Jamie said all his friends were on Facebook so he had to be. That was about six months ago. If I’d have known the problems we would have with Facebook I wouldn’t have agreed to it.
I am on Facebook myself but don’t look for me because you won’t find me under my blog name. I use a pseudonym.
On Facebook I have had my fair share of issues with misconceptions and misunderstandings with “friends”. In a way I felt hurt when Claire would not friend me. Then her wild days abated when Paul (her boyfriend) came onto the scene. Happy to say we are friends.
One of Claire’s girlfriends who also friended me would constantly post how she hated her mother and not in nice language mind you. This girl’s mother is a friend of mine so I was in two minds about what to do. In the back of my mind I had concerns Claire might hate me at too. I know young people use Facebook to rant and get it out of their system. They use it to show off. I decided to do nothing. I didn’t offer advice I decided to just “be there”. In the end their mother/daughter relationship mended. It is always dangerous friending teenagers on Facebook.
I have also caught up with some girlfriends from school, old work colleagues and not accepted friend requests from those narky girls at high school. Never in their crowd at school, so why bother now.
So when Jamie wanted to use Facebook I agreed on the conditions that I have to be his friend and so too his Grandma. My Mother-in-law is quite the geriatric propellor head sending emails, sending jokes, links and would love to be friended by her Grandson. So the rule was if you would not like your Grandma to see what you post on Facebook, don’t write it.
When Claire was at high school MSN was the culprit for bullying, now it’s Facebook. I blogged about Jamie being bullied at school by his friends. It’s now happening online with Facebook.
It all started when Jamie posted a reply on a friend from school’s Facebook status. A female friend but not girlfriend. Jamie shows confidence with girls normally, but with Eliza it seems, from what I can gather he is not so. Perhaps he DOES like her.
Some of Jamie’s school friends started making fun of that post. Taunting him in the playground and in their own Facebook status. Jamie told me he needed $5 when I picked him up after seeing a movie with friends, the other week. As he borrowed it from a friend. I thought it kind of strange at the time. Given that I knew he already had enough money for the film, lunch etc. I gave him the $5 and he went to a group of boys and handed it over. I recognised one of the boys from his rugby team but didn’t think much of it.
Over the course of the next week or so Jamie was not his happy self. I saw some postings placed on his Facebook page from others taunting him about the girl. When I approached Jamie, he dismissed it and deleted the posts. He didn’t want to go to rugby training & then played sick one game day. Jason wouldn’t have a bar of it the next weekend. It was at this game that Jason saw first hand the taunting by the boys who took money from Jamie. He gave them more money almost in front of Jason. Jason being Jason approached the boys and in ear shot of the boys parents it became a discussion. When one of the boys blurted it out that this was money to stop them from posting teasing remarks about Jamie and Eliza on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it, extortion bullying.
The other boys’ parents were horrified with what their kids had done to Jamie. Apologies and assurances it would never happen again. One parent remarked they were glad it was raised now between themselves rather than involve the school. It was a lesson for us all.
Jamie still has his Facebook account and if that is where the kids are. Gone with the playground, the playing field is now online. Just keep it safe. So much can be shared on Facebook. So much is right and so much is wrong. Perhaps you might want to consider talking to your kids when they want a Facebook account that you too watch from the sides.
Do your family members use Facebook? If so, what rules would you like to share?
Listen to this funny spoof about agent Mark Zukerberg: CIA’s ‘Facebook’ Program Dramatically Cut Agency’s Costs.