Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kids On Facebook

My 12 year old son informs me that the biggest thing at his school at present is 'being on Facebook' (oh and of course texting your friends on your mobile phone). Will it happen in this house?... my 'just turned 12 year old' on facebook? with a mobile phone?.... over my dead body. But that's just me...

Some concerns of mine. I went into some of his friend's facebook pages to see what the attraction was.... mortification!.... there as plain as day... evidence already of bullying, exclusion from peer groups... and attitude! My son was in raptures last weekend, having finished his 'Memoir Assignment' for English... so excited to have discovered another composition genre and having enjoyed creating it so much.... but there, on his school peer's facebook pages... "memoirs suck", "memoirs are so gay". I don't want my son seeing that!!!, being influenced in that way by boys with such attitude...who have no respect or boundaries. What would their parents think of their facebook entries?... do their parents know?... or even care?

I also believe that home should be your haven, free from the troubles of the world. Constant text messages from friends or foes, facebook posts, directed at teasing or excluding peers, don't allow young ones freedom from their daily social pressures. I believe my son needs to form a solid sense of self  before he is exposed to more of these pressures.... there are enough of these pressures in daily school life.

Goodness, I even get bullied through MY blog..... apparently I am a "Rodeo Clown" for choosing to chase my dreams ..... oh and my house looks like a 'furniture catalogue'...ha..... (quick sidetrack - great discussion on 'blog jealously' over at The Skirted Round Table HERE). “The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” -William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693. HERE.

Sorry I digress...... where was I?..... oh yes... so....  no mobile phone and no facebook for 'just turned 12 year olds' in this house...oh the teen years are going to be fun!
My thoughts. Yours?
A-M xx


  1. I hear you loud and clearly on this point! My children were not allowed to have FB or My Space or any of that until they were much older! Too much too soon...I think so! Stick to your guns and go with your gut!

    Oh and btw...I'm particularly fond of Rodeo Clowns and furniture catalogs! ;-)

    Kat :)

  2. Hi A-M

    Facebook hmmmmm yes and I know many adults who are bullied and excluded on facebook. I really dont get facebook what is wrong with email or ringing a friend!
    As for your son, if he has no interest just yet than dont encourage it. My boys have facebook but never have there been any bullying on it (I check the messages when they are not looking) but rather they use it for online games.

    Having a 15 year old son, there comes a point where you just have to trust your child. I believe that some children should never start facebook as they may be victims of bullying. It all depends on how resiliant a child is and the type of friends/acquaintances they have at school.
    There is so much more I want to say but this is meant to be for a quick comment LOL
    As for others jealous bloggers..OMG seriously get a life haha Dont you change a thing A-M I am so inspired by your blog and I know many others are as well!
    Mrs B xx

  3. I couldn't agree more. My son is 12 and hasn't asked to go on facebook but I know some of the kids at his school already are. A friend has 11 year old twins who aren't on facebook but have been the subject of bullying via facebook and one of the twins ended up having an asthma attack at school after finding out that she had been the subject of gossip on facebook! I know they are growing up but I don't see any need to hurry it along and expose them to too much.
    My son had a mobile phone for his 11th birthday as a lot of his friends live in the next village and I was very apprehensive about him going to play with them so got him a mobile just in case. To be fair he doesn't abuse it and has taken really good care of it. He is also pretty much the last child to go on MSN which again I don't really see the point of - the only reason I backed down with MSN is that a friend of his emigrated to Canada and it's a good way for them to keep in touch. Otherwise he can say all he's got to say in person!
    Strict Mummies unite!

  4. All I can say is GOOD FOR YOU! I am so happy that my one child is grown and I don't have to face this sort of thing. I think too many parents want to be best friends with their children... and let's face it- that's not our role. They give into the whims of our young and later wonder why they spend too much time alone in their bedrooms on the computer, texting and in secret conversation on cell phones. It's all getting to be too much! You are raising good boys and should be proud of it!

  5. A-M I thoroughly approve of your decision to suspend use of a mobile and Facebook for your son. I don't even have a Facebook account because right now I keep getting friend requests from all the bullies I had growing up. My mantra: If you are truly a friend you know how to stay in touch with me without it being through Facebook. I didn't have my first mobile phone until I was 25 and I still hardly use mine. I don't think your son will be missing out. Stick to your decision!

  6. I am hearing you very loud and clear! I am yet to face these issues, but can already see I won't be looking forward to it. My eldest has a very strong personality and I am positive he will be pushing me all the way. I hope your son understands why he can't and of course his time will come when he can use these things, but like you said you need to be fully aware of the negative implications. Blogs, facebook, texting etc...they are a platform to put yourself out there, but heavy critcism can come with it too! Good luck xx

  7. Oh what a GREAT post! My 'just turned 12' (last week) son also asked for a 'facebook page' this week and I too had to say no!! I even went from having 400+ 'FB friends' down too 100 friends myself. Too much rubbish out there if you ask me! We did however get him an iPod touch for his bday. All the fun apps w/out having to converse w/ others on the interent! Good luck! :-) Kristen

  8. Hi AM. all I can say is resist as long as you can. Unfortunately Facebook won't go away so we need to learn to live with it. Unfortunately it feels anonymous so people post things that they wouldn't have the guts to say.
    As for your blog, I LOVE it and am inspired by it. Please just ignore those who are negative and nasty and keep on blogging!!!

  9. My 13 1/2 year old has a cell phone, my 11 year old does not! Why you may ask? My teenager needs one so that I can keep track of her. She is at a high school of 2800 students and I need to find her to either pick her up or I get her to text me when she gets home if I am not there to greet her. We use it more as a safety device. It has never been used for bullying. My 11 year old is at intermedate school and as yet has not had the same freedom as his older sister so as yet no need. As for Facebook...not in my house!

  10. Good on you for taking parental responsibilty in how you are raising your sons. And I can't believe people would write nasty comments on your blog. Obviously their Mums never taught them "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!"

  11. A-M, I'm reading this thinking how alike we sound! My kids are somewhat older than your boys, but at the same age we were 'so unfair' to not let the kids on social networking sites. As a consequence my daughter avoided a particularly nasty episode of bullying amongst her friends. Without exception every one of those friends was allowed onto the computer as much as they liked. My kids do have phones, but that's because they have a very long trip on public transport to and from school. Even so, I wish they could do without and we do limit the amount they get to use them.
    Good on you, glad to see a kindred spirit out there!
    Kerri x

  12. Good on you A-M!
    What scares me is to think that those blog bullies are raising kids who, by example, will become those little facebook bullies :(
    The home is meant to be a safe haven for kids so i think you are doing the right thing for B!
    J xx

  13. Here here AM! As a High school teacher I have seen the very negative results of on-line bullying and it is traumatizing for the poor kids on the receiving end. The crux of the problem was highlighted by you when you said "do the parents even care" what their children are up to...in the majority of cases I have seen, they are either technologically naive or are so involved in their own jobs/lives they have no idea what their kids are up to. I am not on Facebook and I doubt my kids will want to join as I have shared some very sad stories with them. You are a fine role model and example for your very lucky and very loved children.

    Best wishes,

  14. Mobile phone for safety - very good point and I am sure I will find one useful for my older son when he is in the higher grades, when he is here, there and everywhere.... but life is deliciously basic now... and very structured in the co-curricular department.. so I'll hold off for as long as I can! Thanks for taking the time for your great comments! Quick ... I'm off to school! A-M xx

  15. Couldn't agree more A-M. Kids have enough to do these days, let 'em be kids with a little innocence and naivete thrown in for as long as possible. Nastiness=jealousy to me...which is not a terribly nice attribute to have

  16. A-M, you are a SMART woman is all I have to say! Keep your standards high for your children!! :) Many are learning from you ...

  17. I think that is a wonderful decision on your part and agree whole heartedly!

  18. My daughter is only 11 months old but I already worry about this sort of thing. Many of these technological gadgets have a way of taking away a child's innocence and exposing them to things they may not be ready to handle. Good for you for doing what you think is right for your boys and keeping the facebook (and blog) bullies at bay.

  19. This is why we love you A-M - intelligence and conviction. I agree emphatically with your thoughts about Facebook. EVERYTHING starts with parenting. The way a child is valued and taught values determines our society - socially, economically. There is nothing more important and yet some would see it as an inconvenience to parent well - "too hard" and "why should I devote myself to them?" As for the blog bullying - envy is ignorance (Emerson). Imagine being that full of hate, it must be a miserable existence.. Rachaelxx

  20. Parallel universes, you and i right now A-M. My 12yr old is on the brink of a phone - trying to put it off as long as possible but the damn interschool sport every week is causing some issues, and it seems the school thikns that everyone must have a phone and a mother that can drop everything and run to pick her son up at the drop of a text. (That's something else)

    My guy is doing autobiographies at the moment, and i'm so glad he is just taking it on and starting to enjoy it without getting bogged down by other peoples thoughts. Our school has wikis and personlised blogs on their intra school site, and similiarly i've read some stuff that isn't positive.

    i'm starting to get a bit scared about teenager-hood, man!


  21. I'm about to have my first child and I am quite worried about raising a child in an internet/techological environment. I can't help but think about the fact that when we were children, even teenagers, the extent of our interaction with our friends were AT SCHOOL and on the weekends. After school, we went home and perhaps received a phone call or two before 8PM from our friends. Everything outside of that was "family time". When one starts to bring in Facebook and cellphones at all hours of the day, then family time is lost in lieu of more "friend" time. Friends are wonderful, but at the end of the day we should spend more time with family than friends. Family will be there through thick and thin.

    I've always believed that you won't miss what you don't know.

    I admire you for keep your foot firm in place.

  22. Great post AM and I could not agree more. My almost 14,13 and 12 year olds do not have facebook or mobiles, they are simply not needed. You want to talk to your friends? invite them over..or have a good old fashioned phone conversation ON THE LAND LINE..
    In our house (we have 7 kids) we have some simple rules..no mobiles until you get a job and you pay for it yourself and no internet.EVER.. unless it is for homework research.

    Mobiles in particular can be used as weapons. Sending nasty texts, prank calls etc..not nice and can cause irreprable damage to another child..

  23. I completely agree with you on children on facebook - what is the point? They see each other all day at school, why have a facebook page too? And why invite that kind of hostile behaviour into your home through the internet? Although I have no kidlets of my own, I have had very young and distance cousins of my husband (talk about random) try to friend me on facebook...their ages? 10 and 8!!!! I chose to press the ignore button because frankly, I'm an adult and my friends are adults and sometimes we post messages or jokes using adult language.

    Anyways, cheers to you for being a good mum who is involved and recognizes that kids don't need to have everything everyone else has all the time. Your son's classmates could use some of your parenting.

    PS - Anyone who bullies you about your blog or beautiful home is simply immature and jealous!

  24. Oh My! I can't believe people actually made neg comments about your house....I love it! I will never have anything so beautiful, but I am so happy to share yours through your blog. Re: FB and cell phone....MY "kids" are now 22 and 24 and they were not allowed cell phones until they were almost finished with our high school (age 17-18 here in the states). Even my daughter thinks that it is bad for the tweens to have access like this....it makes bullying easier...no face to face but damaging nonetheless. I support you on these and I have the older children to prove it is worth it to be a concerned, involved parent. Good for YOU!

  25. My 12 year old son is on Facebook and to date has not witnessed any bullying. Fact is, he's not that interested in the whole concept. Much like his mother and definitely like his father! Wanted to join Facebook when most of his class did but his interest waned. It may be revived and that would be something I would regret, but would not stop. He is moving into adolescence and I hope he will be reasonably open about his activities and know that we are available to discuss any issues that may arise. Modern technology has definitely provided uncharted waters in terms of parenting. By the way, a friend's son was refused permission to join FB so did so at his mate's place, using a slight variation on his surname! All those at his school had him listed as a friend under his 'pseudonym' and he was a very active participant on FB(and also 12 years old). Perhaps a case of that which is denied becomes an obsession.

    My son does not have a mobile phone but that is next on the agenda. He catches a bus and train to school and, having missed the school bus twice, has needed to contact me to pick him up. Again, this will be another level of independence for him and I feel he is ready for it.

    Bullying is abhorrent. But if we are honest, it exists in all areas of life to some degree (as you have experienced).

    Re your house. OMG. I would love to live somewhere so lovely!

  26. Always an interesting subjext to discuss. I love facebook, I have many friends in different parts of Australia and England as well as family overseas. I find FB an easy way to stay in touch with everyone and a quick 10min read every morning keeps me up to date with everyone.

    Yes I'm all for phone calls and emails too but FB is a quick for me.

    My 12yo DD has facebook, I am her friend. I have complete trust in her to do the right thing and she knows what the consquences will be if she doesn't.

    She also has a mobile, only because this year she started High School and I have two other children at Primary so there are days when I do need to ring her. Also when she goes to friend's houses or out for lunch we can always get in contact with her or vice versa.

    It's a big bad world out there, I think trust is important and open lines of communication.

  27. Like Toni, all our grown boys have me as a friend on their FB pages. In fact, I need to check in frequently to see if the latest girlfriend is still the latest or has been replaced! I find it a very useful tool to keep up with their lives now that the darling Possums have moved out. I think your take on the whole issue is spot on A-M - your boys need to make these tools work for them, not the other way around.
    Millie ^_^
    P.S. Dear old MOTH asked me the other night 'Millie, do you reckon I need to get one of these Bookface things?'!!!

  28. A-M

    Interesting artical I recently read by Mia Freedman on this very subject.

    And this one made me laugh:


    Corey (my master 12) had been begging me for facebook to play the games with his cousin. I gave in, registered and used a password we both knew, locked his account, no photo andand only family members I approved could be friends with him. I felt he was safem and I knew what was going on at all times.

    Three days later a letter arrives from school banning all facebook accounts. There was an outrage, but most parents backed the school and now - no facebook! So that made the situation so much easier on me :)

    Wouldnt it be good if all schools (at least primary) could get behind that!

  29. My son wanted a FB account when he was 12. The FB age requirement is 13, but I think it should be older than that. He is 14 and we still check behind him. Privacy comes much later in life...

  30. My children are 6 and 8 and they do not need a phone or a Facebook account. I do use Facebook myself, and I really enjoy catching up with people and seeing their photos etc, but it's not necessary for my children to. I use Facebook wisely, do not accept anyone I have never met, and keep my security settings high. My children very rarely use the computer or even the Wii. They would much rather play outside on their scooters or construct things out of lego or play with Barbies!

    They grow up so quickly these days and I'm trying to keep them sheltered from all the technology! I have also said to them they are not allowed to have a TV in their room until they can afford to buy one themselves! Might be harsh, but they have one in their playroom! That's enough! ;-)

    I know there will come a time when it may be necessary for a phone, but I travelled on public transport to and from secondary school everyday and I coped without one! Yes, the world is a different place now, unfortunately.....

    As for your experience with bullying...brush them aside. You should be so proud of your beautiful home, which has been expertly decorated with beautiful pieces and looks nothing like a furniture catalogue! Just remind yourself who got the magazine spread...(which I'm sure we are all hanging out for!)

    Your blog has been and will continue to be a wonderful inspiration for me, and I love reading it. I just wish I had the energy to update mine daily!

  31. Just found your blog and I love your house and decorating. I agree 100% with you about Facebook. I let my son start up an account because all his other friends were on and he only used it to play games but he only lasted a few weeks wasn't really interested. The other day I went on and had a sticky nose and on his wall or message board whatever it's called was a nasty comment by a 12 year old girl to some other girl calling her horrible nasty names and saying everyone hates her. I was shocked with what I read and felt for that poor girl being bullied so I deleted her off his friends but after reading this post and speaking to him about it we have decided to delete his account. I don't really get it if you want to talk to someone either pick up the phone or type them a nice letter in an email. I know kids as young as 9 that are on Facebook they are too young to be reading all that rubbish they should be outside playing with a ball or on their bikes like we used to when we were young. They were the good old days. Take care Carol

  32. Hi. New to your blog, came over via My Notting Hill...this is so distressing! Have 3 of my own, my oldest is 10 (here in the states) and NO to FB and phones for now...in two years time, it all seems so scary, naive of me to think that girls are worst as this sounds so awful to me. You come across as a great mom, and what you say about home and haven so True, your son is lucky to have you. I will be back for more of your wisdom for sure!

  33. Now thats why I'm moving to the Byron country hinterland so my girls spend more time outdoors i.e horse riding, surf club, cubbies etc... As you know I have had six kids living at home five of them aged between 12-20 all on facebook :( Did I like it not at all, but when five gang up on you its not much fun, now thats called bullying ha! Ha! but if you teach your kids good values and what's right and wrong. I can honestly say it can be harmless and a way for them to connect with their friends, my kids only accept people they actually are friends with. Its important to understand some basic rules i.e dont leave any personnal info, what school you go too, where you live,or where your going, that is incredibly dangerous to our kids. Cyper space is our childrens future regardless but I can definately also see its not always good either. I'm on facebook only so I keep an eye on whats going on with my kids but I end up chatting to them too, its not all bad, I actually have converations with my 18 year old when at home he mostly grunts!
    All I can say about blogger jealousy! well I'm soooo jealous that Vicki Acher lives in France, I'm sooo..jealous that all you blogging girls come up with the most gorgoeus blog posts, I get incredibly jealous when The American and European bloggers, blog about there market finds...urrrgghhh our markets are mostly junk with the occasional good find! but other than that kind of jealousy I think us girls need to unite and be proud of one another, there is enough negativity in the world! (you can tell I'm not working at the moment too much time to ramble on....) x

  34. Hi A-M totally agree, my boys are 19, 17 and 11. The older 2 didn't have facebook in their early senior school years and with my youngest child off to senior school next year he will be getting a mobile phone as he will be travelling quite a bit. He won't be allowed to use facebook for a couple of years and I know there will be a few arguements about this. Hello, I am the adult here. I said no - there will be no giving in to this one. Also re Verandah House (Judy's) last comment, Facebook is all very well to talk to your children/18 yo on, but to be honest I would know very few children who would allow their parent's to be "a friend" on their facebook site. Yes, most would not want you looking at what they are up to which does translate to "Hmmm what are they hiding". I don't agree with it - but that is reality. Also what I have found with a few of my friends/aquaintances, their kids go over their cap limit on their mobile phones (texting and talking too much) so they "up" their children's cap. What about saying no, even though I know my older boys text alot, they do have a cap on their phone and they know that if they go over it they pay the difference (which translates to - they no longer go over their cap!!!). Having a phone is a privilege not a right. I think alot of the problems here lie with the parents and the lack of supervision, for whatever reason, that unfortunately is the cold hard fact.

  35. I'd say stick to your guns - but it is going to be an uphill struggle because alas, other parents aren't as diligent with their own children.

    A report on yesterday's news said that children in Scotland are being given lessons on how to sleep. I thought this was yet more nonsense until some 15-year-olds were interviewed and the average bed time for them was *2* a.m. Distractions like mobile phones, video games and the computer (Facebook, Bebo) are keeping children awake and over-stimulated so that they cannot relax and sleep. A lack of sleep, particularly for teens, leads to difficulty concentrating and may be linked to depression.

    To me the conclusion seems to be that ideally our children's rooms should be technology free, right down to mobile phones. However, there comes a time when children notice those who are not in the main stream (*not* on Facebook etc) and it makes them stand out in a way that makes them vulnerable to bullying. I think therefore you may have to play it by ear on this one because I suspect this is a tide you will have increasing difficulty holding back. All of this makes me so glad that both my girls are now out of the school system because it's a minefield out there.

    I had no idea you had people lurking, leaving nasty comments. 'Rodeo clown' ...never heard that one before. Some people never advance emotionally beyond the school yard. Ignore them and you keep on doing what you do so well. It'll bug the hell out of them.

  36. wow great post and great comments too.

    I am frightened for my children when they get to that age. I naively hope all these problems will be sorted.

    I designed our study specifically to give our children computer and studying space I do not want them spending hours after midnight on the computer in their room.

    It is very much horses for courses I know lots of people love FB but for a 12 year old??

    And on the comments, I cannot cannot believe what people say. I find that anonymity seems to encourage bad behaviour because people hide behind that. They would never say these things to your face before. And I like Anita think if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing.


  37. Good on you for being such a sensible, level headed parent. It's terrible to think that young ones have all this to deal with these days. I definitely am against Facebook for children. As a teacher, I was very aware of letting parents know the importance of monitoring their children's Internet use. As for mobile phones, I agree with your views on this one too.

  38. Hi, well, I speak english but not very very well so..I can say to you that I have twoo little girls, 7 and 4 years old, and at this moment I haven´t got this problem but sometimes I think about this things...well, I think like you, he is only a child.

    where do you live? nice to meet you! big kiss

  39. I hear you A-M, my 11+ year old is not allowed to go on any social websites, leave alone joining them. And no mobile either. He is a good boy though and once I explained my reasons he understood. Its really hard though when all of his cousins and friends are on there, quite a few of them younger than him. However I fear the day when my daughter would be his age, God help me then!

  40. Oh AM how dare people criticize your blog. I love it and take it personally. My 11 yr old asked for a mobile the other day. Pretty funny considering he very rarely ever rings anyone on the land line. As for facebook, he has no idea. That's the way it will stay as long as it can.

  41. Hi AM,
    Being a mum of three boys working from home, I so much enjoy your blog, and your very beautiful home. Your doing a great job.

  42. Here here, let kids be kids! Simple....

  43. I'm with you A-M - miss 12 thinks it terribly unfair that "everyone" else has Facebook and I wont allow it. Who needs this intrusion and extra pressure on them? Not to mention all the time it sucks up. Bit of a false popularity contest if you ask me, whoever has the most friends win. Stick to your guns, they can do without it. Mel xxx

  44. I currently have a 'semi-relatives' nine year old son, on her suggestion, trying to "friend" me on Facebook. So far I've ignored any emails regarding the "friending" but I think I'm now going to have to have a conversation with his mother telling her I think it's inappropriate for a child to be doing this. I'm sure it's going to put a few noses out of joint but Facebook is not where a 9 year old boy should be. In this case, it's the adult at fault for encouraging it.
    I agree A-M, if you're children aren't using these mediums, then they can't be directly bullied that way, but I also agree with some of the other bloggers in that you have to teach your children how to use this fast, immediate & direct technology sensibly & appropriately. Oh the rocky roads that lie ahead for me ...

  45. I agree 12 is too young. Fortunately my 12 year is not interested. My 14 year on the other hand is all over it and we finally said yes now that he is in high school. the one caveat was i get to be a friend...I can see what everyone is talking about. The girls, oh my, quite aggressive..maybe thats just Argentina. I would say though, from what I understand from what our school tells us, is that almost everything that you saw written, has been said out loud, this is not new to your son, sorry:( Unlike adults, there doesn't seem to be the same filters in place for kids. With us, what is verbalized face to face and whats said behind the digital veil, is quite different.

    Love your blog, love your house, love your voice.

  46. I had to laugh, I get "I'm the only one without a phone" from my 11 year old son all of the time. The only reason we are even considering it is for emergencies. We live on a lake and the boys spend their entire summer vacation outside. It will make it so much easier on us, if they have a phone so I can track them down.

  47. Amen Sista!!! I tell my 7 year old that wants a cell phone that I myself just got one 5 years ago and I'm 34... HELLO? BTW, I love the jealousy quote. Love, Heidi

  48. You are exactly right with your comment that the home should be a haven for your children. FB & mobiles are a classic example of this. Well done A-M. My children are very young (3yo & 22mo) but I am hopeful that I can protect them, to some degree, from the negative elements of social networking sites and "mobile dependance". However, I think I maybe being a little naive.

  49. OH A-M, i hope we know who your boys are when they grow up because I am sure they are going to be absolutly beautiful, strong and sucessful men. Well done.....
    Love Katie

  50. Stick with that thought A-M! Even though our boys are miles away from any of that, we dont even let them play games on the internet. Just one wrong click and who knows where they will get. They only play learning CD games at the moment, but I know of some 5 year olds whos parents let them search the net (and they cant read, but they can see!) and some of the stpries we here when we are picking them up is horrendous. It is so nice to hear of other parents that actually CARE about their childrens lives, thoughts, experiences at school etc. I think you are wonderful and your boys are lucky to have a Mum that cares.

    BTW, I get bullied too from grammer police saying my spelling and grammer lets down my blog...I say 'dont read it then'. I love your rodeo ways =0)
    Ness xx

  51. Mine weren't even allowed to watch the TV through the week during school term so you can imagine what I think. Good on you A-M...plenty of time for Facebook, blogging and twitter...don't we know!. xv

  52. My Children were 16 before I gave them cell phones. And it was for safety reasons when they came in our door the phone was shut off. When my child would say " this one or thats ones mom lets them" My response was 'I am smater than they are.

  53. I dont do facebook, and I know I am one of the few of my friends that dont. I have nieces and nephews 7 and 11 that dont do Facebook either. Its just not talked about at home and its just not an option. Thats how I hope it will be for my daughter....although God help what will be around when she is a teenager! Scary!

  54. I'm late on reading this post (went and visited my parents for a week, sans computer...yay!), but I LOVE IT.

    #1. Seriously? Criticizing another person via their blog? It is one of the most ridiculous things about our online society yet. Especially via an anonymous comment. It's ridiculous.

    #2. I'm fairly positive that I'm the last person in my high school or group of friends that isn't doing it, and I never will. I really dislike the idea of feeling compelled to write what I'm doing at this particular moment, like so many do, or be more subject to reading about details of people's lives. It reminds me of the show "The Philadelphia Story", where the main actress is being written up by a tabloid story. She says, at some point in the show, how unthinkable it is that people's private lives should be made public for others to see. I fully agree.

    It's nice to see parents who are sticking by their convictions in order to raise good citizens. My son just turned 2, and I'm already very nervous about what we're going to be dealing with in another 10 years. Even 5 years. Gosh - even 2 years. It scares me.

    Anyway. Thanks for this post. Though I've never met you in person, I LOVE love love your blog, and I think that you're doing a good job with your boys.

  55. sadly i am not a mom yet, but i am "aunt nicole" to just about everyone i know with a child. for those friends who have allowed their kids on facebook, i am considered a sort of spy for them. my friends realize their kids won't be their friends on facebook or if they do then they will use the privacy settings to keep them from seeing anything. for this reason they have asked me, super cool aunt nicole, to be their friends on facebook and quietly observe their activity. if i see them doing something i dont like (that isn't major) i'll take note. if it persists then i personally will make a casual mention to them letting them know my thoughts and also that i will not mention it to their parents. if it were to be something major (which thank gd has not happened) i would probably address the child and let them know that their parents will be notified...at least this is what i think i would do if confronted with the situation.

    everyone should have a conversation about facebook with their kids. social media is here to stay and it's important that parents let their kids know that they should behave on facebook as they would if they were in the mall with family. at least that's what i think.

    great post. i just discovered your blog through kirtsy and so far i think you're pretty fabulous!


  56. Oh, and Rodeo Clown? What the heck kind of comment is THAT??? They have some serious issues, methinks. Geez.

  57. My almost 16yo and my 13yo do not have FB or cell phones, either. I let them use Skype, cause half their friends live on the other side of the world (Australia, Singapore, Ukraine...phone bills could get EXPENSIVE!), but I make the ultimate sacrifice, and let them mangle my one, cause that way I keep complete track of who and what they are talking about (it lets Skype be open on multiple computers at a time..so everything they type on their computer pops up on mine in real time.) The older one, I finally let get her own email address, but I am the only one who knows the password, so I can monitor that, too. I know people think I am controlling and harsh, but I have talked to her, and she is aware and fully agrees with my reasoning, and she knows she only has 2 more years to go if she really resents it before she can make her own decisions. And she has zero need for cell phones in our current situation, so she has none.

    One point, though, to the parents who say we all grew up without one, and were fine...since the widespread advent of cell phones, the decline of payphones has been just as widespread. We got by by heading for the nearest payphone when we really needed to call home...but nowadays, you can walk for literally blocks before finding a payphone. I don't want my kids wandering randomly in a strange area, and potentially approaching strangers to find one, if for some reason the situation arises that they need to be making a call. And if we really need to get a cell phone, I would get those ones that can be preprogrammed for just a couple numbers, like mom or dad. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing situation.

  58. my daughter is now almost 19 - we went through myspace, and even before myspace there was another social media that I can't even remember the name of it - then it was facebook - still. . they end up growing up trust me - they get over all that bullying on facebook and it just becomes a way to keep in touch and make plans and show pictures.

  59. I agree with the decision you've made. Kids need to be kids, without all the added social pressures. My 10 year old came home a few months ago saying that a lot of his friends had Facebook accounts. But I explained to him my reasons for not allowing it and he was fine.They grow up quickly enough without the added help of social networks.

    Love you blog, a beautiful documentation of your new home!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx