A reader can't understand why her children won't be friends with her on social media

Jo Brand / 21 September 2018

What would you advise this reader who just wants to be friends with her offspring on Facebook?

Dilemma: My children won't befriend me on Facebook

 My children and their partners refuse to be friends with me on Facebook because I dare to put political views up there and share perfectly innocent photographs of my grandchildren.

Are they just embarrassed to be associated with me, or am I doing something wrong?

Jo Brand's advice

This is, of course, a relatively new problem addressing a pretty old problem - the so-called generation gap. Most generations do not tend to cross over the battle lines into each other’s territory in a very relaxed fashion. In fact, I know very few 20-somethings who have allowed their parents full access to their Facebook account.

Let’s start with your political views. Are they similar to your children’s? Unlikely, I would think, but I may be wrong… And perhaps they are just too nice to tell you.

Not unreasonably, they would like to choose which pictures of their children go online, as they are their parents, rather than you deciding what is appropriate. You say ‘perfectly innocent’ photos as if you think they are accusing you of something dubious, but these days we all have to be careful about how photos are interpreted and I’m afraid that is not your decision to make.

Finally, and I’m sorry to say this, you just have to accept that you are probably embarrassing to your offspring. As the mother of two teenagers, I am only too aware of my shame quotient 
and have accepted that I won’t foist my views or photos onto their social networking sites. 

If I were you, I would just be understanding and let them have their private spaces. Believe me, they’ll be grateful and it will prevent a greater rift occurring.

Our readers say...

'When I first went on Facebook I felt uncomfortable about my daughter seeing what I posted but fortunately she felt the same way so we mutually agreed not to be friends. Re putting photographs of grandchildren on Facebook: I totally agree with Jo Brand. Though I will talk about our grandchildren and  our proud moments, photographs only go on with my daughter’s permission.' Jean, via email 

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