So, there is an ongoing debate in my house about the rules of engagement on Facebook. Rules for parents, that is…when friends of your children request to be your friend.
To friend or not to friend…that is the question?
According to our kids there is a “rule” that applies to us parents that we are “stalking” if we comment on our kids friend’s walls or we message any of their friends. Having trouble following all the rules? It seems like our children are giving us more rules than we give them these days.
Here’s how I see it. If one of your kids friends decides you are cool enough to be on their inner Facebook friends circle, I say, friend them back. Now some may say that is “weird” or “hey man, you aren’t a teenager anymore, stop living your teen life vicariously through your kids”. My response to them is this, “Listen man, just because you aren’t cool enough to have your kids friends friend you then you should work on being cooler.”
But seriously, the whole “friending” thing isn’t because we (parents) are creepy or stalking. At least I hope that isn’t why you’re on Facebook! Under no circumstances is that acceptable.
Here’s the deal, the rules changed when Facebook opened the community up from the college setting to everyone, everywhere! The fact that parents can stay engaged with their kids, in a community, is a good thing. Of course there are privacy settings and some kids are purposely limiting what they want their parents to see even if they are both friends. Respect goes both ways and you can definitely use this as an opportunity to connect with your kids and their friends.
The Onion News Network has a great take on the whole Parents on Facebook debate! (PG Rating)
So what do you think…To Friend or not Friend- your kids Friends? Let me know.
May be Will Smith said it best “Parents Just Don’t Understand”?
Here is another BIG opportunity for you as a parent…definitely talk with your kids about the rules of social media. Do NOT assume that they know the rules. If you don’t know the rules, feel free to give me a call and I will tell you. In general, the whole world is potentially watching what is being said, by anyone. Know the limits of the uses for the Facebook community.…and know that there are consequences for your actions. This lesson applies to everyone.
“What consequences could there be,” you ask? Just to share a few: You might not get that job you applied for based on something conflicting on your FB page. Or you may not get into your college of choice based on something seen on your FB page. Or you some kids have been suspended based on pictures seen on their FB pages…and the list goes on.
Here ends my lesson on Parenting.
Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is founder of ÜberBluerDM, Inc., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing, reporting and social media staffing and temps for businesses to build their social media success.