While some of us might draw a line at breaking into our adult children’s email accounts, what about their Facebook page? What about snooping or asking to “friend” them?
And suppose you ask and they turn you down?
A Wall Street Journal article about helicopter parents hovering on Facebook started with an anecdote about a father telling his college son to stop complaining about being broke. Where the cash was flowing was obvious from the son’s Facebook partying pix. The result: the son “unfriended” Dad!
That raises the question of whether “friending” your adult child such as good idea to begin with. I have not friended my college student daughter and 27-year old son. I’m sure that they have plenty of FB photos that are innocuous; I am also sure they’ve posted others they rather not have mom closely studying. And that’s okay. Long before FB there were plenty of ways to gauge if trouble was brewing from moods, to grades, to friends, to lack or excess of social life.
Besides, FB pages are not just photos of Animal House partying. The endless status updates frankly is not all that interesting: Most is mundane stuff: what they are doing, eating, thinking. Hovering that closely can tempt us to turn into a nags: What do you mean you’re watching Law and Order reruns? Don’t you have a bio test tomorrow? Have you eaten any vegetables lately?
In the comments on the article, one mom noted that FB help her “stay aware” of what was going on in her son’s life. This might be hearsay in our tech age of twitter, texting and e-mail, but telephoning is still a great way to connect. Just make sure it’s not in the middle of that bio test.