Parents + Facebook = ??

Is friending your family on Facebook a good way to keep in touch at uni or a big mistake? ANDREW FORD weighs up the pros and cons of keeping mum

Apparently Facebook now has over 1 billion users, so no doubt some of them are going to be family. Which means at some point you’ve probably been asked if they can become your friend.

For some people this is no big deal, just another addition to their friend list. But for others, this is close to social media hell.

8035.5 days of embarrassment to follow

Do you really want that to be you? Especially after going on a night out. Who knows what will end up on Facebook in the morning? So let’s look at some pros and cons of letting family into your world of Facebook.


Pro: Keep in contact with family

It’s always nice to have a catch up with family, especially if you haven’t seen them in a while. You can let them know how uni is going. Maybe even get a little extra funding for your studies…*cough* alcohol *cough*.

Obviously there are many other ways of doing this, such as over the phone or Skype. But this is possibly the easiest and quickest way to do it now, with everything and everyone being on Facebook.

Love you too


Con: Your family keeps in contact with you.

It’s very likely that catching up will happen a lot and often, probably over consecutive days. It’s great to know that they care, but how much has really changed over the past 24 hours? Doubt a lot as you’re a student and have probably slept through most of it.

I think she likes you


Pro: You can hide what they see

Are you being pressured to take that final leap into accepting a certain family member, but rather not and don’t want to hurt their feelings? Why not just restrict what they can see? This way what happens at uni stays at uni, and you’re relative gets that all important add. Everyone’s happy.

Now you see me. Now you don’t.


Con: What if you forget to hide something?

Change in a relationship status, the latest party photos or what you think about your newest uni assignment. Something is bound to slip through the cracks at some point, leaving it vulnerable to a family attack.



Pro: Never forget a Birthday

Facebook can be a lifesaver. Giving you a little heads up of who’s next on your birthday card list, keeping you in your relative’s good books. Something that is probably best for family get-togethers.

Happy Birthday to you


Con: Let’s be honest. Parents in particular do like to embarrass their kids.

Whether you’re setting yourself up, or you’ve innocently done something stupid, your parents will snap up the first chance they get to make a fool out of you. You’ll try to avoid it, you’ll threaten to unfriend them if they do anything ridiculous, but it won’t stop them. Facebook presents too many opportunities which they won’t be able to resist, which could leave you absolutely mortified.

Period pains


So should you have your family on Facebook?

Well there is no easy way of answering this, it all comes down to each individual family. If your family are mostly normal and understanding of social media, then you may get away with it. But if they’re a bit more extreme, you may want to let them down gently. Although if you want to go with it anyway, at least the rest of us will get a laugh.