Staying au courant with the ongoing in your teen’s life can be challenging, especially since teens can be notoriously difficult to talk to. Short, one-word responses such as “nothing” is the norm to questions like “How was your day?” and “what’s new?”
A recent article in the local paper told of how one parent discovered a way to open the lines of communication with her teen. She signed up for the popular social networking site Facebook as a way of staying in the loop with her children’s lives.
Facebook began in 2004 at Harvard University as a tool for creating student profiles and performing classmate searches. By 2005, it became accessible to most colleges, universities, and even high schools in the US. It opened up to the general public late 2006. Since then, Facebook has been in the media spotlight frequently surrounded by issues of privacy, a hot topic in the age of identity theft.
Privacy issues aside, the mom reports that Facebook has opened the door to communicating with her teenage daughter. The status updates and photos give the mom helpful conversation starters, and now they actually have discussions that go beyond the monosyllabic grunts she used to get to her inquiries into her daughter’s life.
Facebook—more than a social networking site, it just may be the technology that helps parents to bridge the generational and conversational divide. As author Patrick White notes in the article Facebook: watching the watchers, family dynamics may never be the same.