If you have a teenager, you’re probably well-versed in how important the Internet is to the social life of a high schooler. Most teenagers have Facebook accounts and spend many hours per week on the computer. It’s a trend that isn’t going away. You might even have a Facebook page of your own. But does that mean you have to be “friends” with your teenager? Some parents very closely monitor the computer usage of their teenagers and others don’t bother. Where do you fall on the spectrum? A teenager’s Facebook page is a very personal place, and if you’re friends with them, you’ll have access to it. As a parent, you may think it’s a good idea. It’s not. Some things should remain sacred, and your child’s Facebook page is one of them. Under no circumstances should you friend your teenager on Facebook. If you do, you’ll probably end up regretting it very quickly. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t go there.
Do You Really Want to Know What They’re Doing?
Teenagers use Facebook to post and comment on all types of teenage things. They’ll post pictures of the weekend parties, talk about relationships, say things they think are “cool,” and much more. Do you really want to be able to see all that? Being able to view your teen’s Facebook page may grant you too high a level of access into their personal life. Many things may not warrant parental intervention, but seeing them may make you uncomfortable.
Do You Really Want to Know What Their Friends are Doing?
Teens use Facebook to communicate with each other all the time. Not only will you have unnecessary access to the comments of your own teenager, you’ll also be viewing the wall posts, status comments and photos of their friends, too. If you’re not ready to see your teenager’s closest buddies in a new light, you shouldn’t be friends with your teen on Facebook.
You’ll Make Them Censor Themselves
If you’re friends with your teen on Facebook, you better believe they’ll censor their page for you. They’ll think twice about everything they post. They’ll first evaluate if it’s something they’re okay with you seeing or not. While it’s a good thing for them to be discerning with what they post, you don’t want to be the sole reason they have to censor themselves. Let your teen be a teen. They’ll be able to enjoy their social networking experience more if you’re not watching so closely.
You’ll Have to Censor Yourself
You’ll also have to make sure your page is appropriate for your teen to see, too. You won’t be able to post anything you don’t want them to see, like things they could make fun of or be upset by. But you have a personal life, too, and you don’t want to censor yourself, either. If you don’t friend your teen, you won’t have to worry about it. You can be yourself and enjoy Facebook without worrying about constantly playing the part of parent and role model.
Terry Ford wants to remind you that Facebook can be fun if you play carefully and always use a Grammar Checker.