The ever-growing Facebook is sometimes portrayed in a negative light and sometimes there has been the perception that teenagers who are using it are hooked on it and may also use it in rather a covert way, sometimes at the expense of good relationships with their parents.
However an article by Bernd Debusmann over on Reuters goes a long way to dispelling this idea by looking at results from a survey carried out by Kaplan Test Prep. It showed that perhaps contrary to popular opinion, around two-thirds of teenagers in America are happy to share social networking with their parents by having them as Facebook friends. However a note of caution is that 16% of those who have parents among their Facebook friends, only accept them as a prerequisite to signing up.
Not all teenagers are happy to accept their parents as Facebook friends either and 38% say that if their parents send them a friend request they ignore it. However executive director of Kaplan, Kristen Campbell said, “Facebook … continues to be the new frontier in the ever evolving relationship between parent and child,” and also points out that the majority of teens “are not hiding and that is positive.” It’s also noted that for many it opens lines of communication that did not previously exist and also allows teenagers to claim an amount of independence.
Campbell also describes using Facebook as a ‘natural step’ for those that have grown up as part of the Internet generation. Another article, this time by Bridget Tyler on KidGlue, also looks at these survey results and gives some good advice to parents out there that may be finding it hard to be a parent in the social networking age.
What are your thoughts on this and are you surprised by just how open most teenagers are? Where should parents draw the line at involvement in their teen’s social networking lives? Why not let us know by sending us your comments.
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