Bebo vs Myspace

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child asked about myspace tonight. He is not allowed to have one- the judge even made issue of it last year and he spent a year with a court order for me to closely supervise his computer usage. She removed that order when she released him from detention last week. So, he asked if he could start a myspace page. I said "no"- he is supposed to be 14 yo.

    So, he says "what about Bebo- you only have to be 13 yo". I told him I would check it out and tell him tomorrow. He did show me their "rules" and it did say 13 yo or older. My worry is the perverts trying to trick teens into something. Has anyone had any experience with Bebo or do you know anything about it? Is it less safe or more safe than myspace?

    Do you think I should allow this? (difficult child is VERY gullible and vulnerable and could get caught up into the tricks of a pervert- and lie to me about it.)
  2. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    My difficult child and easy child 1 both have a myspace but can only have friends we physically know. difficult child can only go on it when I am in the room - well he can't right now because he is grounded from the computer and has been for a few months. I am also listed as one of their friends, and check their page all the time. I also have their username and password and can check it that way as well. easy child says it's a violation of his privacy but I said if they want permission to have a myspace, that's part of the arrangement.

    I'm not familiar with Bebo but I have a Facebook account and heard it might be safer than MySpace for kids, only none of my kids' friends are on it.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I've not heard of Bebo. Neither one of my kids have a Myspace account - I won't allow it.

    However, my son and ALL his friends are on Facebook. It's much safer, in my opinion, because you can't view someone's profile unless you request to be added as a friend and the profile's owner approves it. I have a Facebook account just so I could monitor my son's and several of his friends have sent ME friend's requests! LOL The only adult on my Facebook is my sister in law.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I've not had experience with Bebo, but I would imagine that it is another myspace deal.

    I also have Facebook, and while I agree that it is probably safer, it is primarily used by adults.
  5. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    They can't see your profile on myspace either if it is set to private unless you accept their friend request. You can see more than on facebook, like your location and your age, but not enough to make contact or anything like that.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    How much do you feel you can trust difficult child to keep personal info off the site, to not accept friend requests, to generally be safe and smart?

    Do you think it would be safer to agree to a page and check it daily (and could you check it daily?) or to have him sneak and get a page that you don't know about and/or can't check? I had to make a facebook page in order to find my difficult child's facebook page - he was able to keep me/the grandparents out of it very successfully by blocking us/refusing our requests to see it when he had things on there he was sneaking/hiding/would get in trouble for.

    What would the judge/GAL/PO think or say?
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, to the questions in the first paragraph, I would say "a litte but not a lot". Making him give me the password would probably be the safest approach- and letting me sign up as a friend- however that works. difficult child is the type that during stable periods, he is generally a good kid. During rocky periods, he will push the limits and sneak some (I guess he lives by the motto "a little bit won't hurt", then, when things are really unstable, well, all bets are off) I can see my difficult child doing exactly what yours did at times.

    This mess with the computer started right before he got into trouble legally last year because he wanted a myspace page and I said no. So, he called my bro (we were all still speaking at the time but apparently my bro already had a "plan") and my bro taught him how to set a myspace page up while I was at work one afternoon. difficult child told me afterwards so then I talked to him about safety and my concerns, etc., rather than tell him to take it off because I figured he wouldn't take it off and would just sneak at that point. So, he suggested that since he really just wanted to say he had a myspace page, that he could act like he was somebopdy different then who he really is so no wierdo could really seek him out. I agreed to let him portray himself as a 25 yo male and he put a photo of some man he'd gotten off the internet on there. Really, I was ok with that because I figured that no pervert looking for a kid/teen would look at that page and the worst thing that could happen would be that a girl in her 20's would be communicating with difficult child until she figured out that he probably was a fake. (difficult child had no interested in communicating with anyone other than attractive females at the time)

    Anyway, after difficult child got into trouble and a GAL was aassigned, my bro contacted the GAL and told her that I allowed my son to have a myspace page and that difficult child was trying to make social contacts with adults. He also told her some other things (in a skewed version) trying to make it look like I allowed a lot of inappropriate, unsafe stuff- some of it was stuff that I was battling with difficult child about- not that I ever ALLOWED. But my bro misrepresented it, and used that to justify him getting custody- which of course, didn't work in the end. Never mind that it was my bro who taught difficult child how to set up the myspace page behind my back in the first place. (Bro, of course, left details like that out of his story to the GAL.)

    So, I think the judge and GAL finally feel assured (after a year) that I am not the kind of parent who lets their kid do whatever he wants and that I do care about his safety and well-being. Both of them are pretty much out of the picture at this point unless difficult child gets into legal trouble again- or breaks a rule of probation. The PO, well, she probably would agree that if it is legal and I supervised his activities, then it would be ok, which is how I feel. As long as it doesn't make difficult child a sitting duck for adults looking for kids/teens. That is my biggest concern- it seems like all those pages do that, yet almost all kids have them. So, I wonder if other parents know a way to check on their kids pages without them knowing it, or if all those parents really have that much trust in their difficult children.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    FYI for many websites the minimum age to sign up is 13yo - it was set by Congress. It is NOT because people that age are able to use the site with any degree of "safety" or "security", just the min age set by law.
  9. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    You can get a program that tracks everything done on a computer, even down to every letter typed. Your son wouldn't know it was there unless he's very computer savvy. But that's not foolproof because they can use a friend's computer. Even not allowing them to have a myspace isn't foolproof, because they can set it up using a friends computer and maybe even the library. The best way to check their myspace action is to have their username and password and be a snoop. I check their friends' pages too. If I see something questionable I talk to difficult child or easy child about it and see what they say. Depending on how bad the friends' stuff is and my kids' reactions, they have been told to delete some friends and they have (with difficult child, I'm more likely to make him delete the friend than with easy child). They've also warned friends who have sent questionable messages to stop or they'd have to delete them.

    My easy child 1 has helped friends set up a Myspace page, but only after he has told me and I have asked their parents if it was OK to do. At least as far as I know... he may be doing it behind my back but he is pretty trustworthy and he understands the potential danger, unlike my difficult child. I've even heard him and difficult child giving his friends the same safety lectures I gave him.

    They have both done and said things they shouldn't have on Myspace but like everything, they are testing boundaries. As the months go on those things happen less and less because they know I would be right on top of them, and maybe they are learning from all my safety, respect, and maturity lectures. (Well, easy child is, difficult child simply knows I won't allow him on Myspace anymore!) I can tell you, they have rejected many friend requests and have never accepted a friend they didn't know in real life.

    It is really easy to set up a myspace page. My page is definitely not as elaborate as most, but I just use it to check up on the kids. Just go to the website, click on Sign Up and follow the instructions. About as easy as registering at this site, if memory serves.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I 'quickread' and thought you said......

    Bimbo on Myspace......


    I think I'm over the initial shock of Myspace, and calling it the scourge of my world. I even tried to set my own page up - so not savy -

    I still try to monitor Dudes stuff because while 17......he STILL puts stuff on the internet that you would see someone 13 or 14 do and we have to be careful because somedays he is NOT the brightest star in the sky.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Personally I would allow a Myspace if he gives you his password...and allows you as a friend...and sets his account to private. Then you download a keystroke monitor on the computer so you can monitor all activity on the computer so even if he decides to get a different myspace page from the one you know will find evidence of it and can catch him. Make sure you have all his email addresses and their passwords too. But you can also double check this with the keystroke monitor.
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Both my kids have MySpace. I do also, only because I want to see theirs.

    They are set to private, so the only people that can view are people that send requests to be "friends" and that must be accepted by them. I do not have their passwords. However I go to their page every day. Even though their other friends may be set to private, You can still see their "mood" and their
    bulletin board.

    I have read some of his friends (his age, not private) that say their sexual activity, parting, drug use. Moods like "stoked", "horny" and others.

    I click on all his friends to see what is going on with them. I have learned a lot about these kids (who come over and he goes there) Some of which I no longer allow him to go there.
  13. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tough one.

    I don't believe there is a generic answer.

    I think, whether easy child or difficult child, you have to make the choice based on your child's ability to distingish fantasy from reality and their level of savy.

    In this day and time, that technology is their technology, not ours. I don't understand it because I would never put myself out there and would never share private, personal things with folks other than family and very close friends.

    However, it's all about networking, being cool, and being in. I really believe that if you put protective measures in place (keystrock monitor if you suspect your child cannot follow the guidelines or gives you reason to suspect, knowing their email and password) it's another way for our difficult children to "fit in" socially.

    If you have a child that has abused the internet, not followed the rules, or crossed "the line", I wouldn't hesitate to deny access for a given amout of time.

    Just my two cents.

  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think the key is supervision.
    difficult child used to have a Facebook page. husband got the password and we set up our own page to monitor his activity.

    difficult child is prone to use the computer inappropriately, so he's only allowed to use it with strict supervision (i.e. someone sitting next to him the whole time)

    I don't think any one of theh sites is really "safer" than any of the others. They can all be used properly or misused. I think the key is to make sure that your difficult child knows and follows the rules, and that you monitor his activity and know what he's doing online.

    That doesn't just apply to social network sites. The internet is full of crazy things, some very educational and useful, some inappropriate, even dangerous.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He spent the last year (plus some) not having any internet communication (ie- webpages, email, etc- except he could use my email to communicate with his grandmother). I looked the bebo's stuff and it seems to be about the same as the others. I was concerned that facepage is mostly people older than him- although I don;t really know. Anyway, bebo's terms say min. age of 13 while myspace requires 14 yo. I'm pushing conformance to the letter of the law and rules, so I let him sign up on bebo (he doesn't turn 14 for another 6 mos), with conditions- it had to be set to private, we read the safety tips together, I have his username and password, he is to have no friends accepted that he does not know personally, I will be checking it, if any rules are broken- it's gone- no discussion.

    I debated it, but it seems that he is more apt to conform to rules- or it least he does better at it if he gets some priviledges. If I give him a straight "no" to things he asked for (that other kids get to do), then he sneaks and does whatever he wants until he is caught. So, I'll give this a try.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    When Wiz had a Xanga page my husband set up one too. They would send things back and forth - Wiz thought husband was a "cool" friend, LOL!!!
  17. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    I think you made the most sensible decision. Now it's up to him to follow the rules.