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Parents "friending" Facebook

When asked about the upside of Facebook, do you shudder? Do you wonder why so many people are a part of this social networking phenomenon? Facebook has a bad rap as a place where kids are running amok, a place where cyberbullying is happening, and a place where people waste time. A strong case can be made in favor of Facebook, though. It has many great uses for many different people.

Here are some positive uses of Facebook to think about:

  • Stay connected with family. Many families are spread all over the world and Facebook can be a great tool to help everyone stay connected. No matter what time zone or continent your family lives in, Facebook is an easy place to exchange photos or catch up on the day to day. In our busy lives, sometimes a quick stop on someone’s Facebook page can provide an easy update or a topic to call about later on.The ease of setting up an account makes it accessible for non-technical family members to participate as well.
  • Get behind a cause you believe in. Facebook is a great place for families to support their local charity, event, or cause that they believe in. Many groups use their Facebook page to distribute information and keep their Facebook friends up to date. One favorite is the local bakery that posts that day’s cupcake flavor so their Facebook Friends have the first shot to get them before they sell out.
  • Instant homework help. Due to the large number of students who have Facebook pages, homework help can be a wall post away. Instead of calling individuals one at a time, posting homework questions can spark instant homework help that everyone can benefit from.

Why not set up your own Facebook page, if you haven’t already, and make sure you and your kids are Facebook friends? As parents of children growing up in the age of Facebook and other social media, we have a responsibility to help guide our kids in the appropriate use of these exciting new venues for self expression and social connection.

(Source: BVSD’s Thrive newsletter. Author Jennifer Korb is in charge of instructional technology in Boulder Valley and serves as president of the Internet Safety Foundation.)

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