Parents Turn to Facebook to Keep Tabs on Junior

Some kids quick to 'unfriend'; others call it 'sensible'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 8, 2009 8:26 AM CDT
A Facebook user edits their privacy settings.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)
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(Newser) – For some parents, Facebook has become a window into the lives of their children, a means for mom and dad to monitor—and sometimes admonish—their kids. “It's so much easier to keep track of what they eat and when they pick their nose this way,” notes one parent. Some kids don’t mind the virtual relationship, the Wall Street Journal reports, while others have “unfriended” their parents in a bid for independence—or as a way to avoid their "pestering," says one 25-year-old who was chided for posting photos of barhopping then asking dad for cash.

“Mom, it's like my friends and I are standing around having a conversation and you interrupt and say, 'Hi, guys! What are you doing?'” complained one youth. But one 18-year-old calls her parents’ monitoring—which has led to discussion about dating—“sensible,” though she admits to occasionally blocking her dad from seeing her status updates. Experts say a certain degree of watchfulness is appropriate, but parents must know where to draw the line. "As we become better detectives, they become better fugitives," says a psychologist.