Friday, October 9 , 2015, 3:09 pm | Fair 92º

Student Essay: Facebook Etiquette for Parents

San Roque sophomore outlines an honest account of what — and who — is appropriate on the social networking site

By Alex McCue |

First of all, I would like to say that I love that my family members are on Facebook, an online social networking site. It is a great way to keep in touch with them. However, they are the inspiration for this article, as most have committed the following injustices.

» Commenting inappropriately on statuses.

This is something that happens quite often with my family. For example, I had a status that said, “In the school van with Tucker, on our way to the aquarium!” My aunt commented by saying, “I LOVE aquarium dates … I’ve had a few myself … very fun ones!” with a little winking smiley face. That doesn’t sound too bad, but my aunt is 60-something. It’s kind of gross to think about my aunt on a “fun” date.

» Posting horrid pictures of me from when I still had baby fat.

My family thinks pictures of me when I was chubby and had a bad haircut are cute, but they aren’t. Don’t try to pass them off as adorable or fond memories. I don’t want them shown in public!

» Stating that totally appropriate photos are inappropriate.

Parents who are on Facebook, this is for you. Your kids aren’t stupid, so don’t assume they are. Don’t assume that every picture they have with their mouth open or tongue out is totally out of line. Yes, there are stupid kids who post inappropriately, but if you know your kids would do that, why let them have a Facebook page? I understand checking up on your child’s profiles, but don’t get up in their business.

» Parents adding their kids as “friends.”

Once again, parents, take it from a high school student: Don’t add your high school kids on Facebook! We don’t want you as a friend on Facebook, so don’t send us invites, because then we feel guilty if we don’t add you. Or we just let the request sit in our inbox until you forget. There are three reasons we don’t want to friend you.

First, we don’t want you up in our business. Some of the things we post, including bumper stickers and statuses, are strictly inside jokes with our friends. They might seem bad, but they aren’t. What we post doesn’t literally mean that’s what we do.

Second, we don’t want you to comment on things saying, “Oh, isn’t that adorable?!” or “Where was this taken? Who were you with? What were you doing?” We don’t need you commenting on everything.

Finally, we see you enough as it is. We already live with you. Let us have our own world. The only time a parent should “friend” their child is when the child isn’t in high school, or if your child sends you an invite.

Parents and family members, please respect and follow these rules. Your kids will appreciate it.

— Alex McCue is a sophomore at San Roque High School.

comments powered by Disqus

» on 05.14.09 @ 08:31 AM

Parents are being irresponsible if they let their high school kids have Facebook acounts without making it a condition that the kids friends the parent.

» on 05.14.09 @ 09:03 AM

What a big whiner. Makes me glad I didn’t have kids. Ungrateful, rude, and clueless. I must be getting old (early thirties) because writing “up in our business” more than once in an article is, excuse the pun, sophomoric. Alex did you not get enough hugs as a child or maybe your parents should have taught you respect.

» on 05.14.09 @ 10:51 AM

I wish I had read this article before I sent invites to my adult kids and their adult friends (mine, too) when I first opened my Facebook account.

While I agree it’s important to keep tabs, etc., it probably would have been more appropriate to have them friend me first.  I’ve had some of my kids’ friends do that, so it’s a reasonable expectation.

I didn’t feel you were rude, etc. in your article.  I thought you were funny and insightful…and gave me an important perspective.

» on 05.14.09 @ 11:12 AM

I have two thoughts on this 1) as a parent whose kids are too young to have a Facebook yet, I think I would want to have access to their profile but we would have to negotiate terms I don’t think it would be appropriate to make comments - I remember what it was like to be a teenager.  2) as a child of a parent on Facebook - I love having my mom as my friend.  It is a great way to share pictures of the grandkids, friends and family. I try to avoid posting bad pictures of anyone, we all have them and I certainly don’t want to see my own horrible pictures. 

Alex, I think you are brave for writing this and it makes me think about what I will do in the future when my kids are old enough and if this forum is still around.  My guess is that you get older, you will also change your opinion on pictures you now think are horrible, and look at them with a different perpective.  I have but it took me a long time to get there.

» on 05.14.09 @ 11:13 AM

Ah, youth… it’s wasted on the young! I think the writer is trying to be clever, but there’s really nothing clever about this posting. It’s insolent and when the writer has kids, he/she will be horrified they posted it.

OBVIOUSLY, parents must make it a condition that their children be their friends. It is part of the parental responsibility to make sure their child is engaging in age-appropriate behavior and that their friends are too. I went to one friends’ kid’s site whose site was open to the world, and the kid had pictures posted of she and her underage friends drunk and partying with strippers. Perhaps the writer likes the idea of posting nude photos of him/herself on the web?

And, those pics of you with your baby fat, are cute. Besides, presumably, your friends aren’t also friends with your parents, so just untag yourself. Then, your friends don’t have to see your chubby cute self, but your parents’ friends will see the beauty in it.

Finally, you write to parents, “your kid’s aren’t stupid.” I agree… MY kids AREN’T stupid. But your ideas in this article certainly are. I hope your parents have enough sense to ignore the malarchy you write and fulfill their responsibilities to keep your online activities safe.

You won’t understand these comments now, but trust me, you will!

» on 05.14.09 @ 11:35 AM

Thank you Alex - as a parent, I agree. Is your aunt single?

» on 05.14.09 @ 11:44 AM

Tired of your parents providing a computer, internet connection, food, cloathing, and shelter all while keeping you safe? Move out and live by your own means. Facebook etiquette will be the least of your worries.

» on 05.14.09 @ 11:47 AM

I know that when my kids were on MySpace as high schoolers, we required them to provide us with their passwords so we could check their site occasionally if we had reason to worry for their safety or life choices. They didn’t like it, but agreed since they didn’t want the privelege taken away. However, we never felt the need to check their MySpace accounts since we trusted them and respected their need for privacy. Those kids are now young adults and are on Facebook regularly. We did not feel any desire to get onto Facebook for the same reason we did not check up on their MySpace accounts - we respected their need for privacy. We did finally become Facebook users so we could enjoy sending and receiving photos of our loved ones - especially now that most of them are also on Facebook. But we asked our “kids” before we joined, out of respect for them. They did say it would be awkward for us to be so involved in their “business,” but they understood our desire to stay in touch with others as well as them. They finally said “Go for it!” What we did not anticipate was the flurry of friend requests our “kids” would receive from all our adult family friends, which freaked out our “kids.” They, like Alex, did not want to hurt any feelings by refusing a friend request from these people, but also did necessarily want these folks knowing ALL about what was happening in their lives. It was a quandry. It put our “kids” in an uncomfortable situation. So I must agree with Alex on several points he/she makes. Although I do think parents have to be “up in our kids’ business” as part of our job of being good parents, I also think those same kids deserve trust unless they act untrustworthy, and this should extend to social networking, i.e. Facebook.
A thought provoking article, Alex! Thank you for sharing your honest opinion.

» on 05.14.09 @ 12:02 PM

A public rant like this against my parents and I would not have been able to sit down for a week. Must be nice.

» on 05.14.09 @ 02:24 PM

Alex - good for you for sharing your opinion. Parents, think about what some of you are doing.  I do not let my son or daughter (teens) ‘friend’ any adults, aunts, uncles, teachers, etc.  Why?  Think of what is on those adults’ Facebooks…comments, photos, ect.  Why would you want your child having access to adult discussions, parties, gossip, photos. Stop the madness.  If your child is going to be on Facebook, learn the password, learn how to navigate around Facebook, and check in on your child. Maybe you could start by deleting their birth dates, addresses, and personal info that might lead to harm.  Then, trust and review together!

» on 05.14.09 @ 02:54 PM

As a college student, I don’t agree with high school students or parents being on Facebook. The original concept was what appealed to me in the first place, being accessible to only college students, unlike myspace. If you have raised your child with social awareness, self-esteem and common sense, you have nothing about. Try trusting your child.

» on 05.15.09 @ 03:13 PM

Okay, come on!!  You parents and non adult parents…get a grip.  This was a good article written by a young person who obviously isn’t an idiot or bad seed.  Think back to when you were young, back before we had computers.  There was plenty you kept from your parents and that didn’t mean that you were insolent or anything else.  There is nothing wrong with kids being on Facebook!  If you have a child who is on facebook, just make sure you talk to them.  make sure you ask questions.  In most cases, your kids will open up to you and be honest.
oh and one more thing…Lyn I am so sorry I commented that you looked cute in your leggings when you were a wee one!

» on 05.15.09 @ 05:59 PM

I am your aunt’s age. Some of my friend’s children requested to be my freind on facebook.I am so blessed that they wanted to share part of themselves when they are happy, or sad, or angry,or just because! I truly look forward to all the pictures they share with me. I just wanted to say thank you, Alex, because of you, I would never comment on line to embarras my grandchildrens or my freinds children.

» on 05.31.09 @ 12:28 PM

this is very true

» on 06.01.09 @ 10:30 PM

Some of writers comments are less parenting problems than they just are bad etiquette. Comments and photos between friends don’t need the critique of anybody who can see it. Another good thing to check is if your comments are consistently the last comment in a string, maybe you killed it, and maybe you should just watch a while. If you have concerns about something on a teenage kids site, go up the stairs and talk face to face, facebook was meant for people that can’t see each other face to face.

» on 09.05.09 @ 12:42 PM

First, Facebook is for all who wish to join- regardless of age. Second, if you are a minor, then YOU are your parents business. If you are posting things that worry your parents or show questionable judgement, then your parents have every right to call you on it. If all is OK, you should have no problem relating that to your concerned parents. Third, the writer has the right to deem certain pictures inappropriate, but no one else does? Finally, most parents like to connect with their kids. If you live in the same household and only communicate through FB, then there is a problem. Also, kids, please respect our rules. We parents appreciate it.

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