To the great consternation of my 25 year-old roommate, her mother friended her on Facebook.
Then came a deluge of wall postings – “Its your mom! I see all your pictures” and “who is that hot boy that wrote you a comment! Is he single??”
She was oblivious to my friend’s agonized embarrassment (to the great amusement of the rest of us).
Not all Facebook moms are insensitive to a kid’s need for privacy. In a hilarious New York Times piece, ‘omg my mom joined facebook!!’, a mother incites the wrath of her teenage daughter just by signing up. The daughter refuses to friend her and retaliates with a menacing instant chat: “You won’t get away with this…everyone in the whole world thinks its super creepy when adults have facebooks.”
According to ReadWriteWeb, Facebook hit an astounding 100 million members in August. In September 2006, Facebook opened its membership (beyond college students) and with it the floodgates of parental involvement were opened.
As a testament to this fact, parenting experts have recently begun to weigh in on Facebook and the friending of children. Meanwhile, kids have spawned tons of groups dedicated to shunning those same parents like “What Happens in College Stays in College: Keep Parents Off Facebook!” (joined by over 500 people). This actually sounds like pretty standard teen/parental interaction to me…
More and more parents are flocking to Facebook – with or without the consent of their kids. In a 2007 comScore study, membership by users over age 35 rose 98% (users ages 24-34 rose 181%). This means Facebook’s demographics are resembling that of the Internet at large. Parents are also starting to form their own social networks in their age ranges and interests (for example the FB support group “Single Parent Connection”). These groups may actually let parents hone other interests and build relationships outside the home…I think kids are giving their parents a bum rap…its not all about you!
Regardless of your age, I get that it is disconcerting to have Mom or Dad unexpectedly pop up in your social space. Yes, some parents will insert themselves into the lives of their kids. However, isn’t that what the limited profile was invented for?
Is your Mom or Dad on Facebook?
What other awkward friend requests have YOU dealt with?