Posted in commenting, conversations on commenting, digital citizenship, digital parenting, electronic communication, parents and technology

The Public Forum, Facebook, and Democracy

Visit the U.S. Capitol — a symbol of our democracy.

Read Social Media — The Public Space on Steroids, a May 4, 2012 opinion piece in the Seattle Times.

Today, as everyone is talking about the public stock offering and it’s worth, writer Taso Legos examines the value of Facebook as a societal public space that enables people to share ideas and speak up. Without a doubt, face-to-face communication is occurring less and less in coffee houses and community centers, but we are all aware of that aspect of our 21st Century virtual world communication bargain.

I wonder, though, about what is the best balance between face-to-face and electronic communication — the best to ensure a vibrant democratic process. It’s up to parents and teachers of digital kids to help identify the right balance.

Most Interesting Quotes

We engage more in the public sphere because it has never been easier to do so.

… the new electronic public sphere offers instantaneous dialogue with little time for reflection. Democracy is thus now on steroids and this speeding up affects how we make decisions.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read, Conversations on Commenting.

Posted in digital parenting, online security, parents and technology, privacy, social media, social networking

Best Instructions for Disabling Facebook Facial Recognition Feature

Facebook has tossed out another challenge to family members, including grandparents, who seek to maintain privacy while still enjoying the social interaction that the social network offers.

Here we go again with facial recognition.

Find instructions for disabling the new Facebook facial feature at the BBC blog, WebWise: A Beginner’s Guide to Using the Internet. I’ve compiled the basic steps after reading a number of posts about the new facial recognition additionbut read the whole BBC post for the simplest and most comprehensive explanation.

  • Go to Account.
  • Go to Privacy Settings.
  • Click on Customize Settings (itty-bitty blue link at the bottom).
  • Find the category, Things Others Share.
  • Find the words Suggest photos of me to friends and click the edit settings button.
  • Naturally…Facebook’s default has enabled the feature so you want to click on the button that disables the feature.
  • Click OK.

Continue reading “Best Instructions for Disabling Facebook Facial Recognition Feature”

Posted in digital parenting, grandparents, parents and technology, social media friends, social networking

Kids, Tech, Social Media, and Grandparents!

Read about my daughter and her grandmother on Facebook.

Great article in the Wall Street Journal about kids and grandparents and the ways they are communicating with one another. In her May 9, 2001 article, OMG! My Grandparents R My BFF!, reporter Molly Baker takes readers on a “magical mystery tour” highlighting the ways generations are interacting (and sometimes leaving out the generation in the middle).

Last August I wrote about this digital family experience in a post, Yes! Grandma is on Facebookon my other blog, As Our Parents Age. Below is an excerpt of a post about my daughter and her grandmother.

Join Facebook?  For three years I avoided the site. I knew that some of my friends from work, church, and other activities were joining, but I just did not feel like it was a fit. My daughter, then in graduate school, used the social networking site, and she occasionally suggested I get started with Facebook. Still I refrained.

Continue reading “Kids, Tech, Social Media, and Grandparents!”

Posted in acceptable use, cultural changes, digital parenting, family conversations, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social media, social networking

Grandma/Grandkids Use Facebook: Do You?

Join Facebook?  For three years I avoided the site. I knew that some of my friends from work, church, and other activities were joining, and of course the kids at school were all over it, but I just did not feel like it was a fit. Way too different, I thought. My daughter, then in graduate school, used the social networking site, and she occasionally suggested I get started with Facebook (she spoke these words in bold). Still I refrained.

At some point, however, I became aware that my mother and my twenty-something daughter were communicating with each other more than usual. They knew things about each other that I did not know. Finally my daughter mentioned that her grandmother  — my mother — was on Facebook and that the two of them had “friended’ one another. That’s when I called Mom, at that time age 81. She explained that her fellow workers from the Obama campaign, exceptional young people she called them, had arranged virtual reunions on Facebook. They wanted her to participate and helped her get started.

So, like many of today’s parents, I found that I was in the middle, but basically out of the generational communication loop. By the time I tuned in, my mother had over 100 friends, all people she knew in one way or another (no strangers and privacy settings in place, she reassured me), and quite a few in her age-range. I signed up for Facebook.

Continue reading “Grandma/Grandkids Use Facebook: Do You?”

Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology, privacy

More on Facebook Privacy

According to the LA Times Technology Blog, Facebook is again updating its privacy policies. The February 25, 2011 post, Facebook Rolls Out Test Version of Simplified Privacy Policy, describes how the company is testing a simplified, maybe even one-page version. The company will be seeking feedback from Facebook users.

Read the information about new privacy guidelines posted on Facebook’s site.

As soon as children begin using computers, parents can begin to introduce the concept of online privacy, and these conversations focusing on privacy and social networking should continue throughout a child’s pre-adolescent and teenage years. Ongoing discussions can help children understand the power of the digital footprints they leave as they engage in web-based work and play.

Other Places to Read about the Facebook Privacy Updates

Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, parent child conversations, parents and technology, social networking

Mrs. Obama Said No Facebook???

Preteens are savvy media consumers, and among the kids I know there is significant buzz about Michelle Obama’s views on Facebook. “Pre-teenagerdom” is such a difficult and challenging time for parents and for the kids themselves. Many children want to hurry up and become teens and joining into social networking activities is one way to make them feel older and even wiser. Feeling and sometimes believing that your parents simply don’t understand technology is another way. So it’s a bit of a blow when the First Lady and First Mom — a person many of them admire — tells their parents to slow things down.

A Few Other Reports

Posted in digital parenting, parents and technology, privacy, social media, social networking, teens and technology

Facebook Privacy Settings: New Guide from Techlicious

Check out the Techlicious Facebook Privacy Guide, posted by Josh Kirschner on February 8, 2011 over at the Techlicious website.

Maintaining control over privacy settings is a required and critical technology task for each Facebook user. Since sharing information is one of Facebook’s primary missions, the company wants to collect and share as much personal information as possible with its advertisers. Facebook sets most new features to share data then when they first debut on the site, and to be fair, social networking is all about sharing information. Thus it is up to each individual to determine just how much information to put out there, making conscious decisions about what the world can see, what close friends can view, and what to keep private.

Our children and their friends are enthusiastic Facebook users, but they do not always focus on the need to pay attention, on a regular basis, to privacy settings. I’ve written many privacy posts on this blog including Getting Serious About Online Privacy and Keeping Track: Adolescents in the Digital Age, pieces that focus on the importance of maintaining family privacy when individual members engage in so many digital activities. Knowing the connection between many social networking sites and advertisers — and the impact it has on a user’s privacy — is critical for everyone, but especially for teens.

Continue reading “Facebook Privacy Settings: New Guide from Techlicious”