Facebook Tips for Parents of Adult Children

DISCLAIMER: The following is intended as a light-hearted yet useful guide for those parents of adult children who are just now dipping their toes into the intoxicating and shark-filled waters of social networking. Because Facebook is not all chaos and pictures of sleepy kittens—there’s actually some general etiquette to be observed, especially when it comes to contacting your children or younger family members. So here’s just a little peek into that set of manners and expectations and status updates and the future. Enjoy!

.

.

1.       The Facebook friend request you sent to your child was likely accepted with a sense of resigned obligation. MerylOf course your child loves you! She is well aware of all the sacrifices you made for her and thus can’t say no to a friend request from you. But nobody really wants to be Facebook friends with their parents. Would you? (Okay, not you, Meryl Streep’s kid… that mama’s got no flaws!)

.

.

2.       When communicating on Facebook, your child is her “social” self (reserved for friends, colleagues, people who understand what “blerg” means…), not her “family” self (reserved for you and you alone, in which she loves you unconditionally whilst whining a lot and ungraciously accepting all foodstuffs). Your kid is probably uncomfortable with your seeing her social self exposed, so please treat Facebook’s rare disclosure of her personality with care and subtlety… or you could end up on your kiddo’s “blocked” list.

.

.

3.       Every time you “like” or comment on something your child does on Facebook, it makes her feel like she’s being monitored, and also like she has revealed something you weren’t supposed to see— as though you are a nun that she accidentally flashed or a puppy she accidentally fed booze to or something. So please “like”/comment sparingly.

.

.

4.       If you comment on your child’s (or anyone’s…) Facebook status, it should pertain to what the status says, not what time you’re going to call them that night or how much you love them. Keep comments on focus. Personal emails are the appropriate place for the other stuff, especially emotional goopiness, xoxo.

.

.

5.       Refrain from mentioning your child in your own Facebook status updates unless your child has a history of callously mentioning you in hers (in which case, go to town, talk about her all you like— eye for an eye, status for a status!). Facebook updates are a place to share your personal thoughts about movies, food, politics, the weather… but talking about someone else in there can be like talking about them behind their back. Yes, even if you’re saying something nice when you mention your kiddo in a status update, most people I know are not too jazzed about that kind of shout-out. Except if they’re a Kardashian, then it’s fine. No such thing as bad publicity for those chicks.

.

.

6.    You should know that Facebook makes it so that everyone can see what you’re doing all the time. It broadcasts what Youtube video you just watched via Facebook, what product you just “liked,” whose wall you just posted on… it’s all out there in public. So. Yeah. Be hip to that the next time you “like” eighteen images of funny dog faces with captions like, “STRESSS???? WHAT STRESS????” Because, you see, there’s this thing called “Facebook clutter”…

.

.

7.       People have different philosophies about whom to “friend” on Facebook. Some never add any co-workers (because Facebook stuff can sometimes be detrimental to professional reputations); some people “friend” every single person they’ve ever heard of. There are all sorts. So if someone doesn’t accept your friend request, don’t keep asking to be his friend. He might have ignored your request for good reason…  or not a good reason. Either way, it’s his prerogative!

.

.

8.       Friending your kids’ friends. Please don’t. (Except for you, Dale! Ooh, and Lorne! Hi hi hiiii! I love being friends with you guys on FB! Not kidding!)

.

.

9.       There is this thing called “Creeping” and it’s when you spend too much time looking at someone else’s photos and information on Facebook. Just saying.

.

.

10.   [And, since this is my blog and not a Facebook status update, I can say what I like, so:] Love you, Mum and Dad! Call me later! Please don’t be upset about these rules, I just want you to know what’s up with this crazy thing called the interwebs. xoxo

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s