Social Networks

24 Feb

I have re-written this post 4 or 5 times over the past couple of days.  At first this post was going to be about school bullies but each time I began to write about it, things kept leaning toward my dislike of children’s use of social networks.  So, I scrapped the bully post and I am stepping up on by soapbox to talk about social networks.

It’s not the social networks themselves that bothers me.  I have my own Facebook page as do my children.  It is what kinds of things are being said on the pages of the teenagers that are “friends” with my girls.

I randomly monitor what kinds of things are being said on my daughters’ pages.  I will also ask the girls to sign on to their page so I can randomly look at some of their friends pages.  The girls know I am doing it, they are usually sitting right there with me.  I do it because I want to make sure they are not associating themselves with the wrong type of crowds…ie; troublemakers or bullies.

This is what I want to say……WAKE UP PARENTS!!!!!!  It is perfectly clear to me that alot of parents do not monitor their children’s activity on social network sites.  I am shocked at the things that I see posted in “status updates” and then the responses to those updates.  Sexual comments, malicious comments, hurtful pictures posted with hateful comments.  These are 13 and 14 year olds people!  Kids…..KIDS! KIDS! talking about their sexual encounters.  My goodness, where are their parents?

The “cyber-bully” is also out of control.  These days it is much easier to make fun of someone when you are not face to face with them.   It’s bad enough that there are bullies in the school that relentlessly pick on other kids, but now it goes beyond the school playground (so to speak).  True, most kids are not going to be “friends” with someone who picks on them on a network site, but other classmates might be and kids never stop to think that it might be hurtful when they ask “Did you see what so-and-so said about you on Facebook last night?” 

I guess ultimately what I want to say is this……..Parents check up on your kids!  I am not sneaky about it, I flat out tell my girls that I am checking up on them.  My children are not perfect, comments have had to be deleted because I felt something was not appropriate.  I am constantly telling them not to make comments that have a hidden or double meaning.  I can tell when they are saying one thing but it really means another.  This is not acceptable to me.  Their “friends” have had to be blocked because of things I have seen on their pages. 

My kids do not like me any less because I do this, even if they did, I don’t care, I am the Mom.  They know I am not doing it because I don’t trust them.  I am just trying to raise my children to be respectful of others and make wise choices about who they associate themselves with.


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