Wednesday June 20, 2012
A letter to FB friends ...
MANY of us parents are worried that you kids are being exposed to more than you should.
While we do want you to have fun, most importantly we want you to be safe as well in that place that you call Facebook.
Only people who are true friends in real life can be your friends on Facebook. Just like we tell you not to talk to strangers, don’t add on anyone you don’t know (friends of friends don’t count unless they are already your personal friends too).
Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know. (Your parents should be Friends with you.) Only those you have met face to face should be added.
If you think you are grown now and can put up suggestive links and posts, think again.
Please remember that many from your family and friends, young and old, are seeing your posts. When you post suggestive pictures or four-letter words, everyone is viewing it.
Do you realise that many parents also check their children’s FB pages and may not want their young kids viewing such pictures or profanity? It’s like flashing these pictures or using foul language in front of your parents and elders.
Just as we tell you to dress decently when you go out, the same rules apply. No pictures of yourself scantily dressed or any form of suggestive poses should be for public view.
There are people out there who could take advantage of your pictures or may get the wrong impression of you. The same applies to pictures of your friends; get their permission before posting them online.
If your friends have posted pictures or language that is inappropriate, just delete it. My nephew went a step further and just “unfriended” the person who put up inappropriate pictures, and he publicly apologised.
In Malaysia, the Government has made us responsible and accountable not just for our own posts but even for comments made by others on our home page. So my young friends, we can even go to jail for something said by your friend which the Government does not approve of.
Please, don’t just use SMS language. Since you are spending so much time online, do it right. Writing full words will help you learn the English language, improve your spelling and help you score better in your English exams.
Remember, what you write online will be there forever, to be read by everyone, and be interpreted by the reader and not necessarily in the way you intended.
Don’t write anything you wouldn’t say directly face to face. Don’t think your teachers won’t be able to read what you have written; remember other people could repost what you have posted.
If you are spending about an hour a day online, you may be getting addicted. Restrict online activity to weekends. Having poke wars, spamming friends and smiley comments is not education. Playing Farmville is not real life.
Get Real. Get a life: there is nothing as good as a game of badminton with friends or swimming a few laps in the pool for real. Seriously, how about a good book or spend some time helping out mom?
Safeguard your privacy. Do not give out your personal information to anyone.
You should not give out personal details like your full name, school, home address, phone number, where your parents work or what car they drive, etc. - not even for contests, quizzes, etc. You really don’t know who is on the “other side!”
Never agree to meet an online “friend” somewhere in the real world. How do you know who it is? The other person could even be a fraud who is trying to take advantage of you (every parents’ nightmare).
Don’t believe everything people you meet on the Internet say about themselves. Think about how easy it is for you to “fake it” online, and remember it is just as easy for everybody else to do the same.
Even if somebody says they are your age, remember that they can very easily lie and don’t be gullible.
If anybody on the Internet says or does something that scares or bothers you, stop talking to them right a way. Never talk to them again, and tell your parents or an adult you trust right away.
If anyone online threatens you, your family, or anybody else, tell your parents first. Don’t hesitate. Your parents have your best interest at heart.
No one on this planet cares or loves you as much as your parents.
So think before you post.