Parents & Social Media: How Do Yours Handle Networking?

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 4.06.20 AMDisclaimer: I just want to say that I can only speak for myself as I share my experiences with parents and how they deal with social media. This may not be true for all ya’ll, but I’d like to hear everyone else’s stories: how do your parents handle social media?

With the advent of smartphones, and Facebook fast becoming somewhat of a necessity to keep track of people, it’s not unheard of to hear that someone’s parents – or even better – YOURS have finally decided to create a profile.

Social media used to be some sort of ‘new generation’ fad, mainly reserved for students or people who have some sort of fun life outside of work or home. But just like a bar in West Hollywood, a new community barges in to set a new trend. Case in point, the 40 and above’s. Among our middle-aged friends on Facebook are the parents!

And they came in like a wrecking ball, no doubt. Apparently, parents have become a threat to their computer-laden offspring. According to CNN, there’s a cause and effect trend going on between parents and their kids. The more they stay on, the more the kids want to get the fuck out.

According to Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research, it’s a psychological thing. Kids just don’t want to hang out wherever their parents are at. And at first I thought hey, that’s bullshit. I’m down to go to the casino with my parents. I’m even down to chill with them at the bowling alley. But building that comfort and eagerness to hang out with parents is another story.

Let’s get back to the meat and potatoes: what can be the main reason why people like me, someone who’s in their early 20’s, not want to see my parents on any social media outlet?

Simple. Social media drama.

It’s what almost everyone on any outlet has to go through. There’s always some sort of drama on social media. You hear the banter all over your news feed. “This bitch be hating on my ass.” Or “I can’t believe my girl cheated on me with this guy she met on here.” And don’t even get me started on all the cyber bullying because the foolishness that goes on inside the minds of people is traumatizing. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end no matter how strong I think I am.

Nonetheless drama is the one thing that makes my heart ache and it’s something I don’t need my parents to get into.

But parents are adults, Neil. They’re supposed to be mature.

Which is true. They are supposed to be mature… but for every mature adult I see on Facebook, there are nine assholes to make said mature adult feel like crap.  My dad, for one, is a total asshole. You can post up some inspirational shit and he’d tear you a new one.

And if in fact he isn’t trying to stir up some trouble, emotional shit storms can spur out of misconception. My dad gets himself into shit with people for some of the things he says – even when he’s not trying to be such a douche! Here are some situations that can be misinterpreted.

  1. Habits – The MO. The way someone habitually acts or talks. No matter how relatively tame it may be to you, some habits can rub a parent the wrong way.
  2. Slang – If your parents ask you “What does that mean?” They’re most likely going to get on your ass about it when they find out. “Why would they say such a thing?”
  3. Technology (and knowing how shit works) – There was a time when my dad’s Facebook app kept crashing when he attempted to comment someone’s photo. He was so sure that he got blocked.
  4. Jokes & Sarcasm – We live in an age where a lot of our statuses have a sarcastic tone or are completely untrue, yet hilarious. We also live in an age where the more offensive the joke, the funnier it is. 9 times out of 10, a parent is not going to find your 9/11 jokes funny.

Both my parents are Filipino/Chinese and have Facebook accounts. My mom’s pretty good at keeping a low profile (in fact, she asked me to set up her profile in a way that nobody can find her and only she can find them). She’s one of them under the radar users. She rarely posts anything, but loves reading what people have to say. In fact, the only time I’ve ever seen her post anything was when she wanted to wish my grandmother a happy birthday.

My dad on the other hand is “search and destroy.” Well, “search and add.” And he adds everyone he knows both at home in the Philippines and at home in the United States. And with that being said, because of a language barrier, they’re more susceptible to taking things the wrong way.

IMG_7816Now like us, parents can run the risk of taking social media a little too seriously – but through my eyes, I feel like they think they have a lot more at stake. Anything they can interpret as an attack on their character is an opportunity for parents to take things a little too personal. Perhaps it’s because they think they’ve established themselves in the United States as hard-working class people. The mentality is, “I work just as hard as you do, what the fuck gives you the right to say that about me?” And if people want to be snobby and get paychecks and salaries involved, it gets even nastier. Any type of belittling feels like a cactus prick. Or falling into a garden of cacti even. And like I said before, we live in a day and age where being offensive can be a little funny. Some parents just don’t have that threshold many of us have acquired through the shit we see on World Star Hip Hop. It’s basically a recipe for disaster.

And I’m sure many of us have heard tragic stories. How many of ya’ll were told not to talk to a certain person because such and such posted such and such and that just didn’t fly with your parents? Raise ya hands and keep it there.

And it doesn’t have to stay on Facebook either. Sometimes the shit can spur on any other app where a large number of people can get together and chat. There was a situation where one parent was text threading with a large number of  family members and a subject had been blown way out of proportion to the point where everyone in the chat thread just left the room. Bridges were burned and now it’s just awkward for that person and everyone affected.

For Christ sakes, think of the children! I don’t know if this applies for every other Asian out there, but do your parents act as if you’re one big unit? Like, if one person apart of your clan gets in a fight with another clan, all of you are banned from being friends with another person in the other clan who is not involved in the drama? It used to be like that for me, but my parents finally snipped off the umbilical cord and let me keep my relationships with whomever I want. I mean, shit, I’m 23.

What are your stories with your parents on social media? Do you have a difference in opinion? Got something to contribute? Let me know!

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About neilprotacio

Freelance journalist who just so happens to know what goes well with certain breads.
This entry was posted in Blog, My Life, Opinion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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