Shared passwords: the new “friendship ring” among kids?

Just when you thought you knew everything you needed to know on what to warn/teach your kids about using Facebook and the Internet…have you heard that kids/teens/20-somethings share their passwords with each other, for everything from email accounts, Facebook and other services? According to a recent New York Times article, it’s a widespread practice among young people, even among young couples who are dating.  Apparently in the dating realm, it’s a sign of trust– i.e. “if I’m your only love, prove it with an all-access pass to your Internet accounts.”  Gee, nothing says “love” quite like mistrusting someone, huh? And I guess nothing says “I’m a stupid risk taker” quite like that either, since of course breakups can be messy, and BFF’s can become BFN’s (Best Friends Never) faster than Justin Bieber can swoosh his hair.  Who wants to risk being kicked off a sports team or not being able to get a job because of an angry or inappropriate post they didn’t even write? Not to mention losing all of their carefully acquired Facebook Friends…but of course kids think they know how the world works, better than we adults…

When I read about this “practice” in the news this morning, I thought that surely my kids don’t share passwords with other kids–  but I thought I’d better check, anyway.  Turns out Allison doesn’t, but Emmie said she does, with one friend. Amazing.  I told her why that wasn’t a good idea and that she needed to change it, and of course she gave the answer I expected: “Mom, she would never post anything bad about me!”  Well, I hope she never does, but if Emmie’s wrong, I guess it will just be a hard lesson that can only be taught from experience… 

If anyone has any other ideas for dealing with this situation, let me know!

And while we’re talking about Facebook, I wanted to let everyone know that now has an official Facebook page (I know, I know, it’s about time).  This is different from the blog’s presence on Facebook’s Networked Blogs application– the official Facebook “page” is just like any other “fan” or organization page, where you can “Like” it, post things to the Wall, and get in on other quick bits of information I might post there that are not on the blog. So please check it out and “Like” it while you are there! Click here or you can search for it by typing UncoolMomDotCom into the Facebook search bar, which is the name of the page.  Enjoy!

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