It used to be that kids didn't want their parents to embarrass them in front of their friends. Now, it seems that they don't want to be embarrassed in front of their Twitter followers. Rapper Bow Wow recently had a "Twitter fight" with his mom, which included this exchange:
"I can tell Bow has been here. He never parks the cars in the garage. That drives me crazy. I pulled up and there's 3 cars outside. Ghetto!"
2:30 PM Jan 17th from TweetDeck
"@MsTCaldwell delete your account. or I’m deleting mine and my fans are going to be mad at you"
"Y'all @bowwow614 going to get me n trouble. The BOSS will b calling me this morning saying stay off Twitter mom. He's funny. Love u son"
6:51 AM Jan 18th from TweetDeck
Where's the threshold of appropriateness between parent and child interaction on social media? In Bow Wow's case, his mom reprimanded him for a seemingly minor offense -- but the whole exchange was essentially made in front of the entire Twitter world (both of their Twitter pages are public). How would you feel if your parent pointed out to all your followers a bad habit you have -- or even if your parent left you a tweet just to say hi or see what's up -- at an age when the mere existence of parents is mortifying?
On the other hand, we recently blogged about how kids spend pretty much every waking moment on some sort form of media, which can leave some parents thinking, how else can I get their attention or connect with my kids?
Is it ok to be your kids' Facebook friend and Twitter follower? Would you use that for something like reminding them to clean their rooms, or just to check on them and see what they're up to? Or do you stay out of your kids' social media lives?
(I fortunately don’t have to figure this out for myself. I grew up without social networking, so my parents did all the embarrassment in person -- and my Dad still asks "What's a Twitter?")