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Should Parents Join Facebook?



There’s an interesting column in the New York Times that documents a mother’s attempts to connect with her daughter by joining Facebook- which is where the daughter hangs-out.

Things don’t really go well, with the mother being shunned by here daughter and even experts telling her that she’s messing with her daughter’s head.

…Professor Wesch reminded me that what Facebook’s younger users really are doing is exploring their identities, which they may not want to parade in front of their parents.

“Can’t I explore my identity, too?” I asked. “Why does everything fun have to be for them?”

He pointed out that there are a number of other social networks — sober, grown-up places like Linkedin.com (for making business contacts) and Care2.com (for social activists) and Webbiographies.com (for amateur genealogists) — where I could cavort without offending my daughter.

At SMX Neil Patel suggested that the really “old” users of social networks were somewhere in their late 20′s!!!

For all of you who have kids on MySpace or Facebook, here’s a cartoon to brighten your day…

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    I think the issue in the Times article is more a mother/daughter thing than it is about someone older joining Facebook. I wouldn’t want my mother or father hanging out in all the same places I hang out either.

    Then again, given my 20′s are only a vague recollection I probably have to feel like the issue isn’t one of age alone.

  • http://www.douglaskarr.com Douglas Karr

    My son actually bugged me to get on Facebook. He’s 17 and starting college. He knows that I don’t ‘intrude’ so he loves the fact that he can send me stuff and vice versa. He often gets on my about not reading his notes on there!

  • http://www.burgermeister.co.uk Burger Man

    I recently joined facebook. One of my friends joined, and within a few days half of out old school group were signed up. We are all in our 30′s.

    I think that so long as the child knows that they parent is also on facebook, and that they respect each others space, it is a good thing. Openess in a parent/child relationship is essential, and if a child understands the dangers of social networks, then they should also understand why a parent would want to know who they are chatting with.

    I think that Facebook is a relatively safe social network, but there are dangers everywhere.

    If anything, it should allow a parent and child to get closer if done properly.

  • Ashley B

    In my personal opinion as someone who is actively involved in Facebook I think it is a great social networking website to join. Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, it is a great place to catch up with old friends or even make new friends. As far as parents joining to “spy” on their kids, I don’t think it is necessary. Facebook is very safe and has many different privacy settings that you change to your liking. It is safer than some websites and has more options than most. For example, people on Myspace can either have it so everyone can see their profile or have it completely restricted. On Facebook you can make it so people can see whatever you want them to see on your profile. Also, you can choose which friends see what on your profile. As you can see there are many different privacy settings that you can change accordingly. Facebook is a great website and if used correctly it can be very helpful and useful for anyone. Parents don’t need to get one there to check up on what their kids are doing. If your kids ask you to join then I say you should go for it because it can be great for anyone of any age but not unless they ask you to.