Teens think twice as parents sign-up for Facebook

A recent survey conducted by Nielsen for AOL found that over 70% of parents with kids on Facebook claim to have “friended” them. At first glance, this sounds highly unlikely. What self-respecting teen would dream of including their parents in their most sacred online lives?

However, it turns out that the survey was conducted among younger teens, 13 – 17-year-olds that presumably agreed to parental “friending” in order to open a Facebook account in the first place.

What’s more, it seems that the relationship is far from an easy one: one-third of parents worry that they aren’t seeing everything that their kids are up to online; while 29% of teens would unfriend their parents if they could.

Interestingly, teens are twice as likely to want to unfriend mom versus dad. It appears that mom can’t stop herself from posting intrusive and often embarrassing comments on her child’s page. “Dad thinks you look like Cher – please change your photo” was one such comment reported by a despairing 16-year-old.

“They join out of the mentality that they're the cool mom, and they just want to be part of the gang,” says Jeanne Leitenberg, 27, co-founder of web site My Parents Joined Facebook. “They don't realize how horrifying or how intrusive they actually are.”

The increasing adult presence may be resulting in “Facebook fatigue” among some teens. A earlier survey by Roiworld suggested that 1 in 5 teens are losing interest in social networking with nearly one-third of those blaming their parents and “too many adults and older people.”

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