Teens Increasingly 'Unlike' Parents as Facebook Friends
Many young people already suspect that parents stay awake all night dreaming up new and sadistic ways of driving their kids feather-plucking insane.
Now some of these junior detectives have discovered the Facebook Ploy: You friend your child on Facebook and bombard him or her with nagging, embarrassing and downright humiliating comments.
Unfortunately, now that kids are hip to this fiendish plot, they are leaving Facebook and forcing parents to lose more sleep to all-night strategy sessions.
Online gaming site Roiworld commissioned a survey of 600 adolescents last spring and found what has been called Facebook Fatigue, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Almost one in five teens are taking their marbles and going home, some because they spied another shiny object and others because of annoying parents who insist on being their "friends."
And a study by AOL reveals that a third of Facebook teens are ready to unfriend their parents. Mom, by the way, is twice as likely to get the boot as Dad.
There is even a website called "Oh Crap, My Parents Joined Facebook" devoted to the dumb, annoying, nagging and clueless comments parents make on social network sites.
"Congratulations! Your parents just joined Facebook," the site's homepage announces. "Your life is officially over."
Among the comments made by parents:
- "Alex, will you please agree to be my son on Facebook? I've sent the request."
- "Just didn't want to be one of those parents who embarrass their kids on Facebook (because I love you so much, sweetie pie.)"
- "Be my friend pleez even if I am your mom."
- "Dad thinks you look like Cher. Please change photo fast."
Leitenberg, 27, launched the site last year with friend Erika Brooks Adickman, 28. She tells the newspaper the site receives at least 20 new embarrassing submissions a day.
"They (parents) join out of the mentality that they're the cool mom, and they just want to be part of the gang," Leitenberg tells the Mercury News. "They don't realize how horrifying or how intrusive they actually are."
According to the Roiworld survey, at least 14 percent of teens surveyed say they are leaving Facebook because there are just "too many adults and older people" on the site.
So grownups have ruined something else for kids and given them one less place to hide? As Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons" might say at this point as he drums his fingers together: "Eeexcellent ..."
Related: Could Facebook Keep Your Kid Out of College?
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.