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Thursday, June 1, 2023


Family unity a rarity online

Twenty-four-year-old advertising junior Lauren Proff remembers the excitement of joy rides as a teenager and how her mother found out by a note she had written to a friend detailing the adventures.

While the age of hand-written notes has fallen by the wayside, the modern era of the instant update and a virtual playbook of recent activities makes it much easier for parents to monitor their children.

“Now it would be much easier to track kids’ activities and misadventures through the lens of Facebook,” Proff said. “Privacy is limited and your life and activities are sometimes put out into the world, whether you want them there or not.”

Kaplan Test Prep recently surveyed high school students on the issue and found that roughly two thirds of American teenagers are comfortable having their parents as Facebook friends while the rest said they ignored the request.

Proff said although she is Facebook friends with her mother now, she would have thought twice about it in high school.

A small number of college students surveyed stated a desire for privacy. But the consensus among older students is that although they don’t seek out their parents or family members on the site, they also wouldn’t deny a request to interact with them. As young adults, students are more comfortable being open with their family about their social lives.

Twenty-year-old psychology student John Hoang said his parents don’t use social networking tools like Facebook, but if they did, he would be part of the 30 percent who ignored the request.

Hoang said he feels the lack of privacy and the inability to control what others post about you would dissuade him from connecting with family members on the site.

Thirty-year-old digital media senior Michael Gault said he keeps in touch with family members through the site, but they don’t leave it up to Facebook for communication.

The rising popularity of social networking sites has family members and friends sharing a whole new level of interconnectedness; for a generation who grew up in the age of handwritten notes, the adjustment has taken some getting used to.

Proff said that although she enjoys keeping in touch with family on Facebook, like Gault she still enjoys the tradition of a good sit-down with the folks.

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