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Fayette-Mom: Social networking and kids

In this age of social networking, what are the rules?

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Jennifer Joyner
Jennifer Joyner

In this age of social networking, what are the rules?

I mean, I can’t imagine my kids, ages 7 and 5, having a Facebook page. Their internet use is limited to educational sites and the occasional viewing of iCarly episodes. They don’t even know what Facebook or Twitter is, thank goodness.

It’s not that I don’t like social network sites. I love the way Facebook has reunited me with old friends, and the fact that I am more in tune to what everyone is doing. (Although I must say, it’s a little disconcerting when a Facebook message replaces an actual phone call about important events — are we headed toward getting rid of our phones altogether? Alas, that’s a different post).

What concerns me a bit is when I get friend requests from a 10-year-old neighbor or an 11-year-old niece. On the one hand, I am delighted to keep up with them and what’s going on in their lives. But I’m horrified when they change their status to “In a Relationship”. A relationship? At 11 years old? My word, I am not ready for this.

I accept these requests, but then I find myself censoring my posts. Not that my updates are all that tawdry, mind you; some of them are just meant to be enjoyed by people of a certain age. Ahem.

So, what are the rules? Do you allow your kids to have a Facebook page? Do you monitor their updates? I know one mom who regularly logs on as her son and takes a look at everything he’s done. This sounds logical to me, but I’d love to know what you think about kids and social networks.

I’ve got a few years before I have to worry about this as a parent. But then again, who knows what will be the hot trend when my kids become teenagers. It makes me shudder to think of the possibilites.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.


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