Six rules parents need to follow when using Facebook.

A new generation of Facebook addicts has emerged. From the time of Facebook’s creation in 2004, never have we seen a generation so devoted. Never have we seen a generation so enthusiastic. And never have we seen a generation so completely and utterly clueless. Mum and dad, we love you. What we don’t love is your lack of Facebook pizazz. So if you really must be our friend on Facebook, here are six helpful pointers to stop you from getting blocked.

1. When you post on our wall, EVERYONE can see it.

Imagine this. It is a normal day. You are on your laptop and you hear the oh-so familiar ding of a Facebook notification. When it says your mother posted on your wall, you think nothing of it. Little did you know, your life is about to take a turn for the worse. “Hi Darling, how is the UTI going? Remember that the doctor said to drink plenty of water.” Believe it or not, this actually happened to one of my friends on Facebook. Although the post was swiftly deleted, countless friends saw it, several liked it and one even took a screenshot. Parents, the next two words are the cardinal rule of Facebook. Repeat these two words with every login you make, every breath you take: USE INBOX.

No child wants this on their wall! Image supplied.

Imagine that you need to tell your child something but you are in a room with 500 of their friends, family and acquaintances. If you and your child would feel comfortable yelling it out to the whole room, this would be appropriate for a wall post. If you’d prefer to tell your child on the quiet, remember the cardinal rule of Facebook. Use inbox.

2. When the Facebook status box asks you ‘What’s on Your Mind?’, this does not have to be taken too literally.

Think of the one asking ‘What’s on Your Mind’ as a neighbour who is just trying to be polite.

The classic mum status. Don’t let it be you. Image supplied.

They care about what you’ve been up to but don’t need to know what you had for every meal or get constant updates of the score of a sporting game you’re watching.

3. There is a difference between a like, comment and a share.

You know that parent who constantly shares minion quotes? Do not be that parent. There are three ways to respond to posts on Facebook, each of varying intensity.

Like: If you agree with a post on Facebook, a simple click of this button will suffice.


Comment: Handy if you wish to express your point of view and interact with others about the post.


Share: If you share a post, it will appear in the newsfeed of every single one of your Facebook friends. Every single one. If you don’t want to be the most unpopular person on Facebook, don’t be an over-sharer. Forget the saying ‘sharing is caring’ and instead practice sparing sharing.


4. Check with us before you tag us in photos.


Nobody wants a photo of them in mid-sneeze appearing in their friends’ newsfeeds. Or to be dreading their birthday because they know their parents will upload one too many baby photos.


5. Correct use of acronyms is essential.


For something that seems so incredibly simple, an acronym has the potential to go terribly wrong.


On that note, LOL does not mean Lots of Love. It means Laugh Out Loud. No child wants to receive a message along the lines of “Say a prayer for Uncle Bill, his heart surgery is at 10am this morning. LOL” What kind of cruel person laughs in that situation? A more appropriate acronym for such a situation would be ILY. For the clueless parents, that stands for I Love You.


6. Facebook is great, but IRL is better.

Didn’t know that IRL stands for In Real Life? Well now you can add it right underneath LOL and ILY on your list of correctly utilised acronyms.

parents on Facebook
Image via iStock.

Instead of sending us a hugging face emoji, give us a hug IRL. Children love Facebook. But what we love more (even though we may not admit it) is real life affection. Are parents better at texting than they are at Facebook? See the last text Mamamia ladies received from their mothers.