An Apology Concerning my Facebook Etiquette

Last night before our family sat down to dinner, my son made a bold move and challenged me about my Facebook statuses from yesterday and Monday.

IMG-20120501-00423I need to step back a moment and share a disclaimer.  Part of our parenting strategy is that we allow our children to challenge our behavior when they think it is out of step with whom we claim to be.  When we are not being appropriate role models, they are welcome to share their concerns with us.  They must do this with love, respect, and concern.  It cannot be a situation where they are being brats about something.  We essentially expect them to treat us in the same way that we treat them when we discipline them.

I encourage all parents to consider this in their parenting strategy as it goes a long way.  Our children see us at our worst, and they often can speak into our lives.

Back to the story.

My son shared with me his concerns about the following two statuses that I had posted:

On Monday: Dear emo kid across from me in the library: I hear your country music through your headphones, and I am happy that you have diverse tastes…but I don’t want to hear it! 🙂

His concern with this post was my use of “emo kid,” and he questioned if I would have called the kid “emo” if I had known him or to his face. He pointed out that I often have stated that I dislike it when others use the anonymity of Facebook to say things that they would not say in person. 

He is right.  I am sorry for this statement, and I have removed it from my wall.

On Tuesday: Dear person in the library taking a nap: you are snoring. That is awkward, but you might really need the sleep. *trying to show grace today*

The boy’s concern with this statement was that I was actually mocking the person in front of my Facebook friends…being a bully, really.  And I did not know anything about why the man was sleeping – maybe he has an illness or something.

He is right.  I am sorry for this statement, and I have removed it from my wall.

Facebook allows us to air our grievances, publish our joys, and share our favorite photos.  It also is a den of mean-ness and causes a great deal of hurt.  When our children were old enough for Facebook accounts (the rule is 13!), we allowed them to have their account with the condition that they had to be friends with us.  We also have the condition that they must allow us to fully see their walls and status updates.  We wanted to monitor their Facebook behavior, and there have been times when we have had to ask them to take down their posts.

I never dreamed that, in expecting them to be our friends on Facebook, my son would question my integrity in terms of my Facebook use.  But it happened.  And to be honest, it needed to happen. As I examine my heart, I realize that I have become judgmental in this season of my life.  I have spent a lot of time with some very difficult student situations over the past few months, and that has seeped into my overall view.  I need to step back and put on a kinder, more compassionate spirit.

So – thank you, my boy, for being willing to share your concerns with me so that I could examine my heart a bit and realize that I needed to put on a new set of lenses.

2 Comments

Filed under faith, Parenting, Thoughts

2 responses to “An Apology Concerning my Facebook Etiquette

  1. This made me remember something I posted a long time ago, I had posted a vulgar word in our local language and I had to deal with my Uncle and some family members that I should not post words like cursing or swearing. Cause someone might see, read and think something bad to you. You taught your son well, I hope other parents would take their kids a lil lesson in responsibility of what and should be allowed to post.
    Some people does post whatever they have in mind.
    Think before you click is such a nice motto for internet etiquette. 😀

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