Facebook Experience Part 2

Updated on January 27, 2008
R.M. asks from Seneca, SC
18 answers

So after my last request I ended up opening a facebook page to keep in touch with my friends overseas. So far I don't care for it that much. I don't like how it shows my friends to anyone who puts my name into the search. I would rather have that kept private.

Anyway, I am always talking to my girls about internet safety. I even go as far as to record Dr. Phil when he talks about these issues and make them watch with me. Recently Dr. Phil showed how kids using these kinds of sites are being bullied and how some have even committed suiside. We also watched the one where he showed the teenagers posting pictures of themselves partying and thinking that it was all in fun. He had a man on saying how he and others go to these sites to check out people putting in for jobs or college acceptance. Even though I have showed them all the trouble you can get into my 12 yr. old is still bugging me about having a facebook page. In the past she has opened other sites in pure innosence to keep in touch with her friends overseas and somehow, someone she doesn't know always gets onto her site and starts writing bad things even though all the settings are to only allow her friends to have access. I know that we are in the technology age but man is it a scary place out there. I'm not ready for her to have access to pages like facebook or my space and to other peoples that she doesn't know. As far as I could tell when I opened my facebook page, as long as you have an email address you can do it without any parental concent. She does have an email account which is how I prefer she communicate so that she can spam anyone she doesn't know or even old friends that might no longer fit with our ideas of a good friend. How do I deal with this problem?

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answers from Macon on

I don't know about facebook, but I know you can set myspace to private and then only her friends can look at her page. You can also set it up so that people requesting to be her friend have to know her last name. You can see if it does it with facebook. Hope that helps.

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answers from Augusta on

I too saw the show on dr phil about facebook and I agreed with dr phils logic. I don't think it's completely bad that your daughter wants a webpage...it allows them to express themselves and post it for view. It is really only a bad thing when parents dont monitor them or check their own child webpage. I say let her have one but under strict rules. No pics that arent approved by you, which means none that have any sexual content to them what so ever, if she is 12, she should look all of 12. You are not going to be able to protect her from getting people trying to get her to do things she isnt suppose to be doing...believe me...we all wish we could be standing next to some pervert who tried or someone who bad mouthed our sweet child with a tazer.That is where good parenting comes in,especially when its time for good judgement on their part.What you can do is teach her why your rules are the way they are, the more they understand the easier she can follow them. Telling her no and not giving a reason why allows teens to make up their own reason to why which is always negative. Let her know that how she presents herself is how she'll be treated and that negative attracts negative.I say give her some leeway and let her know that if she can gain your trust and show you she can be responsible that you will let her build onto the site. For example: Let her create a page with very little info and no pics...unless ones that arent her...like cutezie pics girls like to put up like hearts or w/e, then as she gains ur trust she can add to it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

Hi R.,

I'm 24 and more used to this type of computer thing. I know it's very scary. You're trying to protect your family and your kids from information and bad people on the internet. My best advice would be to talk to your kids. Tell them what your fears are and why you don't want them on these sites.

They aren't going to ever like you for it ;-) Sorry, but they will want to be doing what their friends are doing, but if you make it clear that this is not allowed for very good reasons, then they should at least understand the rule.

Also shut down the argument with a direct decision. Say something to the effect of "I've decided that myspace and facebook are not allowed. Period. I don't want to hear about this again." and then follow up with a clear and precise punishment if they get someone else to set the account up for them.

I can remember clearly being a teenager (it wasn't so long ago!) and the rules my parents drilled into my head generally got followed. It was the rules that they were unclear about, those I just bent as I saw fit. But make sure that the reason for the rule is at the forefront. If they see you're afraid for them, even if they don't agree with it, they will know you care.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Sorry you're having such bad tech experiences.

No advice on how to keep unwanted people out if all settings are set to private.

With that in mind - if you don't like it/don't feel comfortable with it tell your child that and why. Let child know that you (parents) have decided that a facebook/myspace type page is not acceptable at this time and that she can continue to use her email account for communication purposes with friends.

While I'd try to find a satisfying answer to privacy question if it were a much older child or adult, since it's for a 12 year old - my personal thoughts are that email is all a 12 year old needs anyway. I know I'm "old-fashioned" in some things but when it comes to safety of a child... there's no such thing as "old-fashione" :)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on


I have 3 kids, a 21 year old son, 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. My husband is an IT uber-geek, he refuses to allow the younger kids to set up an email address or my space page. The only way to let your children use the internet safely is to let them use it while you're sitting right next to them. My 21 year old does have a my space page. He's shown me his page (pretty clean for the most part) and he's shown me some of his friends pages. The most disturbing pages have been his cousin's pages (I'm remarried, these are his father's nieces, around his age, whom I haven't stayed in contact with). His cousins have pictures on their sites that are downright embarassing, pictures of themselves depicting sexual acts with their famale friends. The pictures were obviously taken during a party, and I'm sure they think they're innocent, but the message they're sending to any male is that they're easy and sleazy. The fact that I knew these girls when they were my daughter's age is what scares me the most.

I am not familiar with facebook, but I assume it's another site similar to my space where only the friends you invite have access to your page. I feel the internet is wonderful, yet very scary place, and the only way to keep your daughter safe is to monitor her use. Unfortunately, you can't monitor what others are going to say or post, you can only monitor what she says or does. That's a risk too scary for me to take, and my way of dealing with it is to simply not allow them to have access. I may be a prude, but at least my kids won't be exposed to something they aren't mature enough to handle.

There are ways to block websites from your computer by using key words. They will be completely restricted from the computer you're using, so even you or your husband won't have access without changing the settings. I don't know how to do this unfortunately, since my husband is the geek not me, but it can be done.

If you choose to allow your daughter to continue to have access to the web, sit with her while she uses it. The best way you can protect her is to be there to explain the ugliness that's out there should it find it's way to your doorstep. Keep taping Dr. Phil, and any other shows that depict the dangers of the internet. One day she'll understand why you're being overprotective. Until then, continue to be the overprotective parent and know that you're in good company.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Athens on

Try MySpace. You can set your account to private, so that only your friends can access it. People will still be able to see that you have an account, but they will not be able to see any information that you have put on the account, or any of your friends' names or pictures.

I know you have probably heard a lot of bad things about MySpace, but in reality, I have had an account for more than 2 years, and I am very happy with it. I have made some very good friends who have the same values I do, and I have not had any negative experiences. MySpace is one of the best things I've done for myself.



answers from Columbia on

try myspace! you can set your profile to private so Only your friends can see your profile. that way if someone searches you it will tell them that they have to be added to your friends list in order to view your profile. i have had mine for two years and i can say that i really enjoy it!!



answers from Atlanta on

Let her open it with supervision but make her profile pic of a hand or scenery not of her or another family member. Set all the settings to the highest setting and just make sure you make an effort to check it often. I have found myspace to be easier and on myspace you can set the setting on the highest setting and they can't find you unless they have your e-mail address.

Good Luck

B. M.



answers from Macon on

I am with you, on not allowing my girls to have Facebook or Myspace sites. I have taught middle and high school for 12 years, and I have seen what can happen as a result of those sites. I have seen students who have their sites set to private get suckered into accepting "friends" and then get hurt emotionally when something goes wrong. I know that I can not protect my children from everything, but until I feel that they are emotionally old enough to make the right decisions on those sites, both by who they accept as friends and their own actions, they can not have the pages.



answers from Greensboro on

Hi R.,

I succumbed to giving my 15 year old a facebook account and it really hasn't turned out so bad. I had seen some stuff on myspace and it freaked me out! "Normal" people I know, do things and say things I would not have expected.

She has strict rules that I have to approve EVERY friend, and that even means friends that are sweet but have no parental supervision are not approved! Also her profile has to stay private. Our computer is in the hall so she has absolutely no privacy and a 12 year old sister who regularly tries to get her in trouble, lol. I have not allowed my 12 year old to have one. She is more curious by nature than my oldest so that's that! Curiosity is not bad all the time but when they have a tool to explore with, it can be. I simply told her no. Things may change down the road but for now, it's no.

The "because I said so" is not what I use regularly but in this case it was.

Good luck!




answers from Charleston on

I have facebook and myspace, and I'm pretty sure that both sites ask for your age and the minimum age to go on either site is 14. You said your daughter is 12... just tell her she is not old enough. Now, I'm sure all you have to do is write that you are older to go on there, and I'm sure that is exactly what some of her friends have done. But I would just explain that the age requirement is on there for a reason and you do not want to break any rules. It will at least give you a couple more years..... good luck:)



answers from Atlanta on

Hi R.,

I have three kids with myspace pages and I have a facebook page myself. The cool part about technology is that you have the power to limit what information you want people to see. If you go to the privacy settings on your facebook page, you can set it up so that only your friends can see your page or limit what people can see. The same thing can be done for your daughter on facebook or myspace. My children have a private page and you have to know her full name and email address to ask for a friendship request. Have fun with the internet, it is a great way to keep in touch with friends that you don't get to see everyday.




answers from Spartanburg on

My best advice is to go to www.thepassagegroup.com . This site is about how to raise your children inspite of our toxic culture. Its really scary out there. Your child is the age when they start experiencing with the choking game (that I never even knew about). They give wonderful advice and information that is a "have to" for today's parents. Let us know what you think. Be sure to go under Resources - Movie Theatre and watch the short videos. Good luck!



answers from Spartanburg on

I don't know how Facebook works, but I have a Myspace account and you can set your profile to private, meaning that someone has to be your friend to open your page. They can request you as a friend and I think can send you a message, but they don't have access to your page, pictures or friends. You may want to see if facebook has this feature also. I would think that they would. I hope that this helps. Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

Based on your family having overseas friends, I'm assuming you are military. Growing up military and moving around so much only makes me wish Myspace or FaceBook had been around when I was younger. I have actually been reunited with two friends from middle school on Myspace and it's nice to be able to catch up with them and see how their lives have progressed. That being said, I think this can be a great tool in helping your daughter adjust to being in a new place and having to make new friends. The middle school years are hard enough without having to move and make new friends on top of hormones, growth spurts and having to be responsible!

I have a 12 yr old son and he has a Myspace page. So do my husband and I. We have set all of his security settings pretty high so his friends have to enter his last name or e-mail address to send him a request and we know his password. Also, because we're his 'friends' on Myspace, we see all the bulletins and pictures he posts. I usually log on to his site once a week or whenever I know he's spent some time on the site just to make sure he's staying within his limits.

We are also youth leaders at our church and I maintain our youth group's page on Myspace. In that sense, I help other parents monitor what their kids are posting as well. I've told the kids flat out that if I do see anything inappropriate (including forwards or bulletins that didn't necessarily originate with them but that they shouldn't be posting/ forwarding on, I will have a chat with their parents). If it's something mildly offensive, I usually send them a message as a warning to let them know that I am watching and ask them to delete what they've posted. If they don't delete it or post anything else offensive, I have a conversation with their parents. I've only had to have two conversations with parents and there are about 50 kids connected to our youth group's page. It's easy to post pictures of our latest trip or event and is great for keeping kids connected since so many of them use Myspace every day but they don't always check e-mail. We post all of our announcements on the site and it gives us the easy ability to send messages to kids & parents (we have quite a few parents who have pages too!) to let them know we're out there and interested in what is going on in their lives. And it's a great tool for keeping up with birthdays!

By the way, the youth pastor and pastor of our church also have the username and password information for the youth site and we've given out the site address to parents in case they want to check it out as well. I also encourage other parents to get a site as well if their kids have one. The more parents that have sites, the less likely the kids are to post dumb things. Some of them think they are anonymous on the web but they're not and if more parents would show their kids they are watching, I don't think there would be as much junk out there; and as much fear from parents for that matter.

I am not a fan of keeping kids away from the internet since I think it is a vital point of communication and business in our world now. Kids have to learn how to use the tools out there and how to be safe with them; complete denial of use doesn't teach them anything except that you are fearful of new things (way uncool Mom!).

So my suggestion: you and your daughter should sit down and create your pages together and learn how to use social networking to your advantage.

By the way, Myspace does have an age restriction of I think 15 but there is no way for them to check ages so as long as a kid enters a birthday more than 15 years ago, they can get a site. I'm not sure about FaceBook. So it is a bit dishonest for kids under 15 to have a site. I am not a follow-the-leader, jump-off-the-bridge kind of parent but based on how we use Myspace, I do not see that it puts my son in jeapardy and I realize what a great tool for keeping in touch with our youth group it is. Quite honestly, it gives our son and other kids a social outlet and allows me to really see what's going on with them without having to design and maintain a website they wouldn't frequent that often.

Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

I just now responded to your first request (I'm new to mamasource). Here's how to control your privacy settings on Facebook. When you sign in and go to your profile page, on the upper right click on Privacy, then click on Profile settings once you're on the Privacy page (be sure to check out all the options on the privacy page). Under the Profile settings, you'll get this (I've cut and pasted and some didn't come through just right):

You can control who can see your profile — your friends can always see your profile, and you can allow all your networks or some of your networks to see your profile. [NOTE: you can set it so ONLY your friends can see your profile]

You can also control who can see each profile feature. Only people who can see your profile can see this information. Read more about these settings.

You can control who can see your contact information — your friends can always see your contact information, and you can allow all your networks or some of your networks to see your contact information. Only people who can see your profile can see your contact information.

Hope this helps!



answers from Atlanta on

As someone who uses, and enjoys, both MySpace and Facebook, maybe I can help.

MySpace profiles can be made completely private and, if private, can only be viewed if a person is added as a friend. Any comments posted on a MySpace page can be deleted easily. It also only takes a few seconds to delete someone from your profile if they start causing problems.

Facebook has the same capability. You can change the levels of privacy on Facebook, there are three different levels on there. Even at the level of "least" security, only people on your friends list and within your network can view your entire profile and friends list. I am in the Atlanta, GA network, so someone in the San Francisco, CA network can't see my profile or friends list unless I add them as a friend.

All that being said though, I have a 15 year old son and he is never allowed online if my husband or I am not in the room with him. He does not have his own computer in his room and he can't use the family computers without supervision, EVER. I think that is the biggest safety advice I can give.



answers from Columbus on

I would suggest standing strong on your beliefs and your instincts on keeping your girls safe.

I have two young girls and the idea of them being on one of those websites scares me to death.

Being a parent sometimes means making decisions that don't necessarily make our kids think the best of us at that moment.
But, if it saves them the anguish of something terrible??

Good luck and let us know what you decide?
As I said my girls are 6(almost 7)and 4 so I have a little while before they are so techno savvy.

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