not judge, we just are aware.
1 mom found this helpful
M.L. answers from Houston on June 19, 2009
T., I am on myspace and have explained to my 10 year old that when she is 13, she too can have a myspace page. What I would suggest is that you make her passwords public to you and your husband. That way, you can always check what she ses and doesn't. Make sure that she makes her page private, so that only her friends and family can get to it. Also, when my daughter uses her laptop, she has to use it in a central location, so that ANYONE in the family can see what she's doing. That's what works for our family.
1 mom found this helpful
K.A. answers from Houston on June 19, 2009
Quickest advice I have is that YOU (and Dad) keep a constant watch on her MySpace content. Check it everyday. They can't communicate back and forth per se between Facebook and MySpace, but can post comments on each to refer back to the other. Personally, I think Facebook is a little safer than MySpace, but that's because it's the older crowd. Teens like MySpace. As long as you CLOSELY monitor her page, she should be fine. Let her know if she screws up, you'll take it down and it will be no more. You will be able to click on her "friends" to see their profiles. And be prepared for some "shady" language....lots use it on there, guess it makes them feel older. She does need a way to communicate with her friends and with my 14 y/o, it's either cell calls, texting or online. But we watch her closely and she knows it. They don't seem to use a regular phone much anymore.