Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

Facebook, your parents and you

by : 
Sophie Newnham

Facebook. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world; you always seem to be within reach of it. With new technology meaning your exact location can be pinpointed and published online in seconds; how do you feel about your every movement being made visible for the world (and possibly your parents) to see?

With InterRailing and general globetrotting becoming a student’s rite of passage, we all seem to know someone who is mountain climbing in Tanzania or relaxing on a beach in Thailand. And how do we know this? Well, apart from some pre-trip bragging, you and everyone else on Facebook can flick through the photos and be alerted to the changes in location as your friends travel the world.

So, is this a good thing? After all everyone loves to see what their friends are getting up to, even if it does make us jealous! Furthermore it’s great to know our friends are safe on their travels; this means of communication has allowed parents everywhere to breathe a sigh of relief when that all-important status change indicates an eagerly awaited arrival.

Yet there lies The Big Problem: it is now within your parents’ power to know everything about your social life. Who you’re friends with, where you’re going, where you’ve been, who you were with… Maybe you don’t want your parents to know absolutely everything that you did on that weekend camping trip to Cornwall!

Parents have caught up with this internet sensation, and are making up for lost time too. How many of you have received friend requests from mum, dad, aunties and uncles? Accepting means the shroud of mystery surrounding your social life is lifted. Rejecting opens up a Pandora’s Box-full of awkward questions as to why you don’t want to publicly befriend your mum or dad.

You may want your friends to see photos of that rather attractive coastguard or how much fast-food you were able to consume over a weekend, but how cool is a comment from mum asking where the vegetables are in your third Big Mac meal? Or a ‘like’ from an auntie who appreciates a photo of the rather attractive waiter?

Security settings are key to ensuring your every movement isn’t broadcasted to the world and his wife. You can choose who sees your photos and your profile to avoid those awkward conversations with your parents. When was the last time you checked your settings? Because as much as you think you want everyone to know where you are and what you’re doing all the time while you travel abroad; where your parents are concerned, perhaps you don’t need to reveal every single detail.

Discussion

Are you friends on Facebook with your parents?

How do your parents stay in touch with you?

Comments

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songhuongduc 5 November, 2019 - 00:04

Neither my mother nor my father doesn't have FB account. They said that it was bored and unrealistic. I agree with them. Although I have FB account because I have to use it to communicate with my friends, I don't use it much. That means I am just on FB when I have something to discuss with someone. My parents are all nice with my using. They don't check or ask me for anything on my Facebook. Actually, my family all understand that when each member has trouble, we are willing to talk with each other face to face. I think, we will hardly have any misunderstanding in this way

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