If you use Facebook, the popular social networking site, you’ve undoubtedly seen differences of opinion posted on the site and in comments made about what people have posted, especially, I’m sure, after the recent passage of the healthcare reform bill. Hopefully, however, those discussions remained civil and polite exchanges of information and points of view. That’s not always the case, sadly, and sometimes posts and comments can turn ugly, even to the point of becoming slanderous. And sometimes those arguments occur between family members, such as in the case of a mother and son in Tennessee.
Denise New’s 16-year-old son has filed charges of harassment against his mother after she allegedly hacked into his Facebook account and posted slanderous details about his personal life. His mother, however, claims she was simply checking up on him after reading that “he had gone to Hot Springs one night and was driving 95 m.p.h. home because he was upset with a girl.” I don’t know about you, but if I my son posted that on his Facebook page, it would be the last time he saw the inside of a car for a very long time. But I don’t think I would post anything negative about him as punishment.
Just how involved should a parent be in their child’s on-line activities? Certainly parents should be monitoring what their kids are doing, but at what age should kids be allowed to make their own mistakes and post their own posts? I have a teenage niece who has steadfastly refused to befriend me on Facebook despite having nearly 600 friends. While I tease her about it all the time, I think that’s the way it should be. With my own kids, I think I will demand that they include me in their list of friends, but I won’t comment on anything they write; it’s their life to live. What do you think? Are your kids using Facebook and, if so, are you friends with them?