Proper Facebook Etiquette

#938 child development via Mrs Cross

Sunday 20th March, 2011

Dear Mariann,

I am a new parent and of course our child is already on Facebook. In matters of child development I am concerned that little Giles have the best of the best, so far we are filtering his friends and marking out his social network, but what if he turns into a party-popping yoff?…

From Mrs Cross via email.

Let us be absolutely clear here; no child under the age of 13 years is permitted to have a Facebook account. By these qualifying conditions, I am surprised that little Giles lets you administer to his social network needs. In experience teenager’s in particular are quite vocal in their needs and wants. Especially on Facebook. Perhaps he is treating you as a secretary and really he is the clever cloggs in this relationship.

So let’s assume that Giles is of appropriate Facebook age, and that is nothing untoward going on here. If this is the case, it is likely that little Giles and little Giles’s friends will learn everything from the inter-web. Well this never did me any harm. After all I owe much to the mediated communications age; part one – cyberspace boom and bust – and part two – Web 2.0 soon to be bust -, and I have found that most information is only rubbish 99.96 percent of the time (with the exception of this blog and some parts of Facebook).

For the rest, it might be to Giles’s future advantage that mother is looking after his social network. After-all you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of a woman whose tone and namesake are reminiscent of an Enid Blighton moral tale. But we are not at the top of the Faraway tree now. Quite frankly if Giles hasn’t noticed your Facebook ‘management’, then do not encourage him to get started. It is a simple formula to keep things under control; take to embracing the most dull of friends for Giles, then throw in a reference to homework and another suitable connection to school – say a Fan page – and then you stand to discourage any party-going for the foreseeable future.

And yet, left to his own devices, Giles may surprise you.Party-popping is when ‘yoff’, as you describe them, get to learn some key life skills. Everything from what can and cannot be flushed down toilets (essential life skill), before straightening truths between the sexes. Surely it is such self-assurance that you w/should encourage and that even the Giles’s of this world should live their lives with spluttering moments and unsuitable friends.  I suggest then, Mrs Cross that you are rather limiting this poor chaps life, your sum total in terms of motherly contribution is by the needle, rather than haystack load, by which I mean that Giles has to be allowed to make his own friends and his own mistakes. Even on Facebook.

Besides if he falls foul of so called too yoff-ful friends, then he has this blog to turn to, doesn’t he?…

One Response to “#938 child development via Mrs Cross”

  1. Bonding only says:

    OMG do not do Facebook from the iPhone. I sent and up date saying ‘I was having a great bonding time with my ex’ and it came out ‘I was having a great bonding time with my ex’ ‘I was having a great boning time with my ex’. Shame my BF has no sense of humour.

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