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Mum’s the word

Your mom is on Facebook? Find out whether she is a nonchalant browser, a spy raider or an over-reacting fanatic.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2012 18:04 IST
Amrutha Penumudi

So you thought it’s not a big deal to openly flaunt snapshots of your drunken shenanigans and details of love life on Facebook? But turns out, you cannot be too sure of who’s watching you on social networking websites. It could be your boss, your ‘frenemy’ or worst of all – your mom. The smartphone flaunting, online-shopping sites-browsing mothers have arrived at the social networking scene with a bang. But before you accept that friend request from mommy dearest, you should know that she could actually end up becoming one of these:

Nonchalant browser:
Every mum has her own little strategy in the way she deals with her kids. The composed, nonchalant Facebook mum is a rare phenomenon, but she does exist. Alpana Issar, the mother of a 20-year-old, for instance, believes that the personal life of her son must be respected. “The more you interfere in your child’s personal life, the more she or he will start hiding things from you. And I would expect my family to do the same for me too. I have faith in the way I have brought up my child”, insists Issar. Neha Kunwar, a 21-year-ol old has a pact with her mother to never be friends with her on Facebook, so that both of them get their own space. “My mum has never sent me a friend request, and I am grateful for that. I feel that having your mom on your friend list inevitably leads to a lot of pressure to behave in a certain manner.”

Spy raider:
Spy mums are always under some kind of a covert operation on social networking sites. While they do keep tabs on their kids on these platforms, they mostly see things with a ‘live and let live’ attitude, unless there is a line that is being crossed, of course. Says Amana Rao, a mother two girls aged 21 and 15. “I did not join Facebook to spy on my kids. But at the same time I cannot deny that I do visit my daughters’ profiles everyday. But that’s only to check if she’s doing fine. I don’t pounce on her for every single thing.” She adds, “As mothers, we have the right to be a little possessive, don’t we?”

Over-reacting fanatic:
Some mothers like to know each and every detail about their child’s life. These paranoid, over-protective mums even go as far as confronting her kids for seemingly harmless activities such as changing a profile picture or chatting with a friend. But smart, Internet-savvy kids have a solution for such situations too:privacy settings. “My mother can’t see any of my albums, or wall posts from other friends. I hate that I have to hide things from her, but I know that if I don’t do this, she will throw a fit over every single issue”, says Pratik Mishra, a 22-year-old student. Pooja Rajkumar, 21, believes that the way kids react depends on their age. “During my teens, I didn’t want my mother to know a lot of things, as I assumed she’d flip. But now she can view everything on my profile, and I know she has no issues because I am old enough to take care of myself.”

Keep in mind
Your parents are not on Facebook to spy on you, they are there to relax and unwind - just like you. So don’t be bitter.

Use Facebook as a tool to bond with your mother. Show her your new uploads, or your friends’ profiles. She will trust you more if she knows who your friends are.

You can also use the platform to show her the other side of you. This way she will ease into it, and might even appreciate the fact that you dont hide things from her.

Communicate. Tell her if she is being too paranoid, or if you think you need more space.