The Dallas Morning News has an interesting story up Sunday a.m. that talks about "Creepy Treehouse," a term I was not familiar with until I read the story.  According to the piece, it essentially, it is " Slang for
how students feel creeped out by school teachers and college professors
who are using Facebook and MySpace to interact with their students
online. Education blogger Jared Stein defines it this way: "a place,
physical or virtual (e.g. online), built by adults with the intention
of luring in kids." The term derives from urban legends about sexual
predators luring children into treehouses."

As a dad of seven, we've already encountered the whole Facebook and MySpace deal with our kids and whether or not they even should have accounts.  That's still something we are struggling with; particularly as I thought a MS for my three would be okay, okayed it with my ex, and then heard reasons why that wasn't such a good idea from my bride.

As a dad, I truly want to encourage my kids to use the Internet and use it wisely.  I've been a little bugged out when I've heard one of my kids mentioning they could email or link to one of their teacher's pages.  Truthfully, I just don't know why that would be necessary.

As one of the early adopters to the Internet–I had my first CompUServe accounts back in early, early 1984, made the second governor I worked for the first statewide candidate in Alabama ever to have a published email address, and created the State of Alabama's Web site in mid 1995–I've long seen the value of what the Net can be.  And I usually approach the Net as a useful tool; something that truly has improved the intellectual power of mankind. 

That said, there are others out there who have obviously learned to use it for nepharious purposes.  Sex clearly has become one of the dominant uses of the Net.  I saw something recently that social networking might be edging it out in popularity, but even then, I've noticed of late that even on Twitter, some pervs are starting to slip through. 

So, moms and dads, here is the question of the day.  Should your kids have a MySpace or FaceBook account?  At what age is acceptable to you.  And if they have such, should their teachers be someone they're linked up to on it? 

Replies — Updates beginning with @daddyclaxton














        Feels like home    
    @daddyclaxton That's a great post. The topic is very close to me as a high school teacher. I commented.




      reply to Feelslikehome



    @daddyclaxton – oooohh that's an excellent question about student/teacher ms/fb/etc!!!




      reply to homemakerhero



        Andy Sowards    
    @daddyclaxton I don't see why it matters, I think they SHOULD because it would be safer if the parent can watch what the child does.


  1. Tara @ Feels like home

    This is a very touchy subject in my world. My daughter isn’t two yet, so I’m not yet looking at it as a parent.
    I am a public high school teacher, however, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot in that light. I have a FB account, and I was almost immediately “found” by students at my school. I set my profile to private and made sure that the only things that are viewable are my name and town. I ignored their requests to be friends, and I will continue to do so.
    I thought it was a little creepy that my students wanted to interact with me on that level. I think FB an MySpace are a place for peers to communicate, and I don’t consider my students to be my peers. I wouldn’t go to the mall with my students or hang out with them on the weekends, so why would I “hang out” with them on the internet? That doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. sarah @sarahinmi

    I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it – I haven’t looked to see if my daughter’s teachers are on there (wait, nevermind – I know her art teacher is online). I don’t think it’s always shady – I think sometimes people add everyone they have ever heard of. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve been add requested by peripheral people – people who do the email friend finder and find me because my work email is in my profile (hidden, but in there), and given that I often interact with people via email for work, people seem to find me that way. I’ll ignore the request. They ask again – even though they must KNOW that they don’t really know me.
    I think it’s a good rule of thumb for *everyone* to be wary and cautious when using Facebook & other social network sites. They are entertaining when used as intended.

  3. funfelt

    I think sometimes kids just want to collect as many “friends” as they can so they look popular but don’t really intend to interact with all of them. I also think people in an authority position or even people with a business should either ignore requests from non-clients or non-students if they don’t want them seeing personal stuff, or just be careful about how your profile reflects who you are in that role. Don’t put anything on there you’d not want your students or clients to see. You can change your settings so that specific people you name cannot see certain things, so if you did add them you could turn off pictures or wall posts etc. for that person.
    That said I let my 14 y/o get an account but she has only added family.

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