You want to hear something really embarrassing? When I first got on Facebook (yes, I’ll admit, it’s my newest addiction) I found my 22 year old niece and “friended” her. She accepted, and then about 2 weeks later, removed me from her “friends” list!
I just didn’t understand when I first got onto this social networking site that teens and young adults really don’t want you to know what they’re up to (and I have to admit, I wouldn’t have wanted my aunts and uncles — or parents, for that matter — to be my “friend” when I was my niece’s age, either.) Has this happened to you? A recent article by Laura Belkin really breaks this topic down for parents, and is funny, to boot. Check out “When Your Kid Won’t Friend You on Facebook”.
The part I liked best was when she said that some moms had gotten together and formed a group on the site called, “Moms of Kids Who Are Embarrassed They Have a Facebook”.
Now, when I run into my niece at holiday gatherings, we don’t bring up the subject of Facebook, and I pretend like I have no idea that she removed me from her friends list. And wonder of wonders, we talk face to face and have great conversations, without the aid of a social networking site. Imagine that!
As a parent, what do you think is the best way to manage your child’s social networking habit? Do you insist that they “friend” you? How do you handle the privacy issue? Do you have your teen give you their passwords? Please share your best social networking tips with the EP Community!
About Elisabeth Wilkins
Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.