To Friend or Not to Friend a Parent on Facebook

My sister recently was extremely insulted when her son de-friended her on Facebook. It’s hard to argue that being our teen’s friend gives us insight into his or her world  and gives us a way to snoop on what they and their friends are up to.

In an article I read online, I enjoyed hearing teens’ thoughts on whether or not to friend your parent and thought I’d share it with you. Let me know what you think about these teens arguments for and against it.

 

To friend or not to friend parents on Facebook

New York Times | Nov 29, 2011, 04.14PM IST

Been a few days since your teenage son or daughter responded to your request to be friends on Facebook?
Whether that query gets accepted with a ”sure, duh” or becomes a point of contention depends on what kind of relationship parents and their children have ”in real life,” experts say. Are your children able to confide in you about the everyday happenings in their lives, as well as problems they may have encountered?

”If you don’t have that degree of trust off-line, you won’t get it online,” says Steve Jones, aUniversity of Illinois at Chicagocommunications professor who specializes in new media. ”The chances of your kid wanting to be your friend on Facebook and share stuff with you online is almost nil.”

Families are dealing with the social media issue in a number of ways, from insisting to be friended so they can monitor their children to spending time online together and sharing tentative Facebook friendships.

Becca Hansen’s mom seemed shocked when the 17-year-old accepted her friend request.

”I guess she expected me to deny her or something, but I friended her right away because I already tell her everything,” says Hansen, adding that her mom is also friends with her boyfriend and best girlfriend. ”She knows when I go to parties and who I hang out with. My friends think I’m kinda crazy for being so close with her.”
On the other hand, Shelby Crumley, 15, isn’t friends with her mom on Facebook, and her mother has never asked to be. Instead, Vivien Crumley, 53, takes a different approach: Every once in a while, she will look over Shelby’s shoulder while she’s on Facebook at the communal laptop in the kitchen and ask her questions.

”It doesn’t bother me as long as she’s not doing that every day,” says Shelby. ”Sometimes she will ask about what someone just said to me and what it means, or if she sees a name she doesn’t recognize she will ask me who it is.”

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