Libby Cornelssen ’12
Assistant Business Manager
We’ve all felt secondhand embarrassment for that guy whose parent, aunt, uncle – really any adult in their lives – excessively comments on their Facebook pictures or “likes” their status updates. I’m sure many of us have cringed while reading the “Wow! You’re really starting to look like a man” or “This reminds me of when you were rolling around in diapers” comments.
It is inevitable – you spend hours a day on this social networking website as your parents sit by, bored by their corporate emails. Next thing you know, they’re typing away and glued to their keyboards. Before you can even look over to see what the fuss is about, you have a new friend request: your mom.
Yes, it’s embarrassing and annoying. And it is technically a website directed towards high school students, college students, and occassionally graduate students. However, today’s adult generation has emerged onto this territory quickly, and certainly not unnoticed.
Some families have agreements about whether or not parents and their children will be “friends” on Facebook. Other kids just refuse to answer the ever-present “friend request”. The unlucky ones sit by as they watch their parents “friend” every student in their grade and write messages on their “wall” for all to see.
There should always be a certain level of privacy in the children’s relationships with the adults in their lives. The teenage years are not always full of events we want to share with our parents. Although it’s definitely acceptable for adults to enjoy themselves on Facebook along with a majority of the planet, there must remain a measure of privacy.
Without this, there is a risk of unwanted information falling into the hands of worried parents. For example: a picture, a status, or a wall-post. These snip-its of information give an insight for parents to gain knowledge of their teenager’s life. And unless the teenager has told their parents these private details of their daily life, this possession of knowledge is as invasive as a parent’s reading of their child’s diary.
However, a prominent issue that arises from this discussion is the lack of privacy given to internet users. Although it is important for parents to allow their children a certain level of distance and independence in their internet world, children should remember to censor themselves and their internet activity. The privacy parents allow children should not permit them to post whatever pictures or comments they want to. The danger of the Internet is that its accessibility allows users to post in less than a second, and leave their indelible mark forever on the internet world.
So yes, parents – please try to allow children some independence in those awkward teenage years. But importantly, kids: think before you post. Its important to remember the dangers and as you sign onto the universally recognizable www.facebook.com, remember to proceed with caution.