I have 4 teenagers and I most likely spend more time on Facebook than the four of them combined, all work related of course *cough cough* So I find it extremely amusing when they try to get away with something on Facebook. For example… I noticed one of my wonderful teens had posted mid-day on a school day. How did they do that, I asked? Their response was something to the effect of “Mom, my friend must have hacked my account” or “Facebook doesn’t always get the time right when I post, that was from this morning”. Weak, I know.
Well parents, I am going to teach you how to spy on your kids (or anyone else for that matter). Now obviously you could set up a secondary account under a different name which I would encourage, however Facebook is really pretty smart and sometimes won’t let you get away with it. Back in the day I created a MySpace account of a girl about my kids age and friended them and all their friends so I could keep an eye on them. That’s actually how I got myself wrapped up in social media to begin with!
So here are a few tips:
#1 Check their “recent activity”. This information is posted right on their Facebook page, is probably the most valuable info you will find, and is usually showing their comments on others statuses, new friendships, videos watched, and pages liked. If you notice, everything is hyperlinked in blue meaning they are clickable. If they commented on a status, click the “status” and you will see all comments for that status, along with date and time of day.
#2 If your teen RSVP’s to any Facebook invitation, it will show up on their profile like the the picture below. The invitation is clickable which will give you all the details of the event/party, including address (if given), who is invited, who else RSVP’d (who your kids will be hanging out with), and any comments or chatting about the party. Lots of valuable information!
#3 Curious about when your teen is online? You can always check the “chat section” to see if they are currently online. If they are you will see a green dot next to their name, unless of course they know how to turn off chat which means nobody will see if they are available online or not. You can also see this on the iPhone Facebook app as well.
#4 While looking at an actual post you will see the date and time of the post. This is helpful especially if they were suppose to be in school, in bed at the time
#5 A picture speaks a thousand words and on Facebook, teens love to discuss their pics. First, find out who posted the pic, second, who all is tagged in the pic, third check the time and date it was posted (was it 3am?), and finally click on the actual picture to see all the wonderful comments from their friends who probably are clueless to the fact that a parent may stumble across the picture and read about the wild and crazy night they had.
Don’t forget to check the tags!
#6 Check their friends list. You can actually hide your friends lists but most teens either don’t know this or don’t care, so get snooping! The 2 pictures below show the friends list on the old profile page and the new timeline pages. Click them and you will see any mutual friends you have with them, as well as their entire friends list. You can scroll through all of them, checking what town they live in, high school or college they attend, and even workplace if it’s posted. You can also search their friends list for a specific person shown in the 3rd picture below.
OR on the new timeline
Search the friends list
Hover over a name to get a little more info
If you dig deep enough, you can find lots of information about anyone on Facebook. A little scary actually but you can also secure your Facebook so that pretty much everything is hidden through your security settings. Is this an invasion of your teens privacy? No, it’s out there for all to see it. Keep in mind that many teens lie about their age on Facebook because you have to be at least 13 to have an account, so it may look like your kids are hanging out with 20 year olds. That may not be the case at all so check the about section for graduation year to confirm.
Parents of teenagers need to be proactive instead of just reactive to a situation at hand. Stop the behavior before it starts. Know who your kids are hanging out with. And don’t feel guilty about spying on them…just don’t get caught or they will de-friend you or worse…block you. Then of course you change the wi-fi password and/or take away the computer
Want to have some fun this Friday night? Make your own custom Facebook movie with this German app! Yeah it’s a little corny, but way to fun not to pass up! Watch mine and then decide…and don’t forget to let me know what you think
Social media is a constant, 24 hours a day medium. It never stops. So when it comes to marketing via social media, you can’t stop either. Or can you?
It’s now mid August, school is about to start (for us on Monday) and I have 4 teenagers and a husband who travels regularly for work overseas. My social media efforts have no doubt been lacking the last 2 weeks and this week especially. In fact I have not been on the computer in 2 1/2 days with the exception of my iPhone, and thank heavens for THAT little piece of technology!
I didn’t even go on vacation this summer!
My point is…Well, I don’t really have a point actually but things will be back to normal on Monday, thank goodness! It’s hard to blog, video blog, and play on Facebook and Twitter when I have kids running around screaming their heads off. Oh that’s right, I’m not suppose to let them act like that….well, I’m out numbered. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it!
See ya next week!