Moms, Dads, And The Rules Of Social Networking

    June 7, 2007

In the hierarchy of social networks, Facebook ranks higher than MySpace, isn’t quite as adult as something like LinkedIn, and yet appears to be accessible from both sides.  This has created some interesting situations as parents embrace what used to be the domain of their children.

Michelle Slatalla of the New York Times recently had an experience of that sort; she details it in an article called “‘omg my mom joined facebook!!’”  If you couldn’t guess from that title, Slatalla created a profile on the social networking site, much to her daughter’s dismay.

The piece goes on to explore a parent’s role in Facebook – the sort of information the adult may gain access to if his (or her) children (or their children’s friends) care to share.  And although I’m sure Slatalla’s daughter is very well behaved, the general topic brought to mind another bit of news in which police prevented a large (and probably illegal) party by monitoring Facebook.

Still, online relationships between parents and their offspring apparently don’t need to relate to law enforcement; Slatalla seemed happy to report that her daughter finally accepted her overture of Facebook friendship.

Facebook for adults is fine – even (reputedly) stodgy old politicians use it.  Facebook for parents is a trickier matter, but it appears that it may be worth looking into.