My 12 yr started a facebook last year (at 11). I wasn't thrilled about the idea, but wanted to give her a chance and monitored her page, etc. She started to freely put up information about our family, and that she was single, and interested in men. When I tried to explain that it is unnecessary to provide this information - she became defiant and refused to remove the info. So I took her page down.
A year later I find out that she started a new page (a day later), under an alias, and many of my friends and family are friends with her! When i confronted them, they all said that she asked them not to tell me, and they didn't want to start any drama! they also didn't think it was a problem because they were monitoring her page (for me i guess). I am completely mortified. Just when I thought I was growing with my child, adjusting and transitioning into her teen years ... now I just want to lock her up and never speak to my friends or family again. there was once life before social networking websites!
Thanks for letting me vent. Opinions welcomed.
From: Robie-lyn, Meriden, CT
I guess this is as big a neon sign as we're gonna get that social networking has shanghai-ed our culture. I know it isn't going away, but I don't get how adults could think this was appropriate for a 12-year-old, esp when not even Facebook wants children this age.
What's even less un-excusable is that none of them told you. If she had come to them and said, "I just cheated on a test and I got a 95! It was really easy to cheat and everyone else does it, too! But don't tell my parents, OK," what would they have done? I'm not equating Facebook to cheating; the commonality here is that both activities are risky at this age. I hope (after you cool off), you can have a conversation with some of these clueless friends & family. One thing you can do is arm them with this line, should they ever be in a situation again: "I'm glad you trust me enough to want to share this with me, but this really is something your parents need to know about." Period.
Readers, do you agree? What would you do?
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