Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My parents added me on facebook! YIKES! Delete.

an ageless discussion, with links, comments and feedback...

"remove from friends"
A couple of my friends asked me if their kids were still facebook friends with me as they found themselves deleted and off their kids list! Having major abandonment issues myself I can imagine the fear, shame and hurt the parents feel and for anyone I guess who gets deleted or blocked as an online friend. I currently have over 2,300 friends on facebook and have not blocked or hidden any single one of them, just some of those dang games and applications like farmville! HA HA

Made me think about the many times I have encountered sensitive privileged information said by my friends kids and my younger friends on facebook. Or how do I deal with comments that possibly go way past the decency line on a public social networking blog like my facebook wall that has a huge demographic age spread, that might offend some people. I know a few times people take aim at what I say in my posts or the fan pages and groups I join.

Here is an example, one facebook friend said he was a "virgin" on my facebook wall, and wanted to WIN some of the 10 Vancouver Fashion Week tickets I was giving away in a contest. My alarm bells went off. You see, I have many great young friends on facebook AND their parents too! Was I over reacting? I mean its a Madonna song!

Another time, a friend innocently posted a humour story involving a young man with autism and I panicked cause I have a huge network of friends on facebook who struggle with the challenges of autism in their lives? Was I over reacting? It wasn't like they were saying hey faggot go die!

I decided to directly facebook email the persons involed to ask them their opinion given my circumstances. Not only do I have a huge spectrum of ages on my facebook profile, but also artists, musicians, business leaders, politicians and more. Surely someone is going to be offended!

I know I have often been privy to extremely confidential information from people of all ages and I keep it to myself, but sometimes, on rare blue moon occasions, when people start blogging messages that border on suicide and depression I have stepped in to alert family and friends, often finding myself the brunt of anger or greatly appreciated for giving a shit.

Other times I just offer the other person someone to vent with and yell at, or a friend who will listen and chat it out with. Sometimes I find a lot of friends and young people on facebook reaching out to me, who just want to chat and say hello and share what's on their mind. I have also noticed their is a certain number of people who are being bullied or are unique, creative talents, and so often find themselves as outcasts, and they reach out to me to talk and support each other. I couldn't be happier as I often feel that I am an outcast, so can maybe learn, grow, and share my experience and theirs.

A media website I subscribe too sent me an inquiry which I felt raised a good question which I often find myself in, and I decided to ask it on my facebook profile and see what kind of response I got.

TEENS, PARENTS & FACEBOOK??? What's your opinion?
Especially want to hear from young people!!!
"Teens today are pouring their hearts out on Facebook. While they might friend their aunts, uncles and other adult relatives, chances are they haven't friended their parents. What should the "friended" adults do if they see a ...status update or photos that are concerning? Do they tell the parents or approach the kids or say nothing? Social media has introduced some gotchas that people have to navigate carefully," from helpareporter

2 likes 13 comments

Jennifer Rogers
It is pretty sad to see our teens not adding their parents as friends on FB. I am quite outspoken and if I found out that there was a serious problem with one of my son's peers and knew his parents did not know - I would contact them with my concerns, but I am sure this does not happen in most cases unfortunately.

Micha Bruecker
That is likely one of the reasons why teens use a bit of caution around befriending the FBI (FaceBook Inquisition) ;-)

However, I know many teens who are aware of the publicity of FB, use it accordingly and therefore have no problem being "friends" with their own parents or the parents of their peers. After all, the monitoring of FB by the "elders" can and does function as a safety net if done respectfully.

I would contact the person whom I'm concerned about instead of/before talking to their parents.

Jack Amble
My kids have me added as a FB friend. And I have seen status posts made by other younger FB members that prompted me to phone their moms. So far, everything has worked out.

Duane Burnett
Great comments Jennifer, Micah, and Jack... I often find myself reaching out to people who sound dangerously stressed, but I do it in private fb mail, but one example I had was someone blogging on my wall they were a virgin! I got a little sensitive and explained to them that I have a lot of young friends and their parents on fb. I put it on the "virgin" to tell me if they thought it was appropriate. They said they meant it as a joke. On the other extreme the term faggot homo gay kill are used frequently by kids and so is terminology bordering on suicidal despair. Your feedback to this question is super appreciated.

Duane Burnett
I notice this is a popular new fb page people are joining
Teenagers are either drunk, having sex, stressed, b*tching, or asleep

Trish Thompson
and? you don' t remember being a teenager???

Heather Pearce Lyons
actually when i was a teenager, you are right i was either high, having sex, stressed , bitching or asleep or seeking spiritual guidance from all the wrong places...i turned out good ha ha

Manuen Edwards
what you've got there is a real big onion subject !
it's a tricky one for sure ..... but i do think kids should fb friend parents like Micha said kids should use fb accordingly and if they cant do that well then they should be getting monitored !!!

Pammila Stew Ruth
My own kids not allowed until they are 15, and they will HAVE to Friend me, or NO Facebook. (yes, we DO have that power!) I do have some older teen friends and family members on FB, one who has not let his mother in. I see pix of him smoking up with his buddies, drinking etc... I also have the *ahem* honour of reading all the lovely break-up ... crap between himself and his girlfriend in their on-again-off-again relationship. Do I tell his mom? No. He would drop me from his friend list like a hot potato, and then if something seriously went wrong that he mentioned on FB, I would not know and could not help. The everyday 'normal' crap a teen goes through seems so foreign to us now. We may not relate to it, but we have to respect their choices. If there is a true cry for help, or if the status is dark and cryptic I have been known to message them personally to see if they are okay. Stayed up once messaging with one till 1:00 am... Girlfriend break up hit him hard. Bottom line: Yes. I would contact the parent if I felt the teen was in danger.

Duane Burnett
WOW these comments and feedback just keep getting better. Pammila... that's great that you make being friends on fb part of the family rules and that you are discreet with the privileged information and world young people bring you into. I think it is really important to respect privacy and really pick what you are going to say for emergencies. Well done!

Susan Davidson
Teens ??? problem is with elementary school kids on fb...signing on as High School students...then maligning their teachers & each other ! Disgusting ! The RCMP worked it out.

Diana Gledhill-Park
Arggggg touchy subject..and I don't like to screw up trust.

What I was really surprised by was the complete lack of any comments from "kids" (hate using that term), at least so far, not even from my close young friends on facebook, despite my direct appeal. I am confused especially given the opportunity this was for them to share what for them was appropriate for adults in these situations and friends who feel in the dark.

I was wondering where the parents were too? 13 comments seems to be a little low when social networking is so popular. Maybe this topic is just a non-starter, or maybe parents and youth are just not going there, and feel its better left unsaid?

I have, or hope I have been at least, respectful, confidential and equal in all aspects around deep discussions with my friends who are "younger" then me. I think they would back me on that.

What I do seem to feel is appropriate if you are friends with your kids online is you DON"T embarrass them, or yourself (although the line is really blurred these days on what exactly is embarrassing and over the top too much) AND don't stick you nose in where its not wanted, or you will be deleted as a friend quite quickly!

If you push the boundaries and become a control freak, rather then empowering your kids with their own integrity, .....I know that (I am spilling the beans sorry) the kids will create an alternate profile, one parent sanctioned and approved, the other, well.... not so much. I feel it is better for open behaviour rather then driving youth underground behind your back where they develop unhealthy substance misuse habits for a lifetime, rather then healthy habits for a lifetime.

What do you think? Maybe the question should be.. how would we like to be treated ourselves online and on social sites in general rather then being age specific.

I Googled the question and got a few websites for you to check out for more information on this subject... offers a qood over view of what the heck facebook is all about!

I have pulled out a few things of note from this one particular link for you:

Walls: Exercise discretion. If you wouldn't say it in front of your child's peers, don't post it on his wall. Wishing someone "Happy Birthday" on his wall is fine. Commenting on his appearance, friends or embarrassing antics from the past? No.

Don't Embarrass Your Kid: You've lectured your child on the dangers of posting pictures of keggers. Take the same advice yourself. Don't post humiliating or ill-advised photos. Don't post that adorable shot of junior, naked, on a bearskin rug at age 2. The moment you "tag" him - identify him - in a Facebook photo, his friends all get a note that says there's a new photo of him online. And when it comes to photos of yourself, remember it's not just your child's college administrators and prospective employers vetting online sites. Your boss may be looking too.

Now-a-days people are way more open about stuff and a lot less judgmental so I don't think you need to be paranoid and paralyzed by social networking. Maybe the teachers who did the lap dance at a school function was not the appropriate venue for horse play like that. Use common sense. Famous last words. Remember women were not allowed to wear pants at one time, Elvis and the mini-skirt caused a few heart attacks in their time, online dating sites are the norm and a lot of people find true love, so society is always changing.

And I am sure another big question is if all this fun on facebook, twitter, myspace, youtube and other social networks is healthy? Like everything in life, moderation is the of course the key. We all need to have exercise and a good diet. Seems that social networks help this by making it easier to communicate with friends, but if all you do is sit in front of the computer blogging how bored you are, its time to get out of the house and do something for your health, read a book, do anything... I know first hand how fun and addicting facebook is, my latest craze is Family Feud with my friends, not to forget Cafe World and Mafia World.

Here is a good link for you where they discuss the pros and cons of social networking and its effect. It basically concludes:

Parents of teens will be relieved by research reporting that Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites can enhance relationship skills in healthy teenagers.

Thanks so much for reading my blogspot! HUGE thanks for your comments!
If you have anything to add or fill in please do! Much appreciated.

It's always a good day on the Sunshine Coast, Peace, Duane Burnett

photos/story (C) Duane Burnett

Duane Burnett Blogspot


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