Skip to comments.Facebook: Should parents 'friend' their children?
Posted on 12/11/2010 10:28:22 PM PST by Cardhu
When Facebook was entirely dominated by people under the age of 25, things were simple. But now an important social question has arisen - should you "friend" your child, or accept a parent as a "friend"?
For a generation brought up on social networks, your "friends" can range from closest confidants to someone you met at a conference.
People you've "friended" for networking purposes are afforded equal status to your sister.
Your friends on social networks might also be your 20-something son who's travelling round Thailand or your 13-year-old daughter.
These are tricky waters for a parent to navigate, unsure of security settings and wary of others on the internet. If you are on Facebook, should you be friends with your kids?
"It's hilarious to say, isn't it? That my child is or is not my 'friend'," says Susan Maushart, author of The Winter of Our Disconnect, about her family's six-month detox from technology.
As well as spending vast amounts of time on Facebook, her children weren't making eye contact or talking to each other in person. Maushart attempted to claw back some parental presence and influence by "friending" her three children.
Two rejected her outright. One daughter accepted her request, but only after introducing strict boundaries, prohibiting her mother from commenting on photos or criticising.
This helped prompt Maushart's experiment in disconnecting her household for six months. Six months away from technology radically changed family relationships, and now Maushart has forthright opinions about the role of the internet in the family.
The danger is that through a lack of involvement or understanding in their children's social networking, parents begin to feel, as Maushart did, "powerless, irrelevant and rejected".
So should a parent "friend" their offspring on social media to keep an eye on them?
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Why not? Its a way to see new pictures of my grandchildren every day or so, find out how they are doing....... videos of school plays I am not able to attend......everyday stuff.
Really, people get wigged out about really strange stuff.
I don't think they mean adult kid with little grandkids, OR kids around 10. I think they mean older teens or 20s, where you really don't necessarily want to see "too much."
Yah..what mom doesn’t what to know her son’s pipes are clean.
I guess I’m the cool uncle, two of my nieces have friended me and some the weird shit they write on FB scares me a bit.
I would want to know if they are doing something dangerous, but mostly I want to let them have a life.
I know I was working full time all through high school, none of the kids today seem to do that, so maybe with so much free time on their hands they get into trouble more.
It’s a strange world we live in now.....
Recommend you tell your children, nieces and nephews to create two accounts, one to friend parents and relatives and others for friending their contemporaries.
That's what was said about MySpace, so the youngins jumped over to Facebook. Don't be surpised to see an another exodus to somewhere else soon, now that everyone and their grandmother are FBers.
I have my Facebook so wired up that no one sees anything.
Every parent needs to tell their child that the internet is just like being out in public. Don’t do anything on Facebook you wouldn’t do at Pizza Hut.
I’ve had to remind a couple of 20-something nephews that employers read Facebook.
It’s sure opened my eyes about decadence during those years.
My husband says he will insist on “friending” anyone my daughter or son dates (when they are old enough).
Other than that, with friends and family who are not teens or 20-somethings, Facebook has been a source of connection and delight, as we keep up with happy stuff that people are doing.
I have many friends who have their children as friends (yes teenagers) and both sides seem to ensure respect for each other. It can work and it is positive for both sides. My kids are allowed to get Facebook at 13 (which for my oldest is next March). We will see how that turns out. I fully expect a positive experience.
Better yet, parents should ban FB.
Email is much safer unless you don't care that your grandchildren's pics are on the net for anyone to see. And yes, there are ways around the private setting. Besides, you don't know who friended who, friended who, friended who. A friend's daughter was raped a few days ago because she thought he was ok to "friend" because he was a friend of a friend. Kids now days "friend" several hundred strangers to their accounts.
Except their eyes glaze over and claim it's just their "friends!" Sure, just their closest 684 friends who can screen capture and send it on out to the entire world, but hey, they know better than stodgy old parents.
What an odd question. Of course parents should friend their children and vice versa. Most of my family is on FB and it is a great way for us to keep in touch and coordinate get togethers.
This article claims that all of FB used to be the under 25 crowd, but it wasn’t... really. It WAS the college crowd, including professors and advisors. My mother was on FB long before I was because she’s a university advisor. I held out for a fairly long time until I realized that FB was a very good forum for networking with other local homeschoolers who were not necessarily in the same homeschool group as I was.
Why not friend your mom or dad? If you want to go chat with unfavorables or otherwise keep your comments private, get a group, make it secret.
I guess this will test my parenting skills. I am confident that it will not happen. I will let you know though.
That is the post of the day.
If you or your children are doing or posting things that you would be ashamed of then why not? It’s a good way to stay in touch with family.
If you or your children AREN'T doing or posting things that you would be ashamed of then why not? It's a good way to stay in touch with family.
I didn't do it to be nosy. It is a great way to make contacts. They will short answer a FB post before they will respond to an email.
Better yet, parents should ban FB.
They will simply open an account on their friends computer and spend more time with them.
Of course, you could keep them locked in their room because of your fears.
I got a good laugh out of your first post.
How about friending your pastor? I have a distant relative that had her kids booted out of the church preschool because she used the word “bulls**t” on her facebook page. The pastor said it showed “bad character” so he took it out on her kids.
why not? - I chat with my kids friends all the time and they look to me as an advice resource when faced with simple problems like car issues, landlords etc..
Yeah, good luck with that.
My nieces have some of their friend’s mothers as friends and the mothers converse like they were the same age. Now, that creeps me out. Parents/parents of friends are not peers and should never try to be equals.
There are bunch of those things floating around. Heck, there’s probably a whole site of them somewhere, like LOLCats.
There are several:
You zeroed in on the problem. Electronic messaging, things like FB and texting bypass in-oerson mores and social controls that have served for generations. We were warned, in certain prophecies, that the era of instant worldwide communications would precede some really bad things (i.e. breakdown of conventions, loss of traditional roles in society. This is happening).
I was so concerned with spelling ‘mores’ right I missed that.
Teens go old school, quit social media
By Nicole Tsong
Seattle Times staff reporter
Since Monday, Tanner LeCount, 16, has been calling his mom instead of texting her to let her know what he’s doing. Eimanne El Zein, 17, has given up Facebook for runs with her dogs. Nicholi Wytovicz, 16, has replaced status updates with chores and homework.
Whose children are these?
For the past week, Shoreline high-school students have been testing a life where text messages and Facebook don’t exist. As part of a project dubbed The Social Experiment, more than 600 students have given up texting, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter for a weeklong social-media blackout. It ends Sunday night.
Under the rules, students can call each other but until the experiment began Monday, many of them never did.
Cole Sweeten, 17, found out some of his friends are awfully awkward on the phone.
“They don’t know what to say,” he said.
But the Shorewood junior likes getting calls. He prefers a real “Hey, how are you?” to a “Hello” text with a smiley face.
“People sound different when they’re on the phone,” he said. “It’s emotion, not just little lines.”
The idea for The Social Experiment started with Trent Mitchell, a video-production teacher at Shorecrest. In early October, he saw the movie “The Social Network,” a story about the founding of Facebook. Mitchell wondered if his students, who often walked into class heads down, typing away on their phones, could cut themselves off from text and Facebook.
Mitchell, 36, who remembers when big, clunky car phones were the rage in the 1990s, talked to his video-production class and told the students that he didn’t think they could tear themselves away from social media. Then he polled them. Half the students said they could do it; the other half thought it was the worst idea they’d ever heard, he said.
Mitchell pulled in friend and teacher Marty Ballew, Shorewood’s video-production teacher, and together, they created The Social Experiment. The theme?
What was life like in 1995?
“Things are so much different than when we went to school,” said Ballew, 37. “It’s kind of unfathomable, the leap we’ve taken from the early ‘90s to now.”
To promote the project, students made video trailers spoofing “The Social Network” and the Harry Potter series. Video students are documenting the process with confessional videos and interviews with students and staff, some of whom also volunteered to cut themselves off. The schools will combine the results for a final documentary film on the experiment.
Some students went to extremes to make sure they didn’t break the rules. Five Shorewood students handed their cellphones over to Ballew. One girl gave him her Facebook password and asked him to change it for the week to avoid temptation.
The experiment was based mostly on an honor system, but secret spies roamed the halls, sending text messages to students and instant messages to people breaking the rules on Facebook. Answer the text (some students did) and you might get the response: “You’re out of the Social Experiment!”
Kids who make it through the week will be entered in a drawing for a gift card, Mitchell said.
“Some are doing it for a gift card,” Mitchell said. “Some are seriously challenging themselves.”
Count Sweeten among the latter. He has been deleting texts as they come in, but it can be hard to remember he’s not supposed to answer text messages. On the second day, he heard the familiar buzz-buzz, grabbed his phone, ready to hit the button to read the new text message, when he remembered. “No!” he shouted, and dropped the phone to the floor.
“I miss texting,” Sweeten said.
Last year, El Zein was sending or receiving 200 texts per day, or about 6,000 per month. It was enough to get her phone confiscated by her parents for a week. This year, she said, she has averaged 20 to 50 a day, until the past week that is.
It’s been “weird” not checking her e-mail, text and Facebook as soon as she wakes up. But each day has been getting easier. She has gotten more exercise, for one thing.
“I run my dogs, other things I like to do but don’t always do because I spend all my time on Facebook,” she said.
Wytovicz has done chores with his free time, an idea that sounds like it came from his parents, but he claims he wanted to do it. He also figured out activities such as shooting hoops or watching basketball are better distractions than ones that take 10 or 15 minutes, he said.
“Do something that fills time in large segments,” he advised.
Tanner’s mom, Pam LeCount, said cutting out text messages changed how she talks to him during the day. She missed getting quick responses from him. But she also liked getting calls from Tanner and having conversations with him.
“I’ve had more calls from him in these last four days than in six months,” she said.
Yep, google for “facebook fail” some rainy afternoon.
No...your parents first and formost...instruct and teach them well. Love them fully...pray for them and you....and never forget they want a parent far more than a friend. When they get older into their teens and young adults...that is when they can do with some doses of friendship but not at the risk of the parent they will still need.
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