Just a few short years ago (okay, maybe almost 10 years ago), a bright-eyed college Freshman received a request through her student email to join something called Facebook. Who would have known that the social media website that only select colleges were using would turn into the chaotic craziness of updates, photos, and other choice media posts your aunt decided was “funny.”
Every year, a new generation and group of kiddos sign-up for free, ready to connect with the old and new friends they just made as the new school year starts. With this, you may even “friend” you new Facebook-using child to make sure an eye of protection is always on them. It’s great that you want to keep them safe, and it’s awesome if they even accept your Friend Request, yet blogger Nicole Fabian-Weber hints at a few guidelines you may want to put up for yourself while your “friends” with your child on the social media site:
1. Don’t “like” everything your kid posts. Your child needn’t be reminded that you’re looking at everything they do online 24:7 every time they post something.
2. Don’t comment on everything your kid posts. And at the same time, no need for your kid’s friends to be privy to a million online “conversations” you have. A few here and there are sufficient.
3. Don’t become friends with all of your teen’s friends. The purpose is to be connected with your child, not your child’s friends. Befriending all of your kid’s friends is the virtual equivalent of being the mom who barges into her child’s room when her friends are over to “get the gossip” a la Amy Poehler’s character in Mean Girls.
4. Don’t embarrass your kid. All parents love showing off their kids online. But if you’re actually friends with your child on Facebook, try to refrain from posting old naked baby photos of them.
5. Don’t stalk. The fact that your kid has agreed to be friends with you says a lot. Try to respect that. Don’t spend every waking moment perusing their profile for anything incriminating.
6. Don’t tag your kid in photos without asking. This is common Facebook etiquette, but it’s all the more important when dealing with your child.
7. Don’t post 100 times a day. Nobody likes the person who clogs up their newsfeed. Especially your kid. Not cool, Mom and Dad.