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  1. #1
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    Do You Friend Your Kids on Facebook?

    I just found a link to this article in my news feed. It raises some interesting questions about intergenerational "friending" or following on social media (not just Facebook, but also sites like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.).

    Should You Friend Your Grown Kids on Facebook?
    by Jane Adams Ph.D., Psychology Today
    September 22, 2017

    How has social media changed our lives? At the public level, Facebook and Twitter have largely shaped an alternative (as opposed to mainstream) political, cultural, and international narrative. On a more personal level, it has changed not only the way the generations communicate with but also about each other. And it makes managing the most personal privacy boundaries a source of friction in many families.

    Recent research indicates that Facebook use, privacy concern and privacy protection changes over time. In middle adulthood, (40-65) there is greater concern about privacy than in emerging or young adulthood. Yet these users reportedly use privacy settings less frequently than their teenage and older children do. The choice for more or less privacy may differ according to specifics and influences how interpersonal boundaries are negotiated. In the 40-65 group, a third never adapted their privacy settings during the previous year and even fewer changed their settings more than two times.

    This could be partially explained by the finding that middle adults are less technically savvy than younger users, but family and personal boundary style also influence privacy concern. Many parents complain that the only way they know what their grown kids are doing is on Facebook, and just as many of their children are mystified by their reaction: ?I didn?t mention a trip I took to Mexico, but a friend who was there tagged me in a picture so she saw it and acted like I?d kept a huge secret from her,? said one. The mother of a FB-using 27 year old is an intensely private person who eschews social media, and was horrified to be informed of what she considered confidential family matters in a Facebook shout-out to her daughter that popped up on the newsfeed of a good friend who is also a FB friend of her daughter?s. A different perspective comes from the 62 year old mother of two adult children, ?I would never friend my kids on FB; I consider that a boundary violation,? she said. Yet, from her own Facebook account, she occasionally sees their public posts, especially when they?re traveling ? ?It?s like going with them,? she says.
    I was actually introduced to using Facebook by my youngest son when he was a teen. At the time, I was quite pleased that he had asked to "friend" me; it felt like an honor, a display of trust. Some time later, I learned that it was actually an accident: He had asked Facebook to send friend requests to all of his contact list, forgetting that I was on that list.

    But I found it to be a useful site for another reason: My family of origin is quite large and overtime as my siblings had children and their children had children, the extended family has become very large indeed - and also very scattered. We now have family members in various parts of Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, and even Asia. Social networking sites have become very useful for family members to keep up on the latest news and happenings.

    I should point out though that some members of the extended family have little or no interest in social networking; they simply choose not to participate.

    What do you think about this issue? Do you keep in touch with extended family members via social media? Do you keep in touch with your children or grandchildren via social media? Or do you think that's too intrusive and/or would expose you to more than you want to know about your family?

  2. #2
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    Re: Do You Friend Your Kids on Facebook?

    I'm friends with my kids on FB.It has its good points and its bad points.Sometimes they post things I wish I hadn't seen or could un-see,but for the most part I like seeing what they're up to and knowing they're ok.(I also love that messenger shows how recent they were active when I haven't heard from them and am worrying about them).I also learn things about them too,their likes and dislikes,things they don't really share with me,being their mother.

    I'm also friends with some extended family but it seems/feels more like obligatory friendships because we don't really interact with each other at all.But I do enjoy seeing pictures of their families.

    I don't like that the only way to know if someone has passed away,has got married or has been sick,injured or whatever is through social media.If it wasn't for that I do believe I would avoid all social media completely.It's actually become a necessity though.

  3. #3
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    Re: Do You Friend Your Kids on Facebook?

    Since I've been on Facebook, I've also recontacted friends, people I went to school with or worked with in the past, some that I hadn't heard from in many years. I've learned to like that part of it as well.

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