Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Update this Status

I took typing in school.  HIGH SCHOOL.  I'm pretty sure we didn't have computers but suffice it to say if we did, I certainly didn't have one at home.  I remember my mom paying $250 for our first VCR.  We didn't subscribe to Time Warner Cable until I was in high school.  Yep, definitely not the leaders in technology in my house.

The generation behind me (I honestly don't even know what they are called - Bubba is the Y generation I think?  Who the hell knows) is absolutely tech crazed.  Kids want and have cell phones as young as Kindergarten.  They have computers or tablets of their own by 3rd grade.  And because they are given all this technology - they want (Duh, duh, duh......) facebook.  Our house is no different.

When Bubba was in 7th grade, he asked hubs and I for a social media account.  Xanga.  What is that?  He begged and begged - we had just purchased our first computer (first I'd ever owned by the way at age 30) and he was desperate to get this account.  I took a look at the general scope of it and agreed with a few parameters.  What do I need to worry about... he's a boy, right?  He'll say some funny things and then never look at it again.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.  A few months later when I hacked into his site realizing after a Dr. Phil episode that I was supposed to be monitoring him (parent of the year), I about died.  Nah, he wasn't saying anything rude or inappropriate.  It was his info that killed me.  He had put every single item about himself online - his full name, our address, his school... everything.  I confronted him immediately and threatened to tear down the site if he didn't fix it.  He couldn't understand.  I told him the unfortunate truth about predators.  He still couldn't understand.  "Mom, sexual predators don't target 12 year old boys".  That same year, Shawn Hornbeck was abducted by a man and kept for YEARS being sexual assaulted.  Down came the Xanga account.

After that, Bubba wasn't really interested in social media.  To this day he pretty much despises it.  And I totally get why.

Little guy now wants a facebook account.  I even did a little quiz on my own facebook page asking my friends when it is acceptable to let your kids have a page.  The answers were awesome.  Overwhelmingly, it basically not until they are an adult.

Today, tweens and teens use facebook totally inappropriately.  They don't use it to chat with their friends, pass along fashion ideas and proclaim their love for their lives.  Oh contrare.  They use it to be mean.  They bully on it.  They throw up tantrums, sarcasm and barbs at others.  They drone on and on about the throws of their angst ridden lives (in suburbia, no doubt).  Public humiliation if you ask me.

My nieces might get mad at me for these comments but I don't think they are old enough to be on here either.  I'm non-discriminatory about my feelings on this issue... sorry girls!  Auntie loves you!

So little guy is just going to have to wait.  I'm totally not ready for him to throw up all of his personal information or feelings on a social media site.  It's so not necessary.  If he has something he needs to share with a friend, he can pick up our LAND LINE telephone and call them.  Oh my god, send in the troops.  I'm so old school I should be taken away.

To my friends that have kids on there - please, please monitor what your kids are doing.  Be their PARENTS, not their "friends".  Try to get them to understand it's unacceptable to over share everything to this world of strangers.  My parents told me to keep my home life private when I was a kid... is there anything wrong with that theory?  Even though tweens and teens think they are grown ups, they certainly are not.  Most of them are unable to cope with their own emotional and physical maturity so they certainly don't need a social media in which to divulge their secrets.  When they are grown ups, they can say and do every little thing they want.... even blog 'til their hearts are content!  

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