So Your Kid Won’t “Friend” You on Facebook?

Facebook, Inc.

Thanks to writer Liz Seegert (who is also the mom of a teenage son) for telling me about a terrific article by Lisa Belkin in The New York Times Magazine: "When Your Kid Won't 'Friend' You."

Belkin talks about joining a Facebook group called “Moms of Kids Who are Embarrassed They Have a Facebook.” Apparently its ranks are growing quickly.

How old should a kid be before joining Facebook or another social-media site? Is it strictly his business what he does there — or are you, as a parent, obligated to see what's on his page and to make sure he's making good decisions, not giving out too much personal information, not posting something that might hurt his chances of getting a job after college, etc? (Man, life used to be so much simpler, didn't it?)

I had no idea how wide-ranging the opinions are on this topic until I started reading the comment after Belkin's piece. Let's just say there's no clear agreement here. But reading others' thoughts on the subject might help you look at all the issues and decide what's right for your kid.

And, really, with all the craziness surrounding kids and Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Who-Knows-What-Will-Be-Invented-Tomorrow, that's all we can do, right? Look at all sides of the issue, try to put pressure (from our kids, their peers, other parents, the media) aside and decide what's best for our family.

Hey, nobody ever said this parenting thing would be easy.

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2 Responses to “So Your Kid Won’t “Friend” You on Facebook?”

  1. My son needs to spend a great deal of time in his cave, from a Myers-Briggs standpoint. When he was younger, one of the few ways I could connect with him was to be a MySpace Friend. Now he’s 20 and we’ve graduated to Twitter et al. What matters isn’t whether you’re Friended but what you do with that relationship; it’s a “pick your battles” situation. If you act the cop, you’ll get less than if you lurk and see what’s really going on. The minute you draw attention to yourself via Their Page, you’ve blown it.

  2. Kathy Sena says:

    Robyn, what great insight and advice from someone who has been there! Thanks so much for posting this comment.