Column: The Real Housewife of Claycord – Every Thursday at 2pm on Claycord.com

May 17, 2012 · 48 comments

The Real Housewife of Claycord – Every Thursday at 2pm on Claycord.com

Hi Claycordians!

This week, I want to talk about social media (facebook, twitter).

I haven’t mentioned her before, but our niece lives with us. She is 13 years old and has been here for about two years now. It’s a very long story why she’s here, but she’s here, and we’re her full-time caregivers.

We love her a lot and treat her like one of our own.

The other day she came up to me and asked if she could sign up for a Facebook account. I immediately said “no, you’re too young”. She said all of her friends have Facebook accounts and she’s the only one without one. I verified that most of her close friends do in fact have Facebook accounts, but I am still on edge about letting her sign-up for social media.

I don’t have a Facebook and my husband has one, but never checks it. I wouldn’t mind letting her sign-up if I could control what she reads and posts, but I can’t all the time.

So many times you hear stories of young girls meeting the wrong person on Social Media and getting raped, robbed or even murdered. It’s a scary World, and I’m not sure if I want my niece to be a part of that at this time in her life.

I’m pretty set in stone about not letting her have an account, but my husband thinks she’s a good girl who we can trust to live by our rules, because she’s never broken them before. I was a teenage girl once, and when I was 13, I thought rules were made to be broken.

What should we do? Should we let her sign-up for a Facebook account or should we make her wait a few more years?

Moving on….

A few things I saw around Claycord this week:

  • The Amgen Tour of California was so much fun to watch, but it all happened so fast.
  • I witnessed a girl who was about 14 years old slap her mom at the mall this week. Her mother wasn’t very happy. Security came to calm them down. It was a really sad thing to see.
  • Some guy in Todos Santos Plaza on Tuesday was going around hugging people. I tried to stay away. Would you take a hug from a stranger?

The Real Housewife of Claycord Housetip of the Week:

  • To clean your microwave oven, mix together 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar and 2 cups of water in a 4 cup glass microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for two to three minutes. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the microwave with paper towels. Repeat as necessary. (source: busycooks.about.com)

That’s it for this week.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, see you next Thursday at 2pm!

It’s time for me to go make a pie!

-The Real Housewife of Claycord xxoo

1 The Authority May 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

With all the smart-phones, iPads and every other wireless contraption these kids have access to, you won’t be able to keep her from having a Facebook page or other Social Media account. So, allow her to have a page but insist on having the password. Don’t let her block you from the site for any reason. CONSTANTLY monitor the site. Set up ground rules for content and enforce them. Good Luck!

2 @RHOC May 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

If your niece is a good girl at home and a good student, I would probably let her have one. She is probably the only one her group that doesn’t have one, not that you should give in for that reason. If you do let her have one, make sure you are able to read it at any time or it’s gone! Thanks again for another great column!

3 Palermo May 17, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I would let her have an account with the provision that you are her “friend” and also have her password.

4 the real superman May 17, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Your column gets worse and worse each week. If you like telling untrue stories you should volunteer at the library to read each week. It’s pretty bad when the zombie story has twice as many posters than your stuff . Now go burn your safeway pie.

5 Lulu May 17, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I hesitantly say let her go on Facebook, but monitor her 100%. Kids can be so cruel – think about that young girl that killed herself because kids from another school were posting awful stuff about her on Facebook. Someone “borrowed” my grandaughter’s phone and then posted something vulgar under her facebook name. We all knew that it wasn’t her posting, so we alerted her right away. It is also very common to get hacked, and who knows what might end up being posted under your niece’s name. I was the kind of mother that said “just because all your friends are doing it, doesn’t mean that you can do it.” Trust your gut instinct. If she is a good kid, this could be a learning experience (maybe good, maybe bad). Good luck !

6 W/C MAN May 17, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Nobody makes a better pie than my Mo MO

7 Jenny May 17, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I say let her get a fb account, but come up with a contract that she has to sign. Make it clear that it’s a privilege, and have access to her account. Let her explore her freedom, and try to watch without hovering. Good luck!

8 dbc May 17, 2012 at 2:23 PM

To Facebook or not to Facebook, that is the question.
I think it’s a personal decision based on trust and maturity. My wife and have our grandson living with us and we allow him a Facebook page. We do monitor it and do what we can to keep him safe. Part of our responsibility is to teach him how to make good decisions and to do that requires some trust on our part and to let him make mistakes, as long as we have a safety net for him. Living in a vacuum can cause more problems than a Facebook account. Facebook is one of the safer sites if you treat it right. The following is some food for thought:

I know that McAfee sponsors “the 3 Cs: Cyber Ethics, Cyber Security, and Cyber Safety.” McAfee partners with the Alameda County DA Speakers bureau to present a program to middle schools. At a recent school presentation, the Alameda DA had the following exchange:
“When we asked the Junior High students how many friends they had on Facebook, some raised their hands at over 200. ‘Nobody really has 200 friends on Facebook,’ we told them, reminding them that some people they do not know well enough to trust could be masquerading as friends but really have bad intentions. ‘What if you post a picture on the beach while your family is in Hawaii?’ we asked the students, telling them that can be an invitation for someone to burglarize their house while they’re gone. “We told them about the Bay Area teen-age girl who sent inappropriate personal photos to her boyfriend, as he had requested. Later, they broke up, and the photos ended up being circulated throughout the school. She spiraled into depression and committed suicide.”

For more on child internet safety:
http://www.internetchildsafety.net/

9 Mimi (Non Origional) May 17, 2012 at 2:24 PM

How awesome of you to take your niece in and care for her. That is really admireable. My daughter is 14, almost 15. I let her have a fb account when she was 13, almost 14 on one condition, she had to friend me so that I could keep an eye on her posts and photos. We had one incident where I did not like some pictures she put up so I made her delete the account. Six months later I allowed her to give it another shot. We have had no problems since. Perhaps you could monitor your niece through your husbands account? (Grandma is always keeping me posted too) As far as the hugs go… YUCK, not from a stranger. He’s probably a pervert looking for some boobs pressed against him! I was recently at a family gathering and I gave my husbands male relatives and other people I know a hug. There was a friend of his relative there that I had not met before and he said “well, since your giving out hugs, I’ll take one” I didn’t want to be rude, but I felt like he just wanted to feel my DD’s so I just did a side hug! I told my husband and he said that he’s pretty sure that was the only reason a guy would want to hug a girl he didn’t know! OOOOHHHH, If my daughter slapped me…..well, thats just it….she wouldn’t slap me because she is has been raised to know better. I feel badly for that mother. Sounds like she’s got her hands full.

10 Crazy Eddy May 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I would let her signup, but suggest to her that Facebook is passe and tomorrow they will be going public to cash in on the passing fad. Soon your niece’s friends will be socializing on a cooler site, tumblr perhaps. You might also council her on how FB makes it’s money: advertising, which in turn leans heavily on FB’s ability to market accurately and KNOW the consumer. Thus, Facebook wants as much information about your niece (and everyone else) as possible. That information is their main asset, and they will do with it what they wish to make tomorrows shareholders happy.

11 Shuley May 17, 2012 at 2:34 PM

@ the real superman

Your comment tells a lot about you. What a bitter a-hole. If you don’t like the column, DON’T READ IT. Everyone does not need to abide by your skewed opinion of what is good or not.

12 ondeafears May 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM

If you are accepting responsibilit for caring for your 13 year old neice then make the time to monitor her FB account. Hey maybe you could stop writing this column for starters. That would give you a few free minutes on the computer.

13 Anon777 May 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I would let her sign up on the condition that her profile remains Private to anyone but her friend list and that she befriend you/your husband so that you can monitor her account a bit. You can also make other rules around this…..say grades…she must keep a B average or you take away this privilege; her homework and chores must be done before she can get on FB, and things like that.

14 jtkatec May 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I still want to know what kind of pie you bake, whether it’s the same type of pie; whether the pies are all dessert pies or possibly meat pies; and of course, what about the crust.

Other than that, I play Words with Friends via Facebook. That’s about all I do with it, except I have friend from my elementary schools days that have gotten touch with me via FB. It’s a hoot to see the pictures posted from our days as Brownies!!

15 @the real superman May 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Just go away! I don’t know why you even read this column. Just skip over it like any other story you’re not into. I think you really do like it and can’t skip it. Curiosity gets the best of you.

16 Wow May 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The Real Superman is a real ass, and is probably married to Kristy.
Hey d**k head, no one is forcing you to read this thread!!

17 jtkatec May 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Reading Palermo’s post, good points.

18 @the real superman May 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM

You need to post that comment on the Mister Wister? Writer? whatever he calls himself.

19 Concordian May 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I agree, with smart phones, tablets almost all have internet connections her getting a Facebook account is a matter of time. I would say go ahead and let her as long as you can monitor it. It will show that you have trust in what she does : )

20 Cap'n Nick May 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM

I always find it fascinating that an upbeat and positive column produces some of the most negative and vindictive comments. What a truly odd society we have become since the dawn of the internet.

21 Chuckie's Wife May 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I’d let her have an FB account. It’s easier to allow her to have one with a set of rules you both agree on, then to forbid it, only to find out that she got one anyway by signing up at the library or at school… Not sure about the password thing – passwords can be changed. Also not sure about the friending thing – she can change her account settings so you won’t see posts she won’t want you to see. I guess the best way is to come to an agreement that you and her will review her FB page once a week and that you will explain to her why you object to certain posts. Also hammer home that she is NEVER EVER to post her address, phone number, e-mail address and birth date. These all become public once listed on FB. Also hammer home that she is NEVER EVER to post when you guys are not home, on vacation, etc. In addition, as others have suggested, make sure the privacy settings are such that only friends on her friend list can see her news feed, comments, etc. And that only friends can post. Finally, limit the amount of time she’s allowed on a computer for non-homework reasons, that should cut down on how much time she will spend on FB. Hope this helps.

22 jtkatec May 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

You know who has a great pie, Emil Villa’s in Walnut Creek. Their seasonal strawberry is to die for, and OOOOHHHH, their seasonal peach…… Nirvana!!!

Don’t care too much for the crust, though. I’m thinking you might be able to share your crust recipe.

Oh, oh!!! Oh!! And when they bring their blueberry out of the oven and you can get it hot, with some vanilla ice cream melting all over….. OH MY WORD!!! Num-num……

I worked there in my twenties and I never liked pie until then…..

Let’s talk pie…… really!! Let’s…..

23 SAR May 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Let her get on ‘Facebook’.

To ‘the real superman’, I get jokes! I’m don’t know why everyone gets worked up by your sarcastic comments… he’s kidding folks.

24 Wisecracker May 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM

You’re gong to hear all sorts of advise here from people, some who say yes to Facebook, while others say no. It is you who knows your niece the best and whether this is a good idea for her. You mentioned your niece said all of her friends are on Facebook except for her. Just because everyone else is doing or has something, doesn’t necessarily mean your niece has to have it, too. It may or may not be the right thing for her. One of the problems with our society right now is young adults feeling the need for instant gratification for everything. There’s nothing wrong with waiting for something once in a while.

25 MO May 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM

So much good advice here re: Facebook. Just make sure you have her password, and also watch from your Husband’s account. This might be a good way for her to learn responsibility for herself in this techy era.

Great Blog…

I’m sorry the nerdy trolls are here are so rude re: the blog. But..we must take them for what they have to offer and forgive them their ignorance.

Did @W/C say you like my pie?
Tonight we are having Homemade Chicken Pie, made with chicken breast, and diced new potatoes, and peas and carrots, and celery and onions. It’s creamy and has a taste of garlic. Along side we are having asparagus with slivered almonds and a small spinach salad with diced yellow pepper, and red grapes, and a tart vinaigrette dressing…for dessert, a black berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. (It smells very good in the house right now :))

I wonder what kind of pie our Housewife has baked….I’m still in the mood for something really sweet and yummy. Did anyone bake a coconut cream pie today with a tall meringue?

I wish I could get my hands on some good rhubarb……there is nothing better than a strawberry rhubarb pie..(lots of sugar)…and a tender lattice top crust.

Wow…a kid slapped their parent in public? anywhere?
I don’t think I could be a parent of teens today….in my day…that brat would be flat on the floor…wondering where my left hook came from. Of course my kids were afraid of me…cause I never threatened them with punishment..I promised them…..and I never broke my promise. Actually I didn’t have to smack them…cause they knew what was waiting for them…we didn’t have any bad behavior….just some stupid stuff.

Can’t wait til next Thursday’s blog :D :D

26 Shiloh May 17, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I know from experience that it is very difficult (even for a housewife!!) to monitor a teen’s fb account. Your teen may be a good girl, as mine is (really!), but you will be absolutely horrified by the things her “friends” will post on their own walls and each others. Even if they’re not posting on her wall, she will still be able to see it on her news feed and a lot of it will be BAD! Like, really bad!! The rest of the stuff that isn’t “bad” will be completely useless and non-beneficial to your niece, such as all of these “lms” posts . . . That stands for “like my status”. They will say things like “lms and I will tell you something I don’t like about you”, or “lms and I will tell you your best and worst body part”. This happens A MILLION TIMES A DAY! The daughter of a family friend does this at least twice a day and she will say “lms . . Etc . . Even if I don’t like you”. What the heck is that?!?! So, your niece can be as good as she wants, but fb is still a bad idea for teens, I think. You won’t believe how many cuss words and sexual references you will see from their friends. I finally deleted my daughter’s.

27 concord original May 17, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Facebook has got to be without question, the most over rated graze,fad or trend in my 50 years of living. No company has ever been so over valued with no real actual product. It does not offer anything that wasnt already available. Get a life people. Mark Z. gonna laugh all the way to the bank.

28 Cowellian May 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM

I like the advice of The Authority@1.

I like Facebook because it allows me to keep track of what’s going on with all my nieces and nephews, as well as my own grown kids (except for my daughter, who won’t friend me).

29 Pinky May 17, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Personally i think it’s a good sign that she asked for your permission. She didn’t have to, she could have just lied about her age.

I honestly don’t think that you will ever be able to completely monitor her account 100%. It depends on how much you trust her. I think if she keeps her privacy settings high and only talks to people that she knows in real life then she should be fine. Look at it this way, she’ll get one sooner or later so this would be a good way to help her learn to be safe.

30 Dude May 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I remember when Facebook was for grown-ups…

Here’s the deal… There are something like just under a billion Facebook users. Yes, you might often hear about kids meeting predators on there, but, for shiggles, let’s assume that’s happened to 1 million kids. I’d bet that number is way too high compared to reality, but let’s proceed. 1 million out of a billion would still be 0.1% of the user base. Not trying to minimize the horror of this happening to someone, but I’d say the odds are very low it’ll happen to your niece, especially if she’s smart about the way she uses it. Did you know the odds favor dying in a car crash as opposed to a plane crash? And yet we all worry way more about plane crashes. It’s because we view a plane crash death as being such a horrible way to go. So even though the odds are against your niece being lured by a predator, it’s only human nature to ignore the odds in favor of protecting her.

Now the practical stuff… Even if you say no, I assume she has an e-mail address with which she can sign up. What’s really to stop her from defying you? Even if you insist on having the password, what’s to stop her from opening a second account with a different login and password? Even if she friends you, what’s to stop her from posting content visible to everyone on her friend list except for you? Ultimately, it’s all going to come down to whether you trust her. I know kids younger than 13 with Facebook accounts. I don’t agree with it, and I know I wouldn’t let my grade schooler have one. You say you know her friends have an account? Talk to their parents about how they handle it. See what’s working for them. Before deciding to let her have one, educate *yourself* first. Sign up and start using it for a bit so you can speak from experience. Understand the terminology and functionality. Then if you let her have it, educate her on how to be safe (only accept requests from people you can prove you know, make the profile private, don’t play Farmville because it sucks, etc.). Lay down the guidelines on what she can/can’t do with it, and be prepared to enforce if she doesn’t comply.

31 Dude May 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Oh… And the plane crash / car crash thing is called the Availability Heuristic.

32 Spraythenaim May 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Let her sign up. Not letting her will only make her hide things from you as she gets older.

33 Valen May 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM

If she did have a FB account I would want to give her the okay so I was in the loop and could monitor it. She could always create an account at a friends house or at the library online behind your back, so by you giving the okay and setting the rules I think that would be best.

Another thing we must remind our children of is anything that you put online is out there forever. It is almost like sending a post card in the mail. Anything you wouldn’t be okay with anyone reading you shouldn’t post online. This is a whole new day and age for being a teenager.

As for the people that are rude week after week regarding this Column…Just skip it if you don’t like it. Why should we get rid of it when there are people that enjoy it? You don’t like it so nobody else can either? I don’t get it. There is so much negativity in this world as it is. Why add to the mix?

34 Man Boobs May 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Don’t let her on FB- sounds like that was what your gut was telling you. It doesn’t matter how good of a girl she is…don’t you want to protect her from the other people she could encounter?

35 Clayton Squirrel May 17, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Facebook can be good and bad. In high school the studious kids have study groups, groups for certain classes such as AP Bio, and pages for clubs and their sports teams to disseminate info. There are certainly stupid and offensive posts but you can unfriend the bozos that curse. One of my kids has unfriended a classmate who was mean and now he’s sorry and left out.

36 the Shi ite May 17, 2012 at 7:47 PM

concord original,
When I hear the news saying things such as: “You are going to be left out if you’re not on facebook”, I’m even more encouraged to not sign up… come on! There’s more to life than faKebook.
It’s too large and the only thing left for it is big time SPAM and pop ups ala Myspace.
You don’t own your profile or the photos. Employers will take the liberty to see what a moron a person is before hiring them, so I guess that’s job or retirement security for me.
Anytime something get Hyped up, it’s not far from a fall. Dot com bubble, Stock market bubble, housing bubble – All hyped up. Many lost money and a few got rich.

37 mo mo May 17, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I agree with the real superman that what you write tells alot about you. You said when you were a teen, rules were made to be broken. In describing your neice, she is more mature than you were as a teen, and more mature than you as an adult. When I was a teen, me and my siblings didn’t break rules out of respect to our parents, and their respect to us. Your neice should have facebook without giving you the password, that would be letting you read her diary everyday. You must know her wherabouts at all times if you are the parent you say you are. Yes, bless you for taking her in, I think God looked down on her and gave her grace.
Your husbands password to his FB account and its contents would be interesting, does he share that with the family?

38 @mo mo May 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Alot isn’t a word.
HOW you write tells a lot about you.

39 I am a woman May 17, 2012 at 9:24 PM

You make alof of pies, I picture you as a woman with children who has let herself go, is overweight, doesnt care how tight her sweatpants are that shows her cellulite (white sweatpants are the best for that) and a plain tshirt or shweatshirt is your attire with flip flops.
did you know you all you talk about being a housewife is the house part, not the wife part.. Do you ever exercise and dress sexy for your husband wich is the wife part?

40 @Shiloh May 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM

I just have to say…what kind of facebook are YOU viewing? “lms and I’ll tell you something I don’t like about you”? “lms and I’ll tell you your best and worst body parts”? Are you kidding me? Yes, those statuses are pointless, but nobody says anything like that. It’s usually “lms and I’ll tell you my first memory of you” or “lms and I’ll tell you what I like best about you” or something like that.

Real Housewife,

As for the guy giving out hugs, have you never heard of the Free Hugs Campaign? Google it.

Normally, I love your column. It’s funny sometimes, but you always find SOMETHING to criticize and distrust. Like a guy going around brightening people’s days.

41 W/C MAN May 17, 2012 at 9:40 PM

THAT’ S NOT NICE I LOVE MO MO #38

42 Cap'n Nick May 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Shiloh is definitely not kidding about the “lms” crap on Facebook. My son is on fb and I have honestly never been a fan of it but as a family (grrrrr) we have decided it’s ok. I think the “like my status” thing is the dumbest thing ever and is almost always very negative. We all know kids can be very cruel. Now, think about that and then factor in how much easier it is to be an asshole on the web. So far I have let the Facebook thing continue but my tolerance is waning. I have seen kids post things on Facebook that make our politics thread look like a church picnic.

43 MO MO May 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM

@#38 using “alot” as a word, wich it is not, tells about me, that I grew up in blue collar family with a father working 6 days a week, lived in a neighborhood that has bad schools/teachers. Using “alot” says nothing about my character, who I am to others, what I have acheived in life, etc. Why do you sweat the small stuff? I could be the deaconess at your church.

44 the real superman May 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM

@ I am a woman. I just love what you wrote they should give you your own column. Much better

45 Shiloh May 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM

@#40, I’m not making it up, if that’s what you’re saying :) There are some positive ones, but lots of unhealthy-sounding ones too.

And you think that getting a hug from a strange man in a park will brighten someone’s day?! That’s weird

46 V May 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

when my daughter created her own facebook account, it was done with the specific proviso that I was to be “friends” with her. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust HER… it was because I didn’t trust the SICKOS who prey on young children. My daughter is now in her early 20’s and I’m still a facebook friend.

47 local94553 May 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Absolutely I would let her have the account<However I would have to have the password and I would review that account weekly for predators or bullying.

48 jtkatec May 18, 2012 at 3:19 PM

@ Mo (25) – thanks for talking pie. As I have never tasted rhubarb pie, if I grow some rhubarb, are you up for an exchange?

Just trying to keep the posting eye on pie!!

Oh, and @ I am woman (39) – You are so negative, and assume many things which reflects a small-minded and meaness of spirit, in my opinion.

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