Getting your kids’ Facebook updates sent to your phone via SMS (text) is easy, smart, and a great way to increase “teachable moments” to reinforce digital safety and online etiquette.
Here are 3 steps you need to get started now:
1. First activate mobile texts for your phone if you haven’t done so already. You can go to the Mobile tab of your Account Settings page (from a computer) to activate mobile texts. Click Register for Facebook Text Messages and complete the steps that follow.
If you find that your carrier is not listed in the drop-down menu in Step 1 of the activation process, it means that your carrier is not currently supported for Facebook’s mobile texts.
2. After you’ve activated Facebook texts. Open the dropdown menu at the top right corner of your Facebook page and choose Account Settings.
3. Click the Notifications tab at left of the page. Then click on the Text Message icon. Add your child’s name (and anyone else’s status you want to follow) in the box marked: “You will receive text notifications whenever the following friends update their status message.”
You’ll receive text messages the moment your child updates his status. You will be able to respond immediately if a safety rule is broken such as adding a location, giving out personal details, or if an emotionally-charged status is shared that begs your attention.
A word of warning: use your access power sparingly. Choose your battles. Don’t be a “helicopter” parent who hovers over every status. If you abuse your access, you will soon find your child looking for networks outside of Facebook or blocking your access to his account (yes, it’s possible).
So there you go. Easy and instant acess. There is no additional cost to receive status updates by phone. You will be charged the same as receiving a regular SMS, which is dictated by your wireless plan provider.