Getting Friendly With Facebook
Should my child’s teacher or coach be her Facebook friend?
Answer: In short, no, says Parry Aftab, a New York City lawyer specializing in privacy and cybercrime issues. “Crossing that line allows for more casual and possibly inappropriate communication,” he says. While Aftab says some schools smartly limit or ban student-teacher interaction on social-networking sites, others do not. If the teacher or the coach wants to use Facebook to post assignments or discuss practice, (gently) suggest an interactive platform, like Blackboard.com or Uptous.com.
Should I force my child to be my Facebook friend?
Answer: You can, but remember: Not many kids want their moms posting love notes on their walls, and your child could simply open another account unbeknownst to you. If you vow to stay behind the scenes, your child may be more willing to let you poke around. For example, instead of infringing on her territory in a way that all her friends can see (“Cute pic! But you need a haircut! Love, Mom”), allow your child to open an account but insist on having access to it via her password. Or have a family rule that you can view her page occasionally when she’s on it, says Aftab.