Archive for September, 2011

How Facebook Damages the Family

September 23, 2011

Hi Folks! How’s that for a catchy title? I got your attention with it, I’m sure.

So, you’re probably asking, what’s this posting going to be about. Maybe it’ll be all about my misspellings and abuses of grammar? No, not this time, besides, Blogilo utilizes gtkspell, which underlines all words not in the system dictionary with these cute little red squiggly lines. All I have to do is insure that the dictionary is correct and not add misspelled words to it.

This post has a single Biblical reference: “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. ” Prov. 22:6 (KJV).

The post is about Facebook and how the naivety of the founder, operators, and policy-makers of that Internet phenomenon have contributed to endangering children all across the country with their mis-guided, anarchist-like pursuit of “freedom”.

First of all, there are some useful aspects to Facebook that I should point out. It can make it easy to find things to write about. For instance, the following little tidbit was found on a “Friend’s” posting:

“New Pledge of Allegiance”

Now I sit me down in school,

Where praying is against the rules

For this great nation under God,

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow,

Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall,

 Might offend someone with no faith at all.

In silence alone we must meditate,

God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.

They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.

It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong,

We’re taught that such ‘judgments’ do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen .

Now, I could comment upon that until the cows come home and never run out of material, but that’s not why I started writing this post.

You see, I’m baffled at how Facebook believes the “rights” of 13-year olds need to be protected. First, where did 13-year olds get “rights” to do anything other than follow the rules of their parents, teachers, and others in authority? Facebook seems to think the Federal Government has bestowed these “rights” upon them. Consequently, if your child, without your knowledge or permission, creates a Facebook account, affirming that they are at least 13-years of age, (weather they are or not doesn’t matter), at a friends house, or at the Public or school Library, using a Gmail or Yahoo email account created in the same rebellious manner, and then proceeds to use that Facebook account, with it’s real-time chat (instant messaging) facility to conspire with their friends to do things they know their parents would forbid them to do, apparently, that’s okay with Facebook because, should you discover this subterfuge, Facebook will not help you regain control of your child by removing the account. Even if you prove to them beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are the one responsible for the child, they will defend to the death the “right” of the child to have this secret way to communicate behind your back with “friends” or to permit strangers who do not have the best interest of the child at heart, to see suggestive and sensual photographs of your child. Children with cell phones equipped with cameras will often photograph themselves in suggestive poses and wearing sensual clothing. They post these photos on Facebook for all the world to see, especially when the child in question believes the more friends they have on Facebook, the more popular they are. I personally know of a 13-year old girl who “friended” almost six-hundred people who sent her friend requests, because she believed that would raise her status among the crowd she associated with in school. Most of these people she did not really know. Her parents did not know them, and she was unconcerned about the repercussions of making her personal contact information available to whomever asked. She even gave her user name and password away so other people could access her account.

That’s the sort of mentality Facebook believes needs to be protected from parental limitations.

Mark Zuckerberg must be a complete idiot if he believes that 13-year olds are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature enough to do anything that is beyond the reach and control of their parents. Well, one has to excuse him somewhat. After all, he attended Harvard (where Facebook first reared it’s ugly head), and he was born in 1984.

Look, I really don’t care what adults do with Facebook but Zuckerberg apparently didn’t take any early childhood development classes, (maybe they don’t offer such classes at Harvard), because he seems to be completely ignoring all the evidence indicating that a 13-year old child’s brain isn’t quite fully developed at that age, and what happens to them during this period of time can easily mess them up for life.

My thesis here is that Facebook contributes to the Progressive/Fabian Socialist belief that children should be reared by the State and the Family is irrelevant. That’s why they fall back on some imagined Federal Law prohibiting parents from accessing a child’s Facebook (or any other) account. They do this by giving tools to children as young as 13, which they can use to conspire against and evade the rules, limitations and the structure created by their parents. They place themselves in dangerous and compromising situations because they are ignorant, easily-manipulated, thrill-seeking, popularity-hunters. Believe me, children much younger than 13 are using these tools and for the same nefarious reasons I’ve mentioned. Should you, Gentle Parent, discover this has happened with your child and should you try putting a stop to it, Zuckerberg and Company will not help you. They will blame you, to be sure, but they will not help you.

But I will; At least, I’ll try.

Start by removing as much of your child’s presence on the Internet as you can.

If you have access to a computer your child uses to access Facebook, you at least have a chance to put a stop to their activities. I’ll assume that it’s a Windows-based system that you’re dealing with, at least initially.

First, install a keystroke logger program. I used one developed by Award Software. They are one of the companies who developed a lot of the BIOS firmware that starts-up every computer. Once installed, the key logger records every key typed on the keyboard and saves it in a file you can examine later. Mind you, the file and the program is hidden from plain view so your child has no idea what’s happening, unless you chose to enable a little splash that informs the user that their activities are being monitored. This file will contain the user name and password your child uses to access Facebook.

Having obtained this information, you can now take control of the account. Do it in this order. Change the contact email address to one your child does not know about. Be sure to delete any secondary addresses listed. Change the password. You’ll have to confirm this change by responding to a Facebook email sent to the email address you set for contact. Having done this, you can now disable the account. Once the account is disabled, proceed to request deletion. It’s important that once this has been done, do not log onto the account using the new information. That will reset the deletion request. The account must remain inactive for fourteen days, then it will be automatically deleted. The following is from the Facebook help center:

“If you deactivate your account from your Security Settings page, your profile and all information associated with it disappears from the Facebook service immediately. People on Facebook will not be able to search for you or view any of your information.

“In case you want to come back to Facebook at some point, we save your profile information (friends, photos, interests, etc.) so that your account will look just the way it did when you left. A lot of people deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and expect their profiles to be there when they return to the service.

“If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added. If you would like your account permanently deleted with no option for recovery, log in to your account and then submit your request here:”

The thing to remember is DO NOT use the account for fourteen days. That’s why we change the contact information to something only we know about.

Now, let’s say the fourteen days have expired and the account is gone, do you let your child use the Internet again?

Sure, but you have to go at it a little differently than before.

To really keep your child safe, you’ll need the cooperation of anyone, anywhere, who might make computers available for your child’s use. This includes schools, libraries, and the parents of their friends. What we intend to do is restrict the child’s access to the Internet to the home only. That’s where we can control it best. Assuming that’s possible, let’s move on.

Get a hold of another computer. This computer will not be Windows-based, but it will run the Linux operating system. This computer will be the one your child will use for all their computer work, especially, accessing the Internet. If you’re not familiar with Linux, contact a computer geek in your area who is. Ask them to install the Mageia 1 Linux distribution (which you can download and burn to a DVD), along with the Firewall Builder program, which you can also download. Whatever they ask for compensation will be well worth the price. Firewall Builder is program is what you’ll use to configure the computer to restrict Internet sites and the times when the Web browser will be able to function (let you friendly geek set it up initially, and show you how to manipulate the parameters later, if you think you will want to). Blocking access to or from sites like Facebook, MySpace, MyYearbook, etc. It may sound daunting at first but it’s easy, once you’ve been shown how. You can also restrict the Internet access times. Be as restrictive or generous as you like. As they get older, more and more children will need to access the Internet to complete homework assignments, so we need to be sensitive to their legitimate needs in that area. The tools mentioned make this possible.

So, why do we have to take all these precautions with the children of a Christian home? Because, like it or not, (remember: just because a mouse grows up in a cookie jar, doesn’t make him a cookie), our children are all sinners. They will remain sinners until they understand what Sin is, what it has done to them, and they recognize that they have a need for salvation. That’s the only way repentance will be realized in them and, because God is not mocked, repentance is a necessary prerequisite to salvation.

Now mind you, you’ll probably be unleashing a hornets nest if you do this, especially, if your child has become deeply involved in this manifestation of sin, but we have to persevere, for our children’s sake. You’re better off to implement this strategy before the problem develops. I knew a church pastor once who said that “Sin makes you stupid.” It does and it also makes you behave like a heroin addict when it’s taken away, so be prepared for some rough road ahead.

The Internet is a wonderful tool, but it’s also like a loaded gun and you, Dear Parent Reader, would do well to treat it as such. You wouldn’t let your child play with a loaded gun. Would you? Of course not, so don’t let them stray into Internet traffic un-escorted. Be their pedagog, as that is one of your responsibilities towards your children. It’s part of training them up in the way that they should go.

Having taken the reins of control back from your child, let Mr. Zuckerberg know what you’ve had to go through and politely ask him to reconsider his position on the matter. The age of Internet majority should be at least 18, as it is for most all other things. Schools, libraries and all places that permit public access to computers or have WiFi access should demand ID from people who look very young, just as they do for cigarette and alcohol purchases. A parent should be able to access and delete if necessary anything their child has created on an Internet site. Sites like Facebook need to develop ways to verify the age of the people who desire to use their site, and they must make it clear from the get-go that the accounts of users under 18 are accessible to their parents and/or guardians who are responsible for them.

Before I go, I would like to suggest that, if you have given your child a cell phone, take it back. Hundreds of generations of people have lived quite successful lives without the questionable “benefits” of cell phone usage. Children, and by “children”, I am referring to anyone under the age of 18, do not need to have a cell phone. Don’t cave into the world’s propaganda. Explain to your child that they are being manipulated by evil propagandists, (Madison Avenue marketing trolls), into desiring to have a cell phone and that no good will come of it.

It’s an evil, wicked world out there folks. Stand your ground. Defend your family. You’ll not regret that decision.

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