Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Your mum on Facebook?

This kinda made me laugh more than anything when I first saw it.

Stanford University is running classes in how to use Facebook - for parents.

Stanford is a top class uni by the way, this isn't some local community college running a class. The class (which is also a research project interestingly) deals with the Six Stages of Facebook Mastery amongst other stuff.

There is a serious side (other than the research bit) of course, connected to internet safety, the longer term risks of publishing those oh so funny photos (err, job application time anyone?) and whathaveyou.

Shouldn't Facebook be private though? Should your mum be able to have a handle on what you're saying online? Hmm...
Some parents worry about joining Facebook because they don’t want to intrude on their child’s privacy. They see it as spying in their kid’s bedroom. This view -- Facebook as private bedroom -- is not accurate. This is not a good way to think. Why not?

#1 - Strangers don’t enter a kid’s bedroom. But on Facebook, kids can interact with strangers.

#2 - In a bedroom, acts are not observable by hundreds of people. In contrast, what your child does on Facebook is widely observable.

#3 - Finally, what goes on in a bedroom is not recorded online, potentially forever, as it is on Facebook.

In short, we believe that if you view “Facebook as private bedroom” you will make mistakes in parenting.

From Facebook for Parents
Interestingly a group of parents came up with a list of 10 "commandments" for Facebook users. I wonder what you think of it:
1. “Friend” your family members on Facebook. If your child won't friend you, have at least one parent/guardian friend your child.

2. Teach your family about privacy settings. Discuss settings often.

3. Help loved ones think about the ramifications of posting & tagging photos.

4. Use Facebook so you understand it.

5. Turn "questionable actions" you see by others on FB into teachable moments for your family.

6. Help loved ones protect reputation by teaching that everything on FB is potentially public.

7. Look at the Facebook Walls of family members.

8. Review privacy settings monthly & share what you are doing with your family.

9. Help loved one see that FB is a public place where strangers can visit.

10. Talk often about FB with your family.

From: Facebook for Parents, Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Family on Facebook
My mum's not on Facebook though. And I should think that if she was I'd be looking to migrate to the next cool thing in social networking. Tweet anyone?

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