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Facebook or not?

(14 Posts)
MacRoz Tue 14-Jun-11 16:09:31

My DD is just coming up to 13 and so far I have forbidden her facebook despite her claims that she's the only one who doesn't have it. Apart from hating everything about facebook my reason for denying it is that she is bullied enough at school as it is without opening her up to a whole new form of bullying. But, I'm now thinking that if I allow her to have it with the stipulation that I have to be a friend, if she gets bullied on facebook I have evidence to take the matter higher with the school. As it is, the bullying that girls do at school is very difficult to pin on them. Girls are so manipulative and the "queen bee" in her friendship group is being very unkind but in a way that is difficult to do something about. As is so often the case this girl is popular with the teachers and they can't see her doing anything but "helping" my DD. It may well be that they are already talking about my daughter on facebook but without her having access I can't tell. I do sound a bit paranoid don't I!!! But I really feel for my daughter who does struggle socially at school. What's the general concensus. Is this a silly reason for allowing Facebook and am I opening a can of worms?

dexter73 Tue 14-Jun-11 19:39:31

You could always let her have it and then monitor her page to see how it goes and then cancel it later if it all goes badly.Do not let her join on Formspring as that site is horrible and just there for teens to say horrible things to each other anonymously.

cybbo Tue 14-Jun-11 19:43:10

I wish my d had never discovered FB. We've just banned her from using it as it was totally taking over her evenings when she should ahve been studying. A letter from her Head told us how far she had slipped behind.

Apparently its cooler now NOT to be on FB, so I really woudlnt go there, its very hard to police

Danthe4th Tue 14-Jun-11 19:54:02

I haven't had a problem with my 2 dd's, I hated msn that they used to have as you can't keep an eye on it. On fb I'm their friend and have found myself being added by quite a few of their friends.
The thing that now drives me nuts is they all have blackberrys and are constantly bbming each other and updating their status. It does mean I can always contact them either by phone or on fb so its not all bad.
Judging by the amount of friends some children have I would say most of the school have fb. I've always said only to add people that they know and speak to.
You will be shocked by some of the language though and some of the party photos, but most of them are fairly innocent posing in front of their own mirrors with plenty of slap on.

BusyBodd Tue 14-Jun-11 20:27:13

In the short term, FB won't allow people to join until they are 13. (I know there are loads of kids younger than that on there, but I told my daughter that she would have to lie to join and I wouldn't let her do that - it worked)

Both my children (13 and 18) are on it, and I have been on it since before they joined and I'm friends with them both so I see what goes on, and I sometimes comment and post things on their walls, making sure that I don't embarrass them ( at least not too much - LOL!). In a way I see it a bit like I'm able to join in with their social life a bit.

As you say, it might provide some concrete evidence that would be helpful, in which case make sure you know how to take screen-shots, and if you do see anything you aren't happy with screenshot it straight away so you've got it if it is later removed by the person. Also, allow email notifications because then you get an email of anything that goes on your wall, and any comments made on threads you have commented, which would provide you with evidence.

generalhaig Tue 14-Jun-11 20:52:27

just be aware that a lot of comments on FB are actually via private chat

we insisted that ds added us as friends so we could keep an eye on what he was doing, however he very rarely comments or puts anything on his wall but he's constantly chatting with friends via private chat and I've no way of policing that, so bullying could occur without you gaining evidence ...

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 15-Jun-11 09:37:48

I will hold out as long as possible before DD joins facebook. She is 10 and quite a lot of her classmates are already on it.
DH is an IT teacher and loathes it.
Personally, in your situation, I would avoid it. TBH, your post reads as if you would like to use it as a trap or proof of RL bullying. That is a pretty bad idea.

Maryz Wed 15-Jun-11 09:58:21

dd uses facebook relatively sensibly. She is also a friend to ds2 and keeps an eye on what he does grin.

dd was almost 14 when she started, ds started about a month before his 13th birthday, as he had been on a camp and wanted to keep in touch with friends he had met there.

They only use it on our family computer in the sitting room where I can see what they are up to, and mostly use it to keep in touch with friends around the country they have met at various events but don't see daily, as well as family overseas. Neither have any friends they don't know in real life (and have regular friend culls, distantly monitored by me [grumpy]).

The bullying is a difficult issue, because bullying on facebook comes right into your home, you can't escape it by going home, iyswim. dd has one girl who bullied her horribly in primary school and although dd has blocked her she sends horrible messages from other girls' accounts when she is in their houses angry.

One piece of advice I would give you if you are using it to monitor bullying is that the messages are seldom one-sided. So if a child sends your dd a horrible message, she (because she is only 13) is almost bound to send something horrible back. She only has to do this once, for the bully to forward that message to everyone else and make your daughter look like the bad guy, with devastating consequences. Kids who bully on facebook are often very clever and manipulative in how they do it, and it will be very hard for your daughter to never react, which may leave you in a very awkward position sad.

So I don't thing "catching bullies" is a good reason to let her on Facebook. But if you think being on Facebook will help her fit in more (and it may if all the others are talking every night) and if you have her password etc and can keep an eye that way, then maybe try for a bit and see what happens.

bigscarymum Wed 15-Jun-11 11:57:26

DD was on fb and experienced some very unpleasant and public unpleasantness (bizarrely the person doing it was a friend on mine too, I think she must have forgotten). To cut a long story short DD closed her fb account for a couple of monhts. She became socailly very withdrawn and had all sorts of problems, but interestingly, I think that not being on fb compounded this, because this is how the teenagers communicate. We may not like it (I hate the amount of time it takes up) but I think we have to try and educate them rather than ban it as they will find other ways (msn, bbm, text, twitter etc etc). I am a friend of my DD on fb, and some of her friends, but I am well aware that most of it goes on on chat. However I think DD has now learnt not to live out her life in public on fb and not to respond to things without thinking through the consquences.

feckwit Wed 15-Jun-11 12:02:40

We've had no issues with it but I think if your child is being bullied, it is likely to be abused unless you are very strict about who they add...

greencolorpack Wed 15-Jun-11 12:06:34

Could you let her join, and then ONLY allow friends on there. And if someone says something horrible, unfriend that friend. Would that work or is it girls who have good days and bad days with each other?

The worst thing of all I think is when people passively allow everyone to friend them, even those people who intimidate them or they actively don't like but don't feel able to turn down. It should be FRIENDS on Facebook, if they are enemies, let them sod odd to some other site. If your daughter is able to make good decisions about who the trustworthy friends are, then let her.

Warn her against ever sharing her log in and password with friends. Friends who might turn into enemies later and trash her page.

figroll Wed 15-Jun-11 13:56:51

She probably is the only person not to have facebook as they all have it and is telling the truth. I think you are fighting a losing battle particularly if she has a computer in her room as you can't control what is going on and she can just flick it on and off.

There is a website that I think is really dreadful and that is Omegle - please everyone have a look. I know that my dd2's friend has been going on this and it is so dodgy - I expect my dd has been on too only she wouldn't tell me. Another one is Formspring.me although luckily my dd doesn't have any bullying issues so she uses it to chat up boys!!!

mumalot Wed 15-Jun-11 16:29:51

My only piece of advice would be that you have to be prepared to be hands on. A few rules that I follow

1. I have all DS passwords

2. I will read his FB if I feel like it and if he doesn't like that then tough

3 I NEVER post on his wall

4 he must NEVER use any language that he wouldn't be happy for his Head teacher to read

Having said all that, the real chat happens on chat which you can't monitor. Unless you leap straight on the pc after they've been on and see it! You will see bad language, smut and sexy talk on 'chat'...and that's almost mainly from the girls!!! the posher the girl the trashier the talk I find

MacRoz Mon 20-Jun-11 09:23:44

Thank you all for your comments. Very useful although I'm not sure I'm any further forward on deciding whether to allow her. But if I do then I've got some useful rules and restrictions.
Thanks

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