Stop stalking your college student online

We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Checked our son or daughter’s Facebook page to see if he or she changed the relationship status, posted any unsavory photos or announced his/her semester grades. According to an infographic in USA Today, 55 percent of parents use Facebook to keep an eye on their kids, and 11 percent joined Facebook just to snoop.

But, is it a good idea? Let’s face it you don’t want to do this: 

So, what can you do? How can you stay in touch without being overbearing? Mashable offers four tips:

  1. Talk to your son or daughter first.
    Set up some ground rules for your social media connection. One college student might be OK accepting his mom as a Facebook friend, another might be mortified.
  2. Respect his or her space.
    Be mindful of what is public and private in the social media space. If you’re concerned about something he or she has posted, send a message of text; don’t post anything on his or her wall that can be seen by hundreds of friends.
  3. Brand out from the usual platforms.
    Think beyond Facebook and Twitter to other tools to use. For example, Google + has features that enable you to have a casual video chat with your student. Also, keep in mind some colleges offer special online communities for parents.
  4.  Avoid over communicating.
    Just because you can communicate with your son or daughter 24/7 doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Remember, part of his or her growing up is being independent without your being right there. Resist that urge.

 Do you have any suggestions? If so, please share them.

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