"No way." I said, cementing my status as the uncool mom who "never let her do anything." Unfortunately for her, I'm cool with that.
However, I recently caved. She just finished seventh grade, and while by no means worldly, has acquired a bit more savvy about the Internet. Enough, at least, to let me green light Facebook with several caveats:
-Don't list your birth year.
-Don't list your school name.
-Don't list your town name.
-Don't be a moron.
-Dad and I are among your FB friends.
-I am privy to your login and password and control your privacy settings.
She knows that The Mom Gaveth and The Mom Will Sure As HELL Taketh Away, if the power of the Facebook is abused.
When I was toying with the idea of caving, I did some exploring around on some of her classmates' FB pages. Pages whose privacy settings were open enough to allow me (not their FB friend) to surf through their information and photos. I can confidently say that some of their parents spend zero time on their kids' Facebook pages.
I found suggestive photos (i.e. preteen cleavage shots), profanity, and horrendous spelling/grammar. I was pretty equally appalled by all three. Not usually the judgmental type, I can confidently say that if my 13-year-old consistently misspelled "what" as "wat" on their FB page, that she has no business spending her time on FB. Call me a hardass.
Letting Bear on FB has had the additional effect of curtailing some of my own FB fun. I've never accepted friend requests from kids before, but now I am in the interests of keeping my finger on the pulse of her social life. It's all very Big Brother, and I can confidently say that my own parents never had half this information about what went on amongst me and my friends. Fascinating.
For me, though, this new Bear-inclusive Facebook means:
-No more cursing on FB. Damn it.
-Removing all links to my blog on FB. I need to reserve some corner of the Internet where I can bitch with impunity.
Wish us luck.