Is it weird that I don't want to be fb friends with my parents?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by waterfall, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Aug 15, 2011

    My parents are pretty technology-illiterate. However, my dad has finally gotten a fb after much convincing from his friends. He wanted to see pictures from a recent trip, and their computer is so old it wasn't compatible with anything to download/view them when they tried to send him the cd. They finally convinced him to sign up for fb so he could get them that way.

    Anyway, my parents and I have an...interesting relationship. I've posted a little about this before. We get along because we are similar in personality. I visit them often and enjoy their company. However, I've always liked to keep my personal life seperate. They are christian fundamentalists. Although I loosely still consider myself religious, compared to them I'm a crazy liberal. They don't believe in alcohol in any situation or for any reason (not even a glass of wine with dinner- they think the drink itself is sinful). They don't believe in going to bars, even if one was not going to drink alcohol there. They don't believe in seeing R rated movies or listening to popular songs with cursing or any "innapproriate topics." The only time they EVER miss church is if they are violently ill- even if they are on vacation they will find a church wherever they are to go to. They're very conservative politically as well, and I swear my mom acts like the democratic party is lead by the devil himself trying to "lead us all astray." I'm a liberal and I will occasionally post political articles that are interesting or comments on my profile. They're aware of my political leanings...but I've stopped discussing politics at all with them because it just causes a fight.

    I believe in none of the above. My profile is tame- I made sure of that when I started interviewing for teaching jobs even though I set everything totally to private. I don't have any "crazy" pictures on there, but I definitely have pictures that were obviously taken at a bar or where there are alcoholic drinks in the picture. Friends have posted on my wall about going out and things like that. Even if I block all of my pictures from them, I don't want to be constantly checking what people have posted on my wall or "editing" my statuses to be appropriate for their high moral standards. Although they've always believed in letting me be independent and have my own life, like I said religion is everything to them. If they saw anything that they felt was "leading me down the wrong path" they'd not only see it as their duty to lecture me out of it, but they'd also give themselves ulcers worrying about it. My mom is always telling me that if I "fall away from the church" I've lost everything and nothing else in my life matters. I know it's because he cares, but my dad is especially "nosy". My mom and I have a running joke about how he is with all of his questions, asking me about every little thing. (She'll say- don't you want to ask her what the exact temperature of the water was at the pool? etc.)

    What should I do? Tell them I like to keep my personal life seperate? Explain that I don't think they need to know every detail about me? Watch my profile like a hawk?
     
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  3. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Aug 15, 2011

    You could set it so they only see specific stuff you are ok with them seeing.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I thought about that...but I have two problems with that.

    1. They're going to ask why they can't see everything (they're not dumb- they know I have photos and stuff on there).
    2. Really, other than my "info" like work/education and stuff, there's not much at all I'd be super comfortable with them seeing. Even some of the movies and music I have under "likes" would be offensive to them. I'm not into raunchy rap or anything like that, but they only listen to christian music, and I do have some R rated movies that are listed as favorites of mine. If I posted a status that said "wine tasting with the girls!" or something, that would be a problem for them. I don't want to have to carefully word or take the time to block them from every status that isn't about jesus. If my friend posted a picture or something on my wall about a night out, that would be a problem for them. Again, I don't want to have to be monitoring my stuff 24/7, watching what friends post and everything too.

    I LOVE my fb because I live so far from my hometown and it lets me keep in touch with my close friends from there. I'm still extremely close to my two best friends from HS, and that's largely because we can have so much contact trough fb. I use the "chat" feature to talk to both of them almost every single night. So just throwing in the towel and getting rid of it is not an option either!
     
  5. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2011

    Yes and No

    MY first thought is what are you hiding from your Parents?...... (I know I'll get hit for this one)

    I am FB friends with my son and it beats the heck out of me when he and his friends chat I don't understand much of it!


    The same with the 4 step daughters, with one I get to see the step grandson through almost weekly pictures.

    You just have to "Know" what your other FB friends are like if they say things you don't want your parents to read well its either your parents or your friends that have to go....... er... you choose

    of course I share almost everything with my son and I did with my mom so unless my friends cussed :eek: I really wouldn't mind what people write (if I was still teaching I think I would care a little more :naughty: )
     
  6. alioxenfree

    alioxenfree Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2011

    I don't think it's weird. I wouldn't want to be FB friends with my parents either. We don't have the differences that you and your parents have, but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it. I like FB to be separate.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 15, 2011

    I'm Facebook friends with both of my parents, but we are really close. I use Facebook to keep in touch with my mom and stepdad who live far away, and increasingly with my dad who lives really close. I'm sure I put things on there that they don't approve of, and they put things on there that embarrass me, but that's the way my family is in real life, too. Luckily, my parents are very open to different ideas, so it would be hard for me to post anything that offends them too much!
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Aug 15, 2011

    I am very close to my mother. BUT I am not friends with her on facebook. I am friends with her sisters. We have about 20 or more friends in common. We both decided to not be friends on it...she doesn't have a problem with it.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would probably feel bad...but at the same time, I don't think you should (feel bad, that is). I'm afraid they'd just become upset with your content and it may cause stress in your relationship.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 15, 2011

    M mom doesn't have a computer, television, or cell phone. FB is not something she has. Dad didn't either. I do have Mom's boyfriend on my list.

    I have him blocked from my wall and most of my photos. I have most people blocked from at least part of my profile.

    If you are uncomfortable with them seeing your profile, then don't add them as a friend.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 15, 2011

    Would you consider leveling with them?

    Let them know what's there, let them know you're afraid they'll worry unnecessarily, let them know that you're concerned it will damage the relationship you enjoy.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 15, 2011

    Can you set up a separate acct that would be the 'cleaned up, parent approved' version?
     
  13. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Oh Gosh!!! They sound exactly like my grandma. She is like my mom because she raised me but her beliefs about being a "decent" woman are about a century behind. I'm not exagerating. I would even get in trouble if I would be walking on the street and a guy looked at me for a few seconds. Her worse fear in the world, again I'm not exagerating, is that people would talk bad about me because I go out by myself and I stay past 9pm. She would worry herself about this to the point that she would get sick.

    I actually admire the patience you have towards your parents as I struggle with this with my grandma because I want to have a closer relationship with her but her beliefs really drive me nuts and I'm not that good about staying quiet. In fact, many of us in the family love her but avoid staying with her for a long time when we visit her because she'll be watching every move and then worrying about our "indecent" actions.

    I would not want to be friends with them on facebook. I want to keep the lifestyle I have and not having them worry about it. What I think you should do is create another profile and add your dad as friend so that they don't feel bad. This profile will have things that your parents will aprove and won't send them to the hospital because of a heart attack.
     
  14. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2011

    If it were me, I'd friend them and then ramp all that stuff up a bit. But that's just me.

    Sort of sounds like my parents, especially my mom. All she would watch or listen to was sports and Rush Limbaugh. Funny thing was a while after she died, my dad became a democrat.
     
  15. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2011

    My parents aren't on FB, but I declined being friends with a nosy aunt and my grandma for similar reasons as you. I said that I wanted to keep it for "friends only" and they understood. They do have my email though.

    I would either send my parents a CD of my pictures or put them on a photo-sharing site like flickr. That way you can still share the pics (edited, if needed) but not your whole online persona.

    I totally understand the religious thing about your parents--my mom would freak out if she ever heard me curse, drink, use off-color language, etc. It's sad, but there are some things you have to keep quiet about.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2011

    FB and Twitter advice from the NJ Education Association:

    *
    *
    NJEA Members:
    13 Tips for Twitter & Facebook
    *
    1. Make sure you read and follow your district’s social media policy (if your district has one).
    *
    2. Don’t use your full name as your user name; giving away personal information – even your full name – online can be dangerous. *Make sure to keep your cell phone number and home email private – you can check this under "Privacy Settings" under "Contact Information."
    *
    3. Do not affiliate your social media accounts with your work email address. People can search for you by your email address.
    *
    4. Consider carefully how what you post could be interpreted. Humor, especially sarcasm, is extremely difficult to convey.
    *
    5. Never post information about your job online, especially about students. People have lost their jobs for things they have posted. Never post anything you mean to be funny about your boss or students.
    *
    6. Never post during work hours or using work materials, such as a computer. *Even if you use your own personal laptop or smartphone at work, you could have a problem, particularly if you are posting when you are supposed to be performing your duties. Remember, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites have time and date stamps on comments so people can see when you posted something.
    *
    7. Even if you are not “friends” or “following” a manager or co-workers, people can find your information online and so-called friends may share it with your boss by printing it out, taking a screenshot, or showing them the information on a smart phone.
    *
    8. Be careful with abbreviations. Twitter mandates 140 characters; many times you have to shorten or abbreviate your message. Make sure you re-read your post carefully before you submit it.
    *
    9. Do not share where you are with applications such as Foursquare. You never know who is accessing your information, or why. Be safe and only post your location after the fact.
    *
    10. Always exercise good judgment when posting anywhere online. Don’t let emotion overwhelm common sense. *Be careful when using capital letters as this is considered to be shouting. *
    *
    11. Be judicious in posting photos online, especially if they are not something you would want to be shown at a school board meeting. User policies can vary – you may be allowing the company the right to use them any way they would like. Never post photos of yourself holding alcoholic beverages or wearing provocative clothing. *
    *
    12. Monitor photos in which you are “tagged.” When someone uploads a picture of you and tags it with your name it can be viewed unless you have properly set your privacy settings, which is at least a seven-step process. In addition, be careful of photos in which others are behaving in a risqué manner as you will be seen as guilty by association.
    *
    13. Do not “friend” or “follow” students or their parents. If you are using social media for education-related activities, make sure to have it approved in writing by your supervisor and create a different account; do not use your personal account.
    *
    *
    *
    As educators, we are held to higher standards than the rest of the working world. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously. Be safe online and never post anything you wouldn’t want read out loud at a school board meeting.
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *

    *
    *
    *
    *
    NJEA Communications
    August 4, 2011
     
  17. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Aug 18, 2011

    What makes you think they wouldn't understand? I find that most people who have a radically different point of view are often the most accepting of the differences in others.

    What makes you think they don't already know about your life? I would imagine they know more than you think.


    I'm with Alice. Just open up to them. If they don't think they can deal with having your lifestyle visualized rather than imagined, leave off the FB invite. However, I think you'd be surprised if you opened up the conversation.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 18, 2011

    To answer your original question, no, it's not weird. I guess it wouldn't matter if my parents saw my stuff because I'm hardly on FB anyway, but everyone should have their own privacy, even if there's nothing to hide.

    Once I'm no longer living at home, my mom just might ask about my FB page, but I highly doubt she will. She knows we can just talk on the phone & see each other & if I have pictures, I'll just bring them over & show her. My dad's NEVER on a computer period.

    You're a grown adult & they need to respect that, so if they actually fall out w/ you because they see via FB that you're living your own life, that would be a shame (meaning for them to be that way). Talk to them about your life gradually, so you're not slamming them w/ all this info that they think is so horrible. For example, one day talk about a movie you saw that even though they may not like, you saw it & liked it. Then, maybe a month or so later, if you drink alcoholic beverages, casually mention about this drink you like.
     
  19. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2011

    Ugh, I feel you. I don't want to be friends with my boss...yet she just asked me last week. I've been working here 6 years with her! We are by no means friends, and to be quite honest I can't stand the woman. So putting her on my list with restrictions still doesn't work for me...I've been ignoring it so far, I don't think she'll ask me about it. But yours is a bit more tricky...you probably shouldn't ignore the parents. Maybe you can make a FB profile for school....and then make a personal one for you....and then set-up blocks so it looks like you don't have one so no one can just look you up.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If I felt like I couldn't be honest with my parents about my lifestyle, I'd probably set up a second, tamer Facebook account with only harmless stuff on it and add my parents to that one. If my parents were the sort of people who would worry extensively about what's on my Facebook page, I think they'd also worry extensively about why I refused to accept their friend request. Therefore, a secondary account seems like the only reasonable solution. Ideally, though, I'd rather just tell them, Look, parents. This is the stuff I do and the stuff I like. Get over it. I love you.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The NJEA article might be a little off-topic, but I have to say at least that I disagree with these groups acting as though it's perfectly okay for districts to judge you as a teacher if you post a picture of yourself with a drink (or in the other situations mentioned). And the standard of "would you mind showing it at a school board meeting" is ridiculous. Just very frustrating.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    After considering the OP, I would most likely tell my parents they may be hurt, upset, worried, disappointed, or (fill in the blank) if they became my friend on Facebook and that I'd rather avoid that.
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    :yeahthat:

    I agree! I hate when teachers perpetuate this idea that we must elevate ourselves to sainthood simply because we are teachers. Yes, I do think teachers are role models and should be aware of that. However, having a drink is a perfectly acceptable, adult thing to do. I do not understand why everyone always talks about having no drinking or pictures in bars and things like that on your fb if you're a teacher. IMO, agreeing with policies such as this sends one of two messages to students: 1) You should lie about who you really are or 2) If you drink or go to a bar when you're older, you're a bad person. Is that the kind of role model we really want to be for students? If we want students to use us as role models, we need to set an example that's attainable- not an example that's a lie where we pretend we lead the lives of 12 year olds because we're teachers.

    Anyway, back to the original topic...turns out I didn't need to worry at all. I was just talking to my dad on the phone today and he told me not to worry about him friend requesting me or my friends because he respects my privacy. So, problem solved!
     
  24. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    That's good the problem was solved.
    I really don't get the educators are held to higher standards thing. Lowest pay (in comparison), lowest level of respect, lowest autonomy (in comparison) and quite often lowest morale yet highest standard? I think 'highest standard' really means 'harsher judgement.'

    I refuse to buy into all of that. I conduct myself the exact same way I would as if I were in any other field.

    Sorry I'm feeling a bit hormonal tonight:dizzy:
     

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