Looking to find a free Mother’s Day gift – social media might have the answer

Posted on May 4, 2010

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With Mother’s Day approaching, there will be many children taking their moms to brunch, giving Hallmark cards, and possibly presenting mom with a gift that she does not really need or want. Well, there is one elusive present for the mom who has everything and it is right under our noses. Friending mom on Facebook.

Recent research by Retrevo shows that not quite half (48%) of children are friends with a parent on facebook. It does not matter whether one lives in Philadelphia or Los Angeles, the issue is the same nationally. To friend or not to friend that is the question.

Some argue that friending between a parent and child invades privacy on both sides. Others argue that facebook becomes a replacement for real conversation so why friend? Then, there are parents who feel that since they pay the Internet bill that supercedes all rights to a child making a friending decision. A quote by Bill Cosby (aka Dr. Huxtable) comes to mind, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.”

Following are some areas to consider that may help so that to enhance the parent-child relationship with regard to the area of friending:

  • Parent and child have an offline, heart-to-heart conversation about the friending topic.
  • Consider the age and maturity of a child when dealing with the friending issue
  • Discuss upfront rules and etquette (i.e. vulgar language, nudity, hurtful comments, bullying)
  • Parent agrees not to populate their kid’s news feed with lots of commentary
  • No parent lecturing online
  • Parents agree not to friend the friends of a child where there is minimal relationship
  • Facebook is not a replacement for real conversation
  • Be consistent and share the same values online as one would share offline

As often is the case in life, we have come 360 degrees full circle. Therefore, as we approach Mother’s Day, how do you feel about parent and child friending on facebook?

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Posted in: social media