Kids Off to College? Stalk ‘Em With Social Media!

Good news! “Twitter, Facebook Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Age Kids.” (Thank you again, Onion! And thank you, those who sent this video in.)

28 Responses

  1. This is actually a real-life reason why you must Use Filters Carefully. If you don’t want the whole world knowing it, don’t post it public.

  2. Lol very entertaining. I especially liked “just spell everything wrong and curse a lot.”

    I would like to mention though, that kids DO need to be taught what’s appropriate online, just like they have to learn safe driving or responsible drinking (yes I realize it’s not a perfect metaphor since posting obscene comments on facebook isn’t likely to get them killed). Friending your kids online is a good idea, because if they’re posting things they don’t want their parents to see, chances are, future employers shouldn’t see it either. Much like Vegas, what happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet. Unlike Vegas though, with online stupidity, this isn’t an advantage.

  3. Original Link in case proxy filtering software prevents embedded video.

    I loved this, all the way up until the end where they drop the bomb about having a life. The comments in the screen shots are priceless. The only thing wrong with it is that it’s funny b/c it’s true.

  4. Good gawd… If I had been on facebook when I was younger there was no way I would have added my parents.. There is no way I would have wanted them knowing what I was getting up to🙂

  5. When my 13yo daughter went to boarding school 1100+ miles away I asked that she friend me on FB so that I could know what was going on in her life.

    It wasn’t about control, or stalking, it was about connection – which is what FB is (supposed to) be about. She never got in trouble from me about anything she posted, though once or twice I did shake my head a bit, lol.

    When she moved home again this summer she un-friended me because we don’t need that TYPE of connection anymore. She is right there in my kitchen talking to me while I cook dinner, so I get the information first hand again.

    When she goes away to school and university in the next few years I hope she will again friend me on FB so I can be ‘in the loop’ of her life.

  6. It took me forever to figure out that this was a parody. I’m not usually so humor-impaired, but so much of this could actually be real.

  7. If only The Onion were joking…

  8. I wasn’t sure whether the Google ads for Free Sex Offender Reports were part of the joke or ironic placements of real ads until I scrolled the clip back and found they didn’t start at the same time as before. They’re real!

  9. I’d send this to my mother, but I’m afraid she’d think it was serious.

  10. so funny for me. I just posted on FB that my Dad wanted to friend me. NO WAY. Not that I’m posting slutty pics of myself at 36, but I don’t want them to be in my social circle.🙂 My sister and BFF actually friended him and I informed them I would be disowning both of them.

    It took me a minute to realize this was joke too😉

    Lisa
    The other “E-Mom”
    http://www.lunzygras.com

  11. I wonder how many parents actually think you can only have on FB account…

  12. ONE! I meant ONE! (sigh)

  13. OK, did anyone else get really offended at the mysogenistic way she was talking about the girl in the picture with her son?!? How is it ok to call a girl a tramp and talk about “girls like that like to have fun” while implying that her son is a wonderful, well-mannered, well-raised boy. Women should NOT be degrading other women and girls like this.

    NOT OK

  14. Just to be clear, I realize this is a parody, but even as a joke, that kind of language about women and girls is unacceptable.

  15. Personally, I would never add my parents on any social networking site; that would be like inviting them in to watch movies and hang out with me and my friends; it WOULD NOT HAPPEN. (though my mum did once come and sit and watch a movie with me and my mates, tres embarrassing)

  16. As I just sent off my kids to their respective univerities and college towns, this is a topic on my mind…

    I confess: I am not above ‘snooping’ if I think my kid is in real trouble (or soon to be). But this whole ‘let’s be friends’ intergenerational thing on Facebook seems just so, so sad to me!

    I was looking over my daughter’s shoulder recently when she was on FB (and she knew, of course) and I happened to see a message from her friend saying that she, the friend, had to change a photo or some such thing on her FB because she was now ‘friends’ with her grandmother.

    Her GRANDMOTHER!

    Oy.

    There IS something to be said for the good ol’ generation gap! (Talk about a word one doesn’t hear anymore.) And it can go both ways, too. Recently one of my kids wanted to tell me something, and I–frank boomer mom that I usually am–said it was a bit too much info for right now, thank you anyway.

    I just don’t really get the whole FB thing for just about anyone past 25 or so. I enjoy–obviously–other forms of internet networking, but FB is just so clearly set up for…what?…the teenage mind, the sound bite, the whole l5 minutes of fame mentality.

    The real point I’d like to make–and the one that fits most with the theme of this blog–is that if one as a parent has done a ‘good enough’ job of preparing your kids for the adult world and if you are ‘letting go’ of them, as you must, when they leave for school (or the military, or travel, or whatever), then how does being on FB fit into that? What role does it play? Can’t this generation of parents leave anything just to our kids, or do we have to be in on the whole show?

  17. Hahaha…I saw that on The Onion and thought of you but I figured a whole bunch of people would already be sending it in, so I didn’t bother. It really isn’t that far from the truth though. I’ve seen parents virtually stalk their own children through Facebook and Twitter. It’s ridiculous. Do you REALLY want to know that your children are at their 5th party this week and do you REALLY want (or need?!) to see the pictures of your daughter making out with every member of the football team? LET THEM GO!!

  18. I work at a University. Which makes this all the more painful. ‘Helicopter parents’ are a real problem. And part of the problem is that a lot of kids can’t make the simplest decisions without mommy and daddy. And these are kids with an AVERAGE GPA pretty close to 4.0.

    I say kids because it feels that way sometimes, but when you’re in college, you’re not a boy/girl anymore, you’re a man/woman. Or at least should be.

    To be fair, I’m sure my view is skewed by a few examples. But trust me, those few examples will make your tongue bleed.

  19. Ok, I am a 30 yo that is on Facebook and I love it. I also have my parents and my grandpa on my friend list. Maybe I’m a lot older than the rest of you posters but I’m not posting anything my family can’t see and in fact, connecting with family was my main reason for joining Facebook. Most of my friends are aunts, uncles, and cousins that I grew up and now live far away from. Facebook allows me to connect with them, trade pictures and just stay in the loop.

    As for the parody, I thought it was hilarious and I’m praying that if and when my kids get Facebook accounts I can control myself (if I’m added, of course). I don’t know if I want to know what they are up to in college and in their 20’s. Not only will I feel really old but I’m guessing I would see a side of them I never wanted to see. Some things are better kept private between parents and children. Gotta love The Onion though. I wonder if they’re on Facebook…

  20. Thank goodness I saw this is from the Onion before I responded…I was able to laugh after the first minute of video.

    This is exactly why I did not “friend” my aunts & uncles, friends’ parents, etc. And I’m over 40!!! I am kind of beyond the point of having stuff to hide. 😉

    It’s purely a social outlet. Mom doesn’t have a page–she doesn’t WANT to know everything. I will phone my mom if I want to catch her up on things.

    I will not even get started on “let your kids GO when they go off to college.” Be in the background to help, but don’t be a constant presence!

  21. My very FAVORITE part of this was that when I clicked on the video, I got a serious pop-up ad from Google that would allow me to track sexual predators in my neighborhood in 60 seconds. Imagine! In less than the time it takes to refill my coffee, I can elevate my anxiety level, too.

    Laughter, tears, anxiety, so many emotions in under 3 minutes. No wonder we’re all exhausted. I’m not sure our systems are sufficiently evolved to take all those different chemicals being released into our systems.

    I’m off to put a cold rag on my head.

  22. That is really funny, those people are good, they had me going for a minute there!

  23. @Christophper Byrne

    By ‘popup’ do you mean an actual new window? Google doesn’t do popup ads. Do you get the same style very often? If so, you probably have ‘malware’ on your computer. You should run a scan with ‘Spybot Search and Destroy’ and Ad-Aware (from Lavasoft). These are free tools. Ad-Aware will strongly encourage you to get a paid version, but there is a free ‘bare bones’ version available.

    Sorry going so far off topic folks, but maybe this will help others too.

  24. As a second-year college student, I have to say that mom seems… actually, compared to some moms I’ve seen, she’s underprotective.

    I got lucky, sort of: in order to let me adjust faster, my parents refused any sort of contact for my first two weeks last year. This is because they trust me. They raised me, and now they hope I’ll make the right choices.

    Honestly, there are people my age and older who may end up unable to cope on their own when they’re thirty. It’s disgusting. And this is not parody- it’s life.

  25. see, I don’t mind being “friends” with my parents and others from their generation. I love being able to connect with friends of all ages–I always hated being forced to be friends with people my own age when I was a kid. Age really isn’t that big a deal when you have other things in common.

    And why do people under 25 think they own social networking?

    (I’m 31 and my parents are 60–we’re all adults and I love having them in my life both on & off the internet.)

  26. I saw “Onion” in the lead but the piece was so well done that I had to bring myself back a couple of times. That mother reminded me that my commitment to non-violence will always be a challenge.

    I followed my nieces and nephews when they were little and wanted everybody to be their friends, but as they grew older I became disturbed but their “adult” postings. I stopped checking in on them. From time to time one will ask me if I saw something they posted, which tells me that they don’t care if I stalk them. But I just can’t do it. I think I love them too much and can’t bear their growing pains.

  27. The thing is, I’m not ‘friends’ with my parents, so why would I have them on a network for friends?

  28. @Rich Wilson

    I briefly mentioned the ads earlier. They are superimposed over the bottom third of the clip. They alternated between offender searches and home refinancing offers. After about 30 seconds they reduced in size to just a headline on the screen that would stay the same if you scrolled backwards. That showed that they were not part of the video clip. This is not due to malware because it was on my Apple MacBook Pro. Not to get into the Mac vs PC argument, but viruses on a Mac are as rare as child abductions by strangers. This article explains it.
    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/google-goes-gaudy-with-youtube-ads/

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