For some parents just having passwords isn’t enough. They want to be their kid’s “friend” too.
A new study on social networking trends and practice found that 16 percent of teens say friending their parents was a precondition for joining the social networking site.
” ‘Facebook continues to be the new frontier in the ever-evolving relationship between parent and child,’ said Kristen Campbell of Kaplan Test Prep, which conducted the study.”
“Although roughly two-thirds of U.S. teenagers feel at ease having their parents friend them on Facebook, for many teens getting friended by their parents is like, OMG, sharing a tender moment with them in public.”
“Andrea Shelton has personal experience with this when she posted “Spencer, you’re the man,” recently on his wall.”
“ ‘I thought it was cute,’ said Shelton, a resident of Buckhead. ‘He was mortified and I learned a lesson: lay low, mama.’…
“Shelton, who admittedly was late coming to the site, said that friending children was some of the best advice she’d gotten.”“ ‘As much as I’d like to withdraw from this cyberworld, we’ve been thrust into it,’ she said.”
“As it were, Shelton and other parents said they’ve taken a more proactive stance and counseled against engaging in course talk or bulling, for instance, and warned that ‘whatever you put out there a future employer can use it against you.’ ”
“ ‘So far so good,’ Shelton said. ‘My big worry is what if he has another cyber- life I don’t know about.’ ”
“Then in another breath she said that in a few years, ‘Facebook is going to seem like nothing compared to driving. I understand my prayer life will increase at that moment.’ “
While Friending may seem like an easy solution, my resident Facebook expert – Michael—says that through privacy settings and lists you can keep certain people from seeing certain status updates or photos. He says you can save the setting to click on hide from the same people every time.
The AJC story reports:
“The study found that 65 percent of teens “are not hiding and that is positive,” said Campbell, an executive director at the company that develops college prep programs.”
“A separate survey of 973 high school students reported that of teens who said their parents were on Facebook, 56 percent provided their parents with full profile access — status updates, party photos and all — than with no access at all. Only 9 percent of teens gave their parents limited access. (The survey was conducted by e-mail of 2,313 Kaplan Test Prep students who took the SAT and/or ACT between June 2010 and December 2010”….
I recently Friended my favorite babysitter who went off to college this year. I didn’t ask her at the beginning of the year because I didn’t want her thinking the creepy 38-year-old lady is being a busy body. But she called me over Christmas break to check in and we had a lovely hour-long talk, and I wanted to show her photos of the “baby” so I just Friended her and she accepted. It is nice to be able to talk with her and for her to see my photos of the kids. I am helping her with some career contacts so Facebook makes that easier. I do like looking at her photos from college. They make me wistful. Nothing bad going on at all – she’s such a good girl.
I am also on Facebook with a 20-year-old friend who is a nanny for some kids at our school. (She texts me a lot so I am learning about texting from her.) Her posts and photos are all benign but what I have noticed is that none of her friends have any protection on their pages. I can look at all their photos. They need to change their privacy settings.
So have you required your kids to be your “friend” on Facebook? Why or why not? Do you comment on things? (Even at my age it’s funny when moms comment on their kids’ pages. They always say crazy things. I have one friend from high school whose mom is constantly harassing him to call her. It makes me laugh. I am also Friends with a lot of my friends’ moms on Facebook. I enjoy keeping in touch with the moms I grew up around. I especially enjoy one of my college roommate’s moms. She is always working on interesting things.)