When Dad wants to be your Facebook friend


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By Mark O’Neill

It seems that American teenagers these days are terrified of logging onto Facebook and finding one thing.

Nope, it’s not finding out that they’ve been slaughtered by a ten year old at Scrabulous but instead finding out that that Dad has sent them a friend request!  Oh shock!  Horror!   How will you be able to show yourself in polite society ever again?

What about you?  Would you be mortified if your parents tried to befriend you on your favourite social network?   Or would they be going one step too far poking you on Facebook?





14 Responses to When Dad wants to be your Facebook friend

  1. I totally friended my mom on GigPark.com, which is arguably a social network site, though I suppose the context is somewhat different.

    Facebook's social group is that of hanging out with friends, planning events, tagging party photos… it's like having your parent with you at a house party, only virtually. Probably not the best fit.

    GigPark, a social network for getting recommendations, is an excellent place to friend your parents, because one normally trusts their advice (having a teenager ask their own parents for advice over a website is probably a matter of concern though).

    Similarly, I think my mom would make an excellent Digg/Reddit/StumbleUpon friend, as I'm sure she'd vote up my every submission :)

  2. I totally friended my mom on GigPark.com, which is arguably a social network site, though I suppose the context is somewhat different.

    Facebook's social group is that of hanging out with friends, planning events, tagging party photos… it's like having your parent with you at a house party, only virtually. Probably not the best fit.

    GigPark, a social network for getting recommendations, is an excellent place to friend your parents, because one normally trusts their advice (having a teenager ask their own parents for advice over a website is probably a matter of concern though).

    Similarly, I think my mom would make an excellent Digg/Reddit/StumbleUpon friend, as I'm sure she'd vote up my every submission :)

  3. My Mom has been a friend on facebook and myspace for sometime now and I find it quite common amongst my other friends. I'm 24 so perhaps that has something to do with it but I don't see the issue with associating with your parents in a social way. Heck, everyone was young once, why not treat all age groups equally. I through parties where my parents and their friends are welcome too and it makes everything way more fun. Older people have the best booze, best stereos and the best food.

  4. My Mom has been a friend on facebook and myspace for sometime now and I find it quite common amongst my other friends. I’m 24 so perhaps that has something to do with it but I don’t see the issue with associating with your parents in a social way. Heck, everyone was young once, why not treat all age groups equally. I through parties where my parents and their friends are welcome too and it makes everything way more fun. Older people have the best booze, best stereos and the best food.

  5. My son was not allowed to be on myspace unless I was his friend. When his friends had pics of stuff that high school kids shouldn't be doing, and I asked him about it, he threatened to un-friend me. I told him if he un-friended me he would not be able to be on the Internet anymore. He called me the worst friend ever. I reminded him I wasn't his friend, I am his mom.

    Now he's in college, and we are friends on Facebook. I remind him now when he gets tagged in pics that employers are going to look him up on Facebook. I think he is starting to listen to me about that.

    I think parents are crazy if they don't make it a rule that their kids have to friend them (if they are underage).

    • I'm sorry, but that is just plain ridiculous. Yes, it's up to the parents to educate their kids about the (future) "dangers" of posting just about anything on profile pages, but that doesn't mean you have to watch their every move imho.

      What happened to relationships based on trust (even if your kids are still underage)? Being overprotective (read: playing Big Brother) won't really help…

  6. My son was not allowed to be on myspace unless I was his friend. When his friends had pics of stuff that high school kids shouldn’t be doing, and I asked him about it, he threatened to un-friend me. I told him if he un-friended me he would not be able to be on the Internet anymore. He called me the worst friend ever. I reminded him I wasn’t his friend, I am his mom.

    Now he’s in college, and we are friends on Facebook. I remind him now when he gets tagged in pics that employers are going to look him up on Facebook. I think he is starting to listen to me about that.

    I think parents are crazy if they don’t make it a rule that their kids have to friend them (if they are underage).

    • I’m sorry, but that is just plain ridiculous. Yes, it’s up to the parents to educate their kids about the (future) “dangers” of posting just about anything on profile pages, but that doesn’t mean you have to watch their every move imho.

      What happened to relationships based on trust (even if your kids are still underage)? Being overprotective (read: playing Big Brother) won’t really help…

  7. And what happens when your kid runs off with an adult?

    I never told him not to be friends with people, I never told him not to say or do certain things. But I did keep my eye on him, and I knew what he was doing. So, if I saw pictures of kids that hung out at our house drinking or smoking weed, we would sit down and talk about it.

    14 and 15 year olds shouldn't be totally trusted. Its our responsibility to watch them, to be "Big Brother". Then it's our job to ease up on them when they can prove they know what they are doing.

  8. And what happens when your kid runs off with an adult?

    I never told him not to be friends with people, I never told him not to say or do certain things. But I did keep my eye on him, and I knew what he was doing. So, if I saw pictures of kids that hung out at our house drinking or smoking weed, we would sit down and talk about it.

    14 and 15 year olds shouldn’t be totally trusted. Its our responsibility to watch them, to be “Big Brother”. Then it’s our job to ease up on them when they can prove they know what they are doing.

  9. I am fine with having my parents friend me on my facebook. While my dad was in Iraq it was an easy way for me to communicate with him, and the feature to block access to certain posts (such as my friends posts and/or my own) to specific users allowed me to friend my grandma as well without worry about them seeing everything going on pertaining to my social life.

    Since they all only use facebook, I can use my myspace to talk about anything I want without any worry, so it balances itself out.

  10. I am fine with having my parents friend me on my facebook. While my dad was in Iraq it was an easy way for me to communicate with him, and the feature to block access to certain posts (such as my friends posts and/or my own) to specific users allowed me to friend my grandma as well without worry about them seeing everything going on pertaining to my social life.

    Since they all only use facebook, I can use my myspace to talk about anything I want without any worry, so it balances itself out.