Proper Facebook Etiquette

#567 Parental surveillance

Monday 28th September, 2009

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Dear Mariann,
(my daughter) Emily went to University last weekend and I keep looking at all the new people on her network to see who they are. I am worried I’m turning into a snooper – or is this usual for parents?
(From Kate in response to the post Changing Faces)

We all have our various crosses to bear. Well done to Emily for commencing her studies – and to you for ‘letting her’ go. Facebook lends itself, quite naturally, to this kind of snooping. It is perfectly natural to worry about Em’s latest friends and her association with that ‘nice chap’ down the hall.

At home you may have wanted her to ‘get up’ and ‘do chores’, now a new overriding concern is the potential social accomplishment of the new people in her network. It is likely that the parent’s of Em’s new friends are also doing the same and experiencing the same social anxieties. The mission: to check to see if their little dah-ling has been tempted into a life of Fresher’s debauchary; terrorising the local watering holes for WKD and seeing how many jagermeister’s make for double vision. I would stick around on Em’s network (she hasn’t defriended you after all) and watch for any mishandling or mispropriety as it appears on her newsfeed etc.

C/should you be accused of over-parenting? Certinaly not. Your’s, and others parent’s, is a justified use of surveillance technology. Em may need never ring home again to tell you what’s she’s been up to – you have only to read it in her Feeds.

From Em’s point of view, there is nothing more ’embarrassing’ than parent’s trying (in earnest) to be a part of their daughters’ social lives. This can only ever lead to social awkwardness, especially when you encounter her new friends in res’ and exclaim with meaning ‘oh, so you’re Dan who’s been posting on Em’s Wall’ etc.

If you start to live out life through Em’s various updates and find yourself joining the same Groups, writing on bulletin boards, posting to Em’s Wall about ‘eating well’ and commenting Yo, where’s the party happenin tonight?’ Run, run for the hills. Best delete your Facebook account.

3 Responses to “#567 Parental surveillance”

  1. Molly says:

    Is it true that Uni authorities check SNSs in freshers week to identify any students who break residence rules? Some rumours say yes and others that it is not true.

  2. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    Dear WKD,

    Clearly you have been fortunate enought to miss the social demographic of 'that ghastly drink' for that is what WKD is. An aloco-POP , or should that be 'plop'. Whilst your question does hint at 'age', I would counter with it pointing more toward good taste.

    In short if it's blue, please don't drink it down. I don't care if its on two-for-one at Yates.


  3. WKD???? says:

    Need to ask – what is WKD ? Thanks for the info – does my question mean I'm too old for Facebook?

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