So, your parents have sent you a friend request on Facebook? Should you friend them back or should you pretend you didn’t see it? Or maybe it’s better to go out to them and have a “conversation” on the online ethics? A lot of weird things must be running through your head the moment you see a friend request from your parent. Still, panicking won’t help, and you should better calm down and think the cons and pros of having your mom or dad (or both) as Facebook friends.
In truth, it all depends on how much information you post on Facebook and how much you want your parents to know about you. If you live a party life and get drunk once in a while, you probably don’t want your folks to see your posts. This is especially true if you have an uncontrollable urge to update your Facebook page every time you’ve had too much booze. In this case, friending your parents is not the best solution. They aren’t just ready for this.
On the other hand, they might be ready enough to see whatever status updates you might have. They might have prepared themselves to just about anything and accept the fact that you’re not their little boy/girl anymore. Make sure that they don’t start to comment on your drunken status, or even worse — on your new relationship. You know, it’s rather bad when parents stumble upon something inappropriate about you, but it’s even worse when they begin comment attacks, especially when there are other relatives involved.
You must remember that Facebook allows displaying information to certain groups of people. If your parents friend you, you might want to have a talk with them and learn why they did it. If you see that it’s important for them to maintain online contact with you via a popular social network, then why not add them back? Be sure to change the default settings, so that your posts are visible to a selected group of people, excluding your parents. You might need this in case you drunk-post and forget to specify the audience.
In general, it is a good gesture to friend your parents back. Think of how you will make them feel included in your social circle (even if it’s only on the Internet) and accepted. They will be more in peace with you away from them (if you live separately) and less intrusive in your life. There is even evidence to confirm the latter. The good thing is that friending your parents on Facebook will serve as a stimulus for you “to behave” online, be discreet about your everyday activities, and value your own privacy more.
There is nothing horrible in friending your parents on Facebook. If you have sensitive information on your account, you can make sure your parents don’t see it through the available tools. When you friend your parents, be sure to set some rules on commenting, posting on your Timeline, and sending requests to your friends. Once you’ve had this conversation, prepare yourself at least for likes under all your posts that your parents will see.