Social networking has opened up a new way for parents to keep tabs on their children and their friends. No longer do they look through backpacks or in diaries left in hiding places. Their children’s lives are an open book on social networking sites and they’ve invited the world to take a look and that includes their parents in some cases.
Interestingly while they don’t care if people they’ve never met face to face have access to their private life, only one third of students questioned in a study would want to count their parents among their Facebook friends. In a study by insurance company Ensleigh, of the children that do not want their parents to be their Facebook friends it was primarily because they did not want them to see their pictures or messages. The research also revealed that 72 per cent of 1-25 year olds who have left home use the internet to keep in touch with their parents. Only 7 per cent of those questioned in the research use the postal service as a way to keep in touch with their family.
While young people use social media as a way to interact with others, it is not replacing personal interaction. The study revealed 62 per cent of those under 25 admitted to being homesick when they first moved away from home. When those over age 45 were questioned about their experience when they first left home only 55 per cent said they missed home.
Relationship expert Christine Webber commented in response to the study: “These days parents are becoming less anxious about their kids flying the nest as there are so many different ways to keep in touch, but they must be careful not to invade their privacy by checking up on them too much.
“However it seems nothing can replace the comfort of the human voice, which is why so many students still need to phone home for a regular catch up.”