In the stupidest idea of the week category we have the New Jersey principal who wants parents to join together and ban their kids from using social networking sites. He asserts that there is “absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None.”
How about we ban them from using computers all together? Because computers are bad and there is absolutely, positively no reason for any kid to use them. I guess that’s why my 6 year-old niece is already learning PowerPoint and most of the classrooms in my kids’ school is equipped with Promethean boards.
Come on, people. Social networking is the way the world works now. It can help your kid get elected as student rep to the school board. They can use social media to get scholarship money. Social media offers many ways to help students get organized, get noticed by colleges–even make money for good grades.
Yes, being able to monitor your kids’ use of social media means that you’ll have to use Facebook and stay current on each and every crazy change they make. Yes, it means you need to be using it too so you can be a responsible guide for your kids and help them make good choices online and stay out of trouble. But isn’t that what we all do as parents anyway? Of course it would be way easier to just ban your kids from using it–that way you could ignore the whole mess and keep your head buried in the sand until this social media “fad” passes….because it WILL pass, right?
You’d think a school principal would know better than anyone that “banning” teens from doing something just makes them want to do it all the more…and they WILL find ways to sneak around a ban. Isn’t that pretty much the theme of adolescence?
Instead of banning it, here are just a few of many good resources for parents to help their kids use social networking sites safely and responsibly:
- Facebook’s new Safety Center
- Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online is a booklet written by the FTC
What do you think–am I totally off base and banning is actually a good idea?