Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Facebook for Parents" classes scheduled!

Trying to keep up with your kids online? Do you (or someone you know!) need a roadmap to help you out? Take a look at the 'Facebook for Parents' class that will be offered locally in the near future:

With great power - Facebook - comes great responsibility - as a parent! Learn how information technology is shared, what you have control over, and how you can make it a better experience for your kids and your family.

Carlisle, PA:
Thursday, January 20th, 6:30-8:30pm
CyberSpace Computer Resource Center
219 North Pitt Street, Carlisle
Check out all of their offerings at their web site: http://www.carlislepa.org/ .
You can sign up online at: http://activenet14.active.com/carlislerec/ .

Mechanicsburg, PA:
Thursday March 24, 7:00-8:30pm
Mechanicsburg Middle School, room 158
1720 S. Market St, Mechanicsburg
Check out all their offerings at their web site: http://www.mbgsd.org/recreation .
You can sign up online at: http://activenet10.active.com/mechareaparkrec/ .

Slots are already filling up, so don't delay! Signing up is easy, just follow the links above.  Can't make these dates? Not to worry, more classes will be coming in May!

Do you have a group that would be interested in a personalized class? Contact me! If you have a location with Internet access, I can hold a special session just for your group! Some examples of groups that would benefit:

Church groups
Red Hat Society
Play Date groups
School PTO meetings
And more!

Hope to see you in class!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Facebook impersonations at the AT&Tstore

So we were at the AT&T store the other day looking at cell phones, playing around with all the phones on display along the wall.  Now they are all fully functional phones, to really give you a good feel for how they operate.  So being the immature one that I am, I pick up one of the phones and start texting and calling my wife, who is on the other side of the store.  Hilarious, I tell you.
Anyway, I look further, and I start to poke around at the web access features on the phones.  Turns out a lot of them have a Facebook app installed, and wouldn't you know it, on the first one I pick up, the phone is already logged in to someone's Facebook account.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Facebook Dad Web Roundup

Some funny stuff, some items to make you think, and some that are just ridiculous; it's this week's Facebook Dad web roundup!

So your Mom found Facebook?  Protect yourself with the 'Damn it, My Mom is on Facebook Filter' courtesy of Saturday Night Live:

Worried about kids getting bullied online? Well adults can be bullies too; check out this repulsive neighbor cyber-bullying a 7 year old girl dying of a genetic disease:

Goo-goo-google! Reports say that 81 percent of 2 year olds have a presence online, and many parents are putting info about their kids online even while they are still in utero! 

For anyone with kids, you know you can't tag them in photos in Facebook unless they have a Facebook page of their own.  Well Facebook is fixing the 'can't tag your baby' issue…  Why now?  Well because Facebook execs are growing up and having kids of their own; they now understand the dilemma! 

And finally, what was this one thinking? The story of the Duke University student who wrote a mock 'thesis' about her male conquests and posted it online; naming names and ranking them! 

Enjoy and share!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

You can tell us anything.

My old alma mater was in the news this past week, but not in a way that anyone wants.  Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student, after having his private encounters unknowingly filmed and subsequently broadcast via various social networks, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in New York. 

He used the same technology that was used to humiliate and devastate him, to declare his final act; his final Facebook status simply stated: 

        jumping off the gw bridge sorry

There are so many sides to this story; privacy issues, improper use of technology, hate crimes, and more.  But I felt compelled to chime in on one aspect of this story.  To anyone who is holding back important information, because you are fearful of Mom and Dad's reaction, this message is for you, from all parents:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Facebook Dad web roundup

Thank you to all of you who attended my "Facebook for Parents" class!  There is another session scheduled for October 7; click here to access the course list and just search the course listing!

"Uh, Mom, I think we'll need some more cake…"  A 14-year old's party is cancelled after 21,000 people RSVP on Facebook.

Kids at college, and you’re still in their business?  Cut the cord!  Some info about the 'digitally connected parent'.

They sure don't hesitate to contact me when the semester bill is due, but apparently, by law a parent can not be given info about their college student's activities/grades/etc without the student's consent. 

Is it just me, or are most TV dads complete idiots?  Here's a retrospective of TV's best dads, courtesy of "The Art of Manliness".

Here's an intriguing & inspiring new book from Emily Liebert - "Facebook Fairytales"!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Facebook for Parents" course available!

For those of you in the Central PA area:
Are your kids friending, tweeting and blogging? Do you have no idea what this means? With great power - the Internet - comes great responsibility - as a parent!  Learn how information in Facebook is shared, what you have control over, and how you can make it a better experience for your kids and your family.  Also learn about other social networking tools and trends, with the goals of keeping up with, keeping an eye on, and encouraging more communication with your kids.
"Facebook for Parents" is a 90 minute course offered through the Mechanicsburg PA Recreation Department.  Sessions are available on either Wednesday September 22, or Thursday October 7.  Read more at the Mechanicsburg Recreation site, or register online here; select Activities and search for the keyword of "Facebook".

Only $9.00 for early registration for residents in the school district, $14 for non-residents.  A bargain!  I'm sure you know someone who would benefit from this course, please pass it along!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Face-to-Face Book

Welcome to all of you who found Facebook Dad from the "Parting Glance" article in Central Penn Parent. I'm proud to say that article was my first published work (aside from this self-published site of course…), but hopefully not my last.

Go ahead and check out the story on Central Penn Parent if you haven't already… Here is some additional background on what's happened since then:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day and Technology

I didn’t think I would have any profound Father's Day words of wisdom to post; after all, the intent of Father's Day, even as the fabricated 'Hallmark holiday' that it is, is to spend personal time with said paternal unit, not blog about it.  But a few things happened over the weekend that changed that…

Thursday, June 10, 2010

e-Book: Facebook and Kids - Year by Year

Coming soon: an e-Book on the challenges that parents will encounter with Facebook as their kids grow.  Working title is "Facebook and Kids - Year by Year".  The draft table of contents is as follows:

Age 12:  Just Wait
Age 13:  Trust But Verify
Age 14:  It’s a Tool, Not a Toy
Age 15:  The Internet is Forever
Age 16:  Their Pages Reflect On You
Age 17:  Colleges are Looking
Age 18:  Keep In Touch
Age 19:  Expand the Definition of Friends
Age 20:  Networking for a Career
Age 21:  Let Go

Now your experience may only be at the low end of this age range, but you may know of others who would benefit from the tips for older kids.  Please forward/like/share/tweet/etc. to others who you think would benefit, or who could add more insight.

What other areas should be covered?  Let's hear your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The (Friend) List is Life...

OK, the title is a little over-dramatic, but it got your attention…  Class, today's lesson is on Friend Lists in Facebook…

So your kid's getting older, starting to become more independent, and is generally embarrassed by your presence.  (If he's not embarrassed by you, are you really doing your job?)  You want to keep an eye on what he's up to online, despite his reluctance to let you see everything in his world…  Being connected to him on Facebook has the same allure of you yelling out "Hi sweetie!" to him at the bus stop,  But there is a middle ground where you can be connected while still giving him a semblance of freedom, and that is done by Facebook Lists.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"I'm majoring in Facebook, with a minor in Twitter…"

We have all heard the expression:  "Do what you love, and the money will follow…"  And I'm sure you have also heard something like:  "How's spending all day Facebook going to help you get a job?"  (But the big question is: were you making these statements or hearing them?)  Well, these two differing views of the world are now starting to merge…  An entire career category of Social Media is beginning to appear on the job landscape.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blocking Facebook from your kids? Good luck...

Parents: the whole world is conspiring against you:  Check out these items posted on Yahoo! Answers...  First is a 13 year old who is not allowed to have a Facebook account, and the next is another youngster whose parents blocked Facebook on their PC, looking for a way to circumvent it. 

No longer just confined to the ideas from the other guys at the lunch table, these kids now have the entire globe at their disposal when they want to try to get around their parents' wishes. 

And some of the responses?  Everything from detailed technical tips and tricks (proxies, safe mode, etc.) to outright encouragements of defiance (just set up an account in secret; why did you even ask?)

Not suggesting that your actions as a parent are futile, but it's just a reminder that it's a bigger battle than just between you and your offspring.  Fight the good fight!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Your online identity hijacked - by your kids?

Yesterday on msnbc's "Morning Joe", host Mika Brzezinski made a comment about goings-on at her house this weekend…  Apparently her daughter hijacked her Twitter account, in an attempt to --wait for it-- contact teenybopper singer Justin Beiber.  To use a generational comparison, it would be like Walter Cronkite's kid sneaking on the set of CBS News, putting on horn-rimmed glasses and mustache, and saying "uh, Paul McCartney, if you're watching, please give me a call, I have some, uh, important things to discuss with you"'…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reunions: does Facebook help or hinder?

I've been getting communications recently about Reunion Weekend at my college alma mater.  I'm coming up on one of those milestone years (20!), so there is a bit more activity surrounding this year's festivities.  (Twenty years!?!  Feels like yesterday sometimes...) 

I have kept in touch just a small number of close friends out of college.   High school?  Forget it.  Even a few years out of high school I was only in touch with a few friends.   And one of them put it best:  "If I want to see anyone from high school, I'll call to have a pizza delivered…"  (Needless to say he didn't have a very high opinion of high school…)  But things changed recently…

Friday, January 22, 2010

Talking with Strangers - it's not as creepy, thanks to Facebook

So our little offspring is looking into a 'Study Abroad' program at college.  Very cool!  This came up in a conversation I was having at work, and it so happens that this colleague of mine has a grandson who is at her destination school right now.  So he suggests that my daughter contact his grandson, to get some first-hand knowledge of the place.  Simple enough, right?  But think about it, this is really an attempt to make a 3rd degree connection:  my daughter, to me, to my co-worker, to his grandson.  How would you start this conversation?  Isn't this a bit awkward?  Even creepy, perhaps?  "Uh, you don't know me, but…"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You're being watched - with help from the kids

So we were out and about running errands the other day, when I ran into an old friend and colleague of mine. Haven't seen him for years, but we just picked up where we left off all that time ago... So we're catching up when all of a sudden he says, "So I see the kids' Facebook pages, they sure are growing, aren't they? And I don't see your wife out there with a Facebook, what's up with that?

I guess I was a little taken aback, and before my brain caught up with my mouth, I heard myself say, "What, are you stalking me or something?!?".