Three out of my four children are of Facebook age. I am friends with all of them. I consider that an accomplishment. In some cases I am friends of their friends and in many they are friends of my friends. But I have been asking around and found out that Facebook´s success has been annoying for teenagers who dread what their parents may learn about them on Facebook. But I guess this tension reflect real life tension. If you get along in real life you get along in Facebook and if you don´t, well, why should it be different in Facebook. Yes, I do admit that when I see pictures of them going wild at a party I occasionally wonder if they were drunk, stoned or under some influence but then the “observation” goes both ways. When others post pictures of Nina and I going wild at some party…they are there for my kids to see. It´s been over a year now of Facebook co existence and so far the experience has been a great way to keep in touch. Especially with my daughter Alexa who left Madrid to attend college at Columbia University. Through Facebook I find those irrelevant details about my kids lives that turn them into even more lovable people who are out there to have a great time. I particularly enjoy the comments that other kids make on them. When buddies publicly praise your kids on their wall or in their pictures I feel an unavoidable parent´s pride. I am also happy that Facebook has destroyed the culture of privacy. For years I have felt that the conversation on privacy among parents and kids was an excuse for lack of communication. And when the phone was the only tool you would not get a lot of the stories just because your kids may not feel like calling you to tell you some seemingly irrelevant detail about their lives. Still when you love them so much those irrelevant details become News. And that is the genius of Facebook, to discover that when love is involved those “news” can be more important than whoever Obama is appointing to be a new cabinet member.

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ana maria llopis on January 7, 2009  · 

I couldn’t agree more with you the same happens to me and my son’s nephews and nieces and friends sons and daughters in facebook. My son tagged me yesterday with his grandma in Paris.
I also agree with your newspaper subscription decision, Just yesterday we were talking at home about it. We have no paper subscriptions in ideas4all. At home we no longer read the papers, but maybe weekend specials, the news are old when the paper comes the next morning and paper papers have not found the way to give value added. Since 3 years I read them all online FT, Economist, el Pais, la Vanguardia, etc.
Happy New Year

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Timo Heuer on January 7, 2009  · 

I am a teenager (17) and I would definitely go crazy if my parents show up on Facebook. But, they never would. I have a lot of older friends on Facebook, nearly no of my school friends are on Facebook, but that’s another story (they use StudiVZ instead and that’s where I connect and communicate with them). But if I had children I’d want to be friend with them, so I think it’s right what you did. Stay nearby, but not let them think you want to control them, that’s what I think.

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Geoff on January 7, 2009  · 

Snap! I’m friends with 2 out of 3 of my kids on FB the third isn’t on it (as far as I Know 🙂 )
I think it is really great especially when the kids also befriend my girlfriend!!

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Joan Ball on January 7, 2009  · 

My college son called me in response to a Facebook request to tell me that he would be happy to Friend me, but that he was not willing to censor his life in order to do it. He gave me a choice–see me for who I really am or let’s maintain our distance. I agreed and lob a cute comment now and then when he is drinking beer from a keg while doing a handstand. He and his friends laugh when I do.

Noticed you were in Montevideo. Might want to check out the music at this link–esp first song called uruguay.


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Magdalena on January 9, 2009  · 

Parents pride on photo comments – This is cute. 😉

My parents are facebook age too, though not (yet) there. But I get along with them well and would absolutely friend them.

Our family has a private wiki which all our family members and friends access. For us it replaces flickr, social network, blogs and shared calendars, we do it all in the wiki. Even my grandma writes there sometimes and tells her grandchildren – living far away – about the garden and the cats and all. It keeps us closer together than 1-to-1 communication would.

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Jessika on January 9, 2009  · 

Today my niece invite me to join her in Facebook, and I gladly accepted. I´m feeling honored that wants to share aspects of her life with me. Now, I will have to be more careful about MY use of Facebook.. hahahah!

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fabrice on January 12, 2009  · 

Hi Martin,
Thanks for your post – 100% agree with you.
My kids are only 5 and 7 so i still have some time 🙂 but coming soon.
My step-daughter is 16 and we are friends on facebook which is great. I will follow the same approach as what you did :-)) with your kids and could not agree more with your quote
“..I guess this tension reflect real life tension. If you get along in real life you get along in Facebook and if you don´t, well, why should it be different in Facebook.”

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Lynda on January 12, 2009  · 

I leave far from my country and it is not always convenient to keep in touch with relatives… I started to use Facebook for 6 months and now I’m so addict to it because I can give and receive news with my family and friends. I asked my mother to create her own account and taught her how to use it (u know how it is for parents sometimes ;p)… she learned quickly and I don’t mind if she sees my details, my pictures or my videos… she’s even friend with my friends !!! I’m happy to see her sharing my private life, and even my father who checks when my mother is connected. I invite all my family and friends on Facebook because it improves my life, the distance can be hard. Of course, we have a deep relationship between us, so it helps. You’re right, it’s hard to build a good relationship on Facebook if it’s different in our life.

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Annette on March 17, 2009  · 

I am in my fifties and my niece and daughter accepted me as a friend. I have yet to receive a message from my daughter although got several from niece and sister. My son-in-law and his aunt have not answered my request which was sent awhile back. Since there is a premature baby in common (I am the only grandmother) this hurts me very much. I thought it might be a good way of sharing the photos with them.

I was wanting to set my mother up (in her 70’s but gets along with a computer!) but now I am thinking it might not be such a good idea.

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Avery on March 31, 2009  · 

of course not.

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