Now this is an interesting topic…
“How do I sign up for this Facebook business?”
“How do I make a profile on that FaceSpace?”
“Can you help me put my face on that online book malarkey?”
OK, so maybe not the last one… but these are likely questions that your Mum or Dad may have asked you in the past and left you with your head in your hands – ‘what an embarrassment.’
However, now that Facebook is fast becoming almost as popular with the generation above us as it is with the youth, these questions have been answered and now many adults are able to navigate these social networking sites comfortably.
“Friends” on Facebook can now vary from life-long acquaintances to someone whom you simply “bumped into” in a nightclub (I’ll say no more…) or someone you maybe met at a business conference. You may be Facebook friends with your old school teachers, perhaps your dog walker or possibly even your boss, but friending your Mum and Dad? Well that’s a whole new ballgame…
It is common for adolescent to be friends with their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, cousins and other relations, but the actual family members that brought you into the world create hesitations when they request to join the ‘cyber clan’.
Panic strikes when that notification pops up in the corner of the screen. The time has come. They want to enter ‘the zone.’ There is a lot of online discussion as to whether it is ‘right or wrong’ to be friends with your parents / children on Facebook and I feel the image below summarises the many factors that need to be considered brilliantly.
Parents can find it bemusing or even sometimes upsetting that their own children don’t want to be ‘friends’ with them – a ridiculous concept in their mind. In defence, children can argue that there’s no point to having an online friendship: of course their parents know what’s going on in their lives – they live with them.
However some children do accept their parents as friends but impose certain (often strict) guidelines which they may follow. These could be not allowing them to post on their ‘walls’, no commenting and no excessive ‘liking.’
Other children who also accept the requests, may just choose to alter privacy settings and viewing privileges to make sure that their parents are only seeing what they want them to see – no soppy relationship statuses, no drunken club-night photos and no access to the excess of colourful language that may exist.
It’s a tricky debate – should parents just stick to being family, or should they have a right to see what everyone else is seeing on their profile?
I’d be interested to hear you opinion on this particular matter – please feel free to comment below and join in the discussion.
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