Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spreading the Weird to the Next Generation

It is not like me to listen to pop music on the radio, but during the election I found my usual talk radio was stressing me out. I've been surprised to find some new artists that I really enjoy. I like Adele and fun. and have heard most of the songs nominated for a Grammy this year. Being that this is something new for me and how prone I am to snarkiness, I can't help but poke fun at some of the music played, especially when the lyrics are hard to understand. My favorite that I've joke about is the Maroon 5 hit "Moves Like Jagger".  It lead to a fun conversation with Nix.
Nix: Okay, you're right. I can't hear the "v"
Me: I win! Adam Levine has the "moos"!
Nix: Wait. Adam Levine, like The Voice judge Adam?
Me: Yes. This is Maroon 5, he is the lead singer, this is what he sounds like when he sings
Nix: (making a face like she smelled bad cheese) But his voice is so....
Me: High?
Nix: Yeah, and kind
Me: Well, honey, that is what hipster guys in skinny jeans sound like
Nix: I just thought he'd sound...
Me: Pretty like his face?
Nix: Well, yeah, sort of
Me: It almost never works that way
Nix: (still making the face) You know, he has a lot of tattoos
I just smiled knowing that there was now one less teenage girl in the world sighing over skinny rockers. That, combined with adding to the number of people who have joined me in claiming to have a cases of "the moos", made my day a little brighter.
Normally, when I talk about a song I link to it, but if you haven't already heard the song I'm not going to be held responsible for introducing it to you.
Instead, please enjoy Adele Chasing Penguins (I was go disappointed to find out it was "pavements" instead of her running after cute black and white birds)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Our Facebook Contract

The mom who wrote a contract before giving her son a smart phone is everywhere right now. If you haven't seen it, google "Janell Burley phone contract". It is brilliant, and it gave me an idea. Ever since Nix hit the magic teen years, I have been debating on if and when to let her on Facebook. The debate rages on, but this contract made me think through all the things she would need to know BEFORE I let her loose in the world of social media. She will be forming her digital footprint, and that is something no generation of parents before have had to address. There is no possible way for a teen to really grasp all that means without guidance. So, with the help of friends, I am pleased to present

I understand that these rules and guidelines are set up formy protection and not because my parents do not trust me. Untrustworthy children are not allowed to have accounts at all. Therefore, if I violate one of the following, I understand that my account will be deleted and other privileges will be revoked.
  • I agree to only have one account
  • My parents will have the password to that account at all times
  • I will not friend ANY person more than 4 years older than me without prior permission from a parent. I am aware that this includes people from church, ballet, teachers, and even family. Also, I understand that my parents reserve the right to unfriend from my account anyone they deem to be posting inappropriately
  • I will not friend ANY person that I have not first met in person more than once
  • I will not post any pictures of myself that could be considered revealing, suggestive, or embarrassing by my grandparents' standards
  • I will not post or share things that are offensive, suggestive, have foul language of any kind, or otherwise might cause my grandparents to be disappointed in me
  • I will not willfully exclude my parents from things I post. If they can’t see it, no one should
  • Cyber bullying is ALWAYS wrong. It will not be tolerated. If someone is bullying me, I will tell my parents and block the offenders. If I witness others being bullied, I will tell my parents and block the offenders,even if it is a friend. If I am bullying someone else, I understand that my mother will punish me as severely as she would want a kid who was bullying me to be punished, and my account will be deleted.
  • I will not post anything publicly.
  • I will not alter my security setting without specific permission, unless it is to make them stricter due to new privacy policies

I also agree to the following terms, which if violated will result in a warning, followed by a temporary suspension of use on the second offense, and possible deletion with future offenses
  • I will not install apps without asking first. Apps are how companies get your information and it allows them to post things to your friends and on your wall using your name. This is why people think they get hacked all the time. If I have to “Allow” a page access, I have to ask first.
  • If I wouldn't say it to someone’s face then I won’t say it online.
  • I will not announce major life events to my parents via Facebook. This includes, but is not limited to, being “in a relationship”, picking a college, and physical alterations
  • I will be respectful of other people’s digital space. I won’t post spammy things to walls, tag people repeatedly, or make other people’s business public.
  • I will keep my drama off my Facebook page. Everyone doesn't need to know when I have fought with my brother, what teacher I think hates me, or how unfair I think life is treating me.
  • I will ask my parents before I “like” a business or group page. Not all of those are legitimate or worthy of trusting with my personal information
  • I will let my parents know of any groups I am added to or create
  •  I will not post location statuses, and especially will not tell people when we leave town. You never know who might be stalking you
  • I will ALWAYS be mindful that my words are my witness, and by putting those words online I am making a permanent record of my character.

You might notice that I didn't ask my child not to disappoint me, but instead played the grandparent card. This is because I know a day is coming when disappointing me doesn't hold the same weight as it might today. However, I have seen grown men brought to their knees by the idea of getting a call from a grandmother saying, "We need to talk about your behavior."
Most of the listed items are things I follow myself. Before you let your child on any social media site you need to learn the ins and outs of their privacy settings. Cyber threats are a new animal, and perhaps the scariest threat to our children yet. Be safe and educate yourself so that you know what to warn your children about.