Janette Toral

Should you allow your kids and teenagers access Facebook?

In Home on September 30, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I was a guest at DZMM last September 28 and had a minute conversation about Facebook and Teens. Many thanks to Dine Racoma for recording it.

Prior to the interview, Winnie shared that her kid is asking for her permission to create a Facebook account and wants to use her e-mail address. Ariel Ureta, on the other hand, has a policy on his kids can only use Facebook whenever he is home.

I think kids will know about Facebook sooner or later either through family members or classmates. I will always suggest to parents to be more proactive and supervise their kids instead in the use of these platforms. This rather than being done secretly and you’ll be surprised later on that they are already in trouble.

On the positive side, social networking through Facebook can help a teenager express themselves and build self-confidence – especially if they are shy in class. I have seen students as well who created groups in Facebook to coordinate school organization activities and work together on projects.

On the extreme side, bullying and school politics can also extend online. This is the reason why parents need to converse regularly with their kids and share news once in awhile on social network abuses and the likes, talk about it, so that they can be aware of the do’s and don’ts. Knowing further that you will be there to support them in times of trouble.

Of course, adults need to serve as good examples as well. I have seen couples argue online through social networking sites, sharing their relationship troubles (then they reconcile later). If your kids, nieces, nephews are also online (and are your friends in these social networking sites), it may cause confusion for them later on should they commit the same act.

The part 2 of this interview happened last September 30 which was a bit longer and here’s the video as well.

In this video, Winnie talked about a documentary she got to watch about cybercrimes in the U.S. and what is being done to run after “predators”. Then she asked what is being done here to protect the youth online.

I told her that we don’t have such tightly coordinated initiatives yet. We are more reactive and done proactive when it comes to law enforcement. In reality as well, these cases are rare and therefore when it happens, the publicity they get is extraordinary.

However, the concerned people in communities (whether school or special organizations) can do educational awareness on this one. Give heads-up and dialogue whenever negative uses and implications of social network misuse happens. This way, if something similar arises, these teens will already have a comfort level on who should they talk to and seek for advise. 

Related reading:

My Perspective on Cyber Bullying for Teenagers, Teachers, Educators, and Parents

  1. Janette – thank you for a good article. To me Facebook tries to mix both public and private sharing and I am not sure that mix ever works – the privacy controls have to get ever more complex with the result that people inevitably share more publicly than they would normally be prepared to do.This is one of the driving reasons why I founded DAD, http://www.dadapp.com, a 100% private social network, which also works for sharing amongst your own computers and sharing at home – as we say: more flexible than dropbox, simpler than windows networking and more private than Facebook.If you’d like to know more about DAD please let me know at julian at dadapp.com and I’ll happily oblige.

  2. Hello Julian. I’ll be more than happy to try it out. 🙂

  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing this article. I allowed my daughter to use Facebook plainly because she just wants to play games. But other than that, it’s always under my guidance..

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