Facebook – friend or foe?


Below is the transcript of the video.

Hi, my name’s Nigel Lane from nigellane.com.au. And today I want to talk to you about Facebook. Facebook is fascinating. When you talk to parents, they come from both sides of the spectrum.  One parent will say, “Oh yeah, I’m on it. I love it. I can see the point.”  The other parent will say “Nah, my child is never going on Facebook. I think it’s wrong. It should not be allowed.” So the question comes, is Facebook a friend or is it a foe? And in reality, I think the answer is: Yes.  It can be a friend, and it can be a foe.

You see, for some young people that’s where they get their social interaction.  That’s where they’re able to keep in touch, explore new things, find out more. And of course for other young people that’s where they put inappropriate photographs, have conversations with people they don’t know, and put themselves at risk.  So there are the two sides to that argument.

My suggestion for you as a parent is simple: get involved.  Join Facebook. Become a friend of your son and your daughter.  Keep an eye on what they’re up to. Of course one word of advice, tell you straight away, never post on their wall. That is the equivalent of dropping your fifteen-year-old off at school and giving them a kiss as they get out the car.  Just not the cool thing to do.

But if you’re involved you can see what’s happening, and you’re more aware.  You can then minimize that risk. Although again, parents be aware that a number of young people have two versions of Facebook. So they have the one with their real name, and their parents and their friends are involved, and they have another with a nickname that you’re not going to be aware of. So it’s not always as clean as it looks. And a number of young people too are now saying, “Nah, I’m out of Facebook. My Mom’s on Facebook. My Gran’s on Facebook.  My family’s on Facebook.  I’m out.” And they’re going somewhere else.

So a couple tips for you would be:  ideally, the location of the computer, make it in the family room.  So you can just keep that eye… not snooping over their shoulder, “What are you looking at?” But just keep that eye on them. And encourage them never to accept a friend, have someone on their Facebook page, that they don’t know. Get the privacy settings right, no one can snoop that they don’t know, and don’t let a stranger enter their page, and you’ll get on great.