Social media is here to stay, and, as such, we as parents and grandparents have to figure out how to navigate the cyber-universe and not make total fools of ourselves with our kids and grandkids! People do a lot of socializing via social media, and many times, unlike in the past, your teenage and adult children are in the same venues. Interestingly, Education Database Online has some enlightening statistics on FB and parents and why they get on there in the first place.
There’s no ‘Dear Abby’ or etched-in-stone etiquette rules to follow (yes, there are suggestions (just Google and you’ll have plenty of reading) that give a pithy road map for dos and don’ts. Through simple trial and error and having grown adult kids of my own, I’ve figured out some things that probably hold true for many of us baby boomer parents/grandparents now immersing ourselves in social media alongside of our children and grandchildren. Now, this is not scientific~~it’s pure-tee common sense. Using your own internal social barometer, which was honed differently decades ago, can help, but remember our social barometers were learned with real live warm bodies! Some things still hold true regardless of whether the social interaction is virtual or live.
I would love to hear from you and what you think are other general ‘rules of thumb’~~I’m sure this list can grow! Having said all that, if you want to probably embarrass your kid(s), then here’s your starter list!
1. Click ‘like’ on every post of theirs—you’re sure to be dubbed a stalker!
2. Be ‘cool and groovy’ w/your comments—‘I love that pix…I remember when I used to slam dance!’
3. Don’t try and use text language if you don’t know what it means!
5. Send friend requests to their friends—as if you could really hang with them!
6. Fight your kids’ battles on their FB walls—sure you wanna stick up for your kids, but do it in private!
7. Force them to accept you ‘friend’ request—yep, you can do it, but if they don’t want to be your ‘friend’ what might that be saying?
Ex: Did you send Aunt Betty a thank you for that underwear she got you for your birthday?
Ex: So how was your pap smear?
9. Message your kid constantly on social media–’Will you be home for dinner? Did you stop at Aunt B’s to get my new mop? Don’t forget the oil change!’
10. Treat your wall like it’s the Christmas family newsletter posting everything about your kids—you’re sure to gag many!