Clueless Mom Curious About Facebook


[quote="Jay82, post:19, topic:182280"]

Apps are fun and all, but there are definitely privacy concerns with the apps. Each third party app you use can access your profile information.


Not really any more concerning than doing anything else, especially on the internet. Third parties are consantly collecting information on you, even away from the internet - what streets you drive on, what you buy at stores, how much you make, what foods you eat... FB also allows you to decide which apps are allowed to access your profile. If you don't want them to, deny access.
Just operate under the assumption that nothing you do/say is private.


[quote="mmm1, post:1, topic:182280"]
Hi guys. I was just wondering what parents felt about Facebook. I really know very little about it, but my 14 year old daughter is just starting to be interested in it. She didn't really want to join, but recently she had an experience where a teacher asked everyone who has Facebook to raise their hand (:shrug:). She was one of two kids who didn't raise their hand, so now she is, of course, interested. She has admitted she doesn't really want one, but doesn't want to be the only kid in school, youth group, etc. who doesn't have one.

I know so little about it... Can anyone check out people's Facebook pages or do you have to be registered? Does my daughter have to know them or allow them to access her page? Would she be chatting with strangers in groups? I've never even looked at people's pages because I have thought you have to be registered. Does everyone have pictures? It seems like the kids put so much info out there, I'm afraid she or a friend would slip & release some private info that would be dangerous.

I guess I've been to too many of those safety lectures for parents that scare you, but don't give much specific info. I welcome any advice or opinions you guys have, because I am not even sure what questions to ask... Thanks!


If you go to settings you can set it to be super-private...But you have to make the does not default to be super-private...


[quote="dulcissima, post:2, topic:182280"]
I believe that those under 18 have special settings that offer additional privacy. I have Facebook and you do have to take the time to adjust your privacy settings to make sure that things are kept private.

I'm 43 and have a Facebook, as do my teens, my sisters, my cousins, my parents, my aunts and unlces, my co-workers, including my boss, some CAF friends, etc. I think practically everyone is on there. And I do know people who have their religious ed or Bible study groups on there.

As a mom, I would recommend that you get a Facebook page for yourself, so you can understand it better and know how to help your daughter.


Great idea to join myself to help me decide & to learn how to help her if I ever allow her to join...:thumbsup:


Your point about the owner of FB is well taken. I used to listen to Dr. Ray all the time & just haven’t in a long time- I think because I used to listen in the car & can’t anymore. I used to love him, though, & you are reminding me that it would be good to check him out online to check out teen issues. I also appreciated the encouragement to stay strong, & really need it lately. Thanks!


Ingenius idea, she cold say she had one & not be bothered much with it. I like the advice to not have more than a profile pic.

I worry she’ll get hooked once she’s on, though. Has anyone known anyone to be kind of addicted?

A friend told my daughter it becomes a contest who has more friends. Is that true? I’m not sure she or I would be good at turning friends down or declining them. I’m afraid she has caught a milder version of the ‘too-nice / people-pleasing disease’ from me.

Anyone have trouble turning people away?:blush:


You can set your settings so private that only you and your parents and grandma can see your profile.


She “admitted” she doesn’t really want one?

A very large part of me believes that she either told you that, or, more likely, has convinced herself that she believes it, because you don’t want her to have one. She was one of two in her class that didn’t have one - I’m sure she feels left out and isolated.

She almost definitely wants one.


:eek: I thought so before, & now reading this thread my head is spinning & I want to lock her up in her room. :confused:


Or, like most people, set it so that your grandparents and grandma CAN’T see your profile lol.


You’re right. When this 1st happened she said she didn’t really want to use it or have one, but that she felt bad being only 1 of 2 not having one. I told her if she really wanted one, her dad & I would look into it & check it out. In this last week, she has complained that she wants one just to not be excluded.


Most people who use it spend too much time using it, but they get quickly bored with it. For me, at least, it was never a contest to see who had more friends. That’s a judgement call that you’d have to make based on the personality of your daughter.

And it’s okay if she doesn’t turn down friends - she can always up her security settings. Always having access to her password is probably a good idea, though. But it’s not terribly dangerous. I’ve had one since I was 16 and I’m okay. Heck, without facebook I wouldn’t have crossed the Tiber. So my parents probably think it’s terrible. :-p


[quote="purplesunshine, post:11, topic:182280"]
At 14 I don't see how face book could cause anything but trouble. I'm 25 and I use it to keep in contact with my family, extended family, my fellow alumni, a few professors I liked and catholic young adult groups. It has been amazing and I'm better friends with everyone because of it.

I'm pretty much strictly against high-school teenagers using facebook because it will turn into the trash that myspace did. And I really like facebook and don't want that to happen. I went through a horrible situation on myspace where a mutual friend of my brother and I tried to convince us that "phil" was her abusive boyfriend, making his own page, posting on my page and my brothers'...for my sympathy and to manipulate my brother into going out with her. And she got the idea from her friends who were doing similar things. This was back years ago when she was in HS....and my brother and I were starting college. Still myspace made a mess of things...and I think allowed damage in every relationship with each person I had on there. ESPECALLY every person who was in HS.

My 15yo cousin does have a page. He, however, got it to post pictures and communicate with his 2 older sisters in college and does not have many peers as friends. Not sure that its really wise, but it works for their family.


This is what I worry about. She has good judgement & is a great kid, but she's just a kid. If she makes a mistake, or her friends do, or some girl doesn't like her & posts something...I just don't know.


[quote="WetCatechumen, post:31, topic:182280"]
Most people who use it spend too much time using it, but they get quickly bored with it. For me, at least, it was never a contest to see who had more friends. That's a judgement call that you'd have to make based on the personality of your daughter.

And it's okay if she doesn't turn down friends - she can always up her security settings. Always having access to her password is probably a good idea, though. But it's not terribly dangerous. I've had one since I was 16 and I'm okay. Heck, without facebook I wouldn't have crossed the Tiber. So my parents probably think it's terrible. :-p


It's good to hear people get bored w/ it quickly. I think I would definitely have her password. People on this thread taught me that! Congratulations on crossing the Tiber, & I'm glad FB helped. Are your parents not happy about it? That would be hard, I'll say a prayer that that situation improves.:gopray2: Thanks!


[quote="Catholic90, post:13, topic:182280"]
This is why I have had my kids' passwords from the beginning.:thumbsup:

I know other parents who have a page and are their kids' "friends", but they cannot see all of the page (I can, though, when I log on with my kids' passwords). :eek:

Once they are grown, THEN I will get a page and "friend" them. Then I won't need to see (or want to know) everything they are doing.;)


If she gets one, I am absolutely getting her password & letting her know. Like you said, it would be like letting her have a FB party & having rooms or floors we never checked or knew about.


[quote="Jay82, post:12, topic:182280"]
You need to be registered, but there is more to the answer than just that...

This depends on your settings. If you select the option that your page cannot be included in google search results then your profile won't come up when people search for you...however, their is a caveat to that... you will still appear in google as a 'friend' of people you have friended. Try googling a friend of yours that you know has a FB account. Type their first and last name in quotes into google and check the results and you'll see what I mean.

If you are logged in and search for someone that they aren't 'friends' with, assuming their settings are 'properly' set you will only be able to see their profile pic, the network(s) they belong to and an option to 'friend' or message them. Some people don't realize this or don't care and you can view everything about them, peruse their pics, etc. That is risky.

She has to 'accept' them as a friend in order for them to view her page if her settings are done properly. She doesn't have to know them per se, anyone can request anyone as a friend, it is up to the user to be judicious in their friend selection process.

Facebook has an embedded chat applet that allows you to chat with friends that are currently logged onto the site within IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc. So in essence these aren't strangers... however... Your daughter can join any group she wants on the site (these group memberships are posted on her profile so you could see which ones). As part of the group their are discussion topics, wall posts, etc that she can be a part of and talk to strangers that way who 'aren't her friend'. Some groups are open to all, others are by invite only.

99% of people have a profile pic... a slight percentage less than that have many pictures of themselves on the site.

Personally I would worry more about your daughters friends on there posting something less than desirable about your daughter than her posting something. For instance... anyone can tag a 'friend' in a picture. If your daughter hangs out with friends at/after school, at a club, sport, etc and their are pictures taken they may end up on FB. Your daughter may not be fond of the pictures, but her friend could 'tag' her in it which means it is then linked back to your daughter and shows up as part of her profile. So for instance if you start a new page it will say 'Jane Doe Pictures (1)' then a 'friend' takes 10 pics of you at a party and puts them up on the site and tags you. The link on your page then says 'Jane Doe Pictures (11)'. Granted you can untag the photos which reduces the count on your page and what your 'friends' can see of you, but those pictures are still on FB. Furthermore, when someone else posts pics of you, their friends and your friends can see them. If that user doesn't have their settings restrictive, ANYONE can see the pics.

Some other tips: You can set up 'access lists' to prevent certain users that you are friends with from seeing your entire profile, pics, etc. So if you have 10 friends, you can have 5 see everything, your 3 family members only see 50% of it and your 2 co-workers see only your profile pic. If your daughter gets savy with the settings she can easily restrict her mom/dad via the 'access list' feature so you won't know the extent of her usage and the content she posts. This is a very useful feature, but I am just bringing up the other side of it. It would be good to have her password as well.

If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask. Hope this helps.


Jay82, this helped so much. All the info about googling, friends, chats & the profile pic was great. Your caveats about friends tagging pictures, friends without restrictive settings & "access lists' were eye openers. You were very specific & made a lot of things so much clearer for this clueless mom. I really appreciate all the help.:thumbsup:


[quote="joandarc2008, post:14, topic:182280"]
My stepdaughter uses my MIL's profile on occasion under supervision to play harmless applications like farmville (you grow plants and raise animals) and talk to other family members. It was really cool because when the ball dropped on New Year's Eve I had an chat message pop up from MILs account "Hey its L*** - happy new year. My first chat of the year was my stepdaughter - it made me feel warm and fuzzy. So there are good points to facebook.

To answer some of your questions.

  1. There is a setting where only people she has accepted as friends can see her profile or message her.

  2. Facebook has a minimum age of 14 to have an account.

  3. Personally I wouldn't let any child on there without checking in on there messages or spot checking once in a while.

  4. I have also found Religious specifically Catholic causes and applications.


Sweet stepdaughter! Did not know the min. age was 14. I feel like what is the rush, because her friends are just 14, but I guess no one wants to be left behind.


[quote="lizaanne, post:15, topic:182280"]
It was because someone else saw my profile and passed along the information that I was out there.

I never EVER mention what time I'm going to Mass, if I'm leaving to go grocery shopping, or anything like that to alert someone that I'm not home or where I will be. I may say something after the fact, but I never reveal where I'm going before I do it.

The thing about FB is that it is intended for people to find each other. So if you are not comfortable with her having her real full name out there (which I never would be for a 14 year old girl) - you may want to think about what age she is allowed to join the site.



Thanks for the info! These are the things that make me think she & her friends & potential enemies might not be as ready for this as they think they are.


[quote="WetCatechumen, post:29, topic:182280"]
Or, like most people, set it so that your grandparents and grandma CAN'T see your profile lol.


True dat. :D


The security/privacy settings are quite good, and it's WAY cleaner than MySpace....ewww! I don't have kids but I know several nice teens from good Christian families who are on Facebook.


Thanks… Still trying to weigh the good w/ the bad. At this point my head is swimming. I just looked at another thread about FB, & I wonder how many 14 year olds posted the color of their bra. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but I’d rather my sweetie not be navigating those waters yet. I need to learn more, but have to sign off for now.

Appreciate ALL the help!

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