Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Social Media at Twelve?

I was sitting with my kids last night in the living room having some down time before bed. We were chatting about their day at school and what they were looking forward to the next day. During our conversation, the topic of Facebook came up. My twelve year old son Adam, asked me if he could create an account. My immediate reaction was No Way!! His response was, almost all of my friends have it! I forced myself not to reply with the age old response, "if you're friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off too?". I listened to his reasons as to why he wants one. One of the reasons was that a classmate of his is going back to Korea soon, and it would be a good way to keep in contact. By the end of the conversation it was left that I would think about it, and let him know. I have thought about it quite a bit and have come to the conclusion, that I just don't think it's appropriate yet for his age. Am I too overprotective? I just feel that they are already so bombarded with electronics and social media, do they really need to be on Facebook at twelve? I have to admit, I quite enjoy the interaction of Facebook and love how it allows me to keep in contact with so many people, but I'm 32. I think at twelve, maybe he should be outside skateboarding and playing basketball, not glued to Facebook. I guess we'll be having the conversation tonight that he's not allowed to get it yet!
It actually quite surprises me the amount of time kids are using electronics and social media to communicate. My kids have video games and Adam has an Ipod, but we do monitor the amount of time they're using these devices. Last night, Adam's Ipod needed to be charged so it was sitting in the living room attached to the charger. Around 10:20 pm, it starts blaring like crazy! Matt goes over to check it out, and it's a friend of his trying to facetime him. It's 10:30 at night! I was shocked! Shouldn't this child be sleeping? Matt texted this child back stating "Adam is sleeping". The response was, "yea right"! Matt and I could not believe it! We didn't respond to the text, but discussed the reality of today's world. It is a reality that technology is so advanced and kids are of course, going to be using this technology, but as parents, should we still not have some control over what our children are doing and what they are being exposed to? Shouldn't we be aware that our children are texting at 10:30 on a school night at an age when sleep is so important? So many things to question and to evaluate. I'm sure most parents are doing the very best that they can in a world that seems to battle parents every step of the way. I try and make the best decisions that I can and hope that one day, my kids will understand why!
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  1. The new blog looks sweet! Nice work.

    Good call on the Facebook too. We would and will be making the same decisions when the time comes.

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