Parents in Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites are the best places to spot children’s activities. Whether their romance or bad personal habits. Parents are keen to get into these sites to trap their children’s lives. Some of them join due to their peer pressure or sheer excitement which is common in the current global society. Facebook, orkut, myspace, ringo and other social networking sites are increasing. Adding to this list is the professional networking sites like Linkedin. In the flood of networking sites parents choose the ones where they can keep track of their children’s activities. Knowing well the consequences of helicopter parenting in their networking sites, children refuse to entertain parent’s friendship request. Apart from the fear of getting trapped by parents in the networking sites, children are also reluctant parents to mingle without age differences.

Dishant Kapur (16 years male) a student of Delhi Public School says “It is embarrassing for me to have my mother in facebook where I abuse my friends with dirty words. Everything is written on the wall and news fed to all others in my list. That is why I did not accept my mother’s friend request to me”.

Lovelita (19 years female) a final year student of Mumbai Sophia College says “My boyfriend and I flirt freely in facebook. Keeping my parents there is dangerous and unnecessarily it creates more panic among them. I totally discouraged them to open their accounts in the networking site. I advised them to become members of Linkdin which is professional one and more helpful to them”.

Facebook is the present network mania among the Net users of all age groups. It defeated Orkut the mother of all social networking sites on the account of privacy provided. Orkut used to be free for all site. There was no privacy for people while scrapping and photo displaying. Using this one great complaint, Facebook had defeated orkut. Facebook made privacy as its USP. One cannot write on the other’s wall without the owner’s prior permission.

Photos can be viewed only by the user’s selected friends. Even the profile cannot appear in the search if the user desires so. These privacy issues put facebook on the top of the networking sites. Along with the privacy facebook also provided hundreds of programmes which can test the users skills and rate them according to their performance. These ratings are news feed to other friends which pulled them into the game. This kind of game infection hooked many users into facebook.

The privacy issue and multiple applications like book review, movie review, and food review created a huge popularity across all age groups. In the final count facebook outsmarted all other networking sites. To pay heavily for its largest number of members Facebook service has gone dead slow.

Parents have different stories to tell. Mahima Dutt (43 years, female) of Kolkata says “Social networking sites are for all. Although I started late to surf and chat it is a great outlet to vent our anger. Many of my friends give me counseling when I lose my cool at home or at work. To be connected with them I use orkut. But my children hate to see me there”.

Social networking sites are equally beneficial and dangerous to the society at large. It can tilt to any side depending on the user wavelength. According to the study conducted by Public Action (2005) in eight Indian cities Internet has opened up the pandora’s box. With email and social networking sites people get involved more in extramarital affairs. Any small tension at home can immediately take the marital relations to end stage. Vinodhini (26 years female) married to a boy chosen by her parents. The newly wed couple was having tough time in temperamental adjustments. One day her husband slapped in anger. The next day she filed a divorce suit. Within six months she started her second marriage life with her college boyfriend. The networking site kept both them of connected after marriage. He asked to her divorce her husband and join him at USA”

Whether children or parents or newly married couple, social networking sites are both boon and bane. It creates a lot of suspicion and misunderstandings among family members. Children use code words and acronyms to alert their friends when they were using Net at home. Sample some of these acronyms

P9/11 – Parent alerts
PBM – Parent behind me
PIR – Parent in room
POS – parent over shoulder
NC coast not clear

The age-old dictum – Anything sincerely used will be proving to be beneficial’ holds totally true at this social networking age. There are hundreds of positive aspects associated with these social networking sites. If it is used for better purposes social networking sites cannot be beaten.



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