When parents don't want to be friends with their kids on Facebook

US Adam Kim hit the button to deny his 15-year-old daughter after he sent a friend request via Facebook account.

"I need a small corner online where I can share everything, post memes freely without fear of teasing my teenage daughter, making bad comments. I'm afraid of losing my image to them. ", Adam, administrative assistant for a company in Richmond (Virginia), shared.

Many parents do not want to make friends with their children for fear of revealing the past. Photo: WSJ.

Just like teens who don't want their parents to follow them on Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat, many fathers and mothers don't want to be watched by their children on Facebook. Many people have used Facebook since they were young. Then, 10 years after getting married, past secrets can be revealed in "unpredictable" ways.

Some people worry that photos, videos or "status" with inappropriate content in the past, may have an adverse impact on teenage children. Others want to keep their secrets private, unable to show them to their children.

On a secret Facebook group exclusively for fathers and mothers, WSJ has questioned whether they are willing to share information on Facebook with their children. Fathers do not respond, and many mothers tell about embarrassment when their children find ancient "statuses" or content they want to hide.

For young people today, Facebook is the place for the elderly, even, the elderly. However, the percentage of young people participating is not low. According to research firm eMarketer at the end of 2019, nearly 10 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 use Facebook at least once a month. This is not a small number.

Adam said she didn't post any "dark secrets" on Facebook, but wanted to share everything freely with friends her age. Previously, she accepted friend requests from girls but did not show all the posts, by setting a restricted list, or only visible to specific people. "My daughter asked why she didn't have anything on Facebook? I couldn't explain at the time, and I didn't know how to explain it to her. In the end, I chose to unfriend." Adam recounted.

A few years ago, Julie Kaigler of Wexford (Pennsylvania) divorced her husband and had a fairly detailed article about the mood at that time. Of course, she did not share publicly on the wall, nor tell the two daughters, because they wanted them not to think.

However, in a comment with you, Kaigler accidentally shared that content. "A few days later, when I picked him up, he asked me a few questions. And I understood that he read the article," Kaigler said. Kaigler's 15-year-old daughter was sad for a long time because of her divorce, and worse, "she was sad because she hid the truth."

Michelle Dightman, an accountant in Leawood, also doesn't think her 14-year-old son will react strongly to the article she shared in 2015 about a person who died from drug overdose. Dightman sympathizes with this article because she herself is the daughter of a father who died of alcoholism.

Dightman never spoke of his grandfather's alcoholism with his son. But a few days after reading the old article, he actively asked his mother. "Instead of dodging, this is a good opportunity for me to open my heart," Dightman said. "To be a respected mother, you need to be modest, transparent and honest with your children."

Contrary to those who do not want to make friends with their children on Facebook, there are still parents who want to be close to their children on social networks. In 2012, Sarah Tucker, from Omaha, shared a video of 5-year-old daughter Cameron Abbie auditioning at a school music festival with the status: "Cameron Abbie is good at many things. But singing is not among them." . Eight years later, Abbie herself reshared her mother's video with an eye-rolling emoticon. "It got me back, that's fair," Tucker said.

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