We Chased Our Kids Off Facebook



Have you noticed less interaction with your teen or college student on Facebook?  Why are they not posting photos or updates? Where have they gone?

I work at a University and took the opportunity to poll a few students, “What’s “not” up with Facebook?” It seems moms and grandmas have been part of the problem. Jen let me know that as much as she loved her mom, “I got tired of her constantly commenting on everything I post. And grandma would “like” every picture I was tagged in, or comment on my outfits, or ask if I liked a boy I was standing next to. I mean, really?” So Jen stopped posting. And apparently, so have her friends.

Another problem is that they want to avoid potential employers, professors and that kid in the back of the class from creeping on them on Facebook. I’ve had this conversation with my daughter Haily, who is graduating college next year, about cleaning up her social media and presenting herself in a professional manner. From the sites that I’ve “found” her on, looks like she’s taken my advice.

As another girl told me about the photos seen on Facebook, “We’re in college and no one posts pictures of themselves studying. We post pictures at parties and vacations, where we typically have a red solo cup in a hand.” She has seen a drastic decline in her friends’ posting or tagging of photos, mostly because of the mom’s interactions. “We love our mom’s, don’t get me wrong. But we want our own identity and a little space without feeling like they are part of everything we are doing and saying.”

I’ve seen a decline of posts in my newsfeed, not only from my daughter, but also my friends. So where is everyone going? Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat and other social media platforms, where the kids can create anonymous or block accounts where moms, aunts, and old high school friends, can’t find them. They are still on Facebook, but at a limited capacity. Kevin told me, “I only look at Facebook a couple times a week now. I used to check it multiple times a day, sometimes hourly. Everyone I know is now using Twitter.”

According to TechNewsDaily, “The percentage of U.S. moms on Facebook has grown rapidly, from 50 percent in 2010 to 72 percent in 2012. In that same period, the average age of Facebook users climbed from 38 to 41.

I get it. Thinking back to when I was in my 20′s, there’s no way I would have wanted my mom and grandma seeing everything I was up to, let alone commenting so all my friends could see. I guess I’ll have to be happy with Facetime calls and the funny Snapchats my daughter sends me.

I went to her Twitter and it’s now blocked. Here’s to your privacy, Haily!

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