Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Exploring - Facebook!

Since its creation, I have been a diehard "no Facebook" person. First, how does one have time to keep up with it? Second, why would I want my children out there in that scary big world that I have little knowledge or control of?

But, Facebook is here to stay, so with encouragement from my younger son, Gregory, I set out to learn more about Facebook this summer. I found a great book called Facebook for Parents, by Linda Fogg Phillips, parent to 8 children between the ages of 11 and 23, and her brother, Dr. BJ Fogg, teacher of a course for parents on Facebook at Stanford University. Written in a conversational, easy to enjoy style, the book addresses 25 questions that parents repeatedly have about Facebook. Fogg and Phillips approach the topic of Facebook as a way to enhance our parenting; Facebook opens up a wide common experience for dinner time conversation. Here is one for you to explore tonight. Many children view Facebook as a private communication between them and friends. Phillips and Fogg point out that Facebook is "not private like your bedroom, Facebook is more like your front lawn....first, strangers might step on your front lawn, they might knock on your door... things you place on your front lawn are visible to anyone who passes by..." Phillips and Fogg point out that children can learn leadership, empathy, collaboration, self-presentation, and more on Facebook. But, these conversations and skills are enhanced when they are being coached by knowledgeable adults; hopefully their parents.

Whether you are already an avid Facebook user or a newbie like me, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Facebook for Parents. The website,, provides a set of videos to keep updated on the current changes to Facebook.