Children in Charge in Social Media Generation – The London Economic
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Children in Charge in Social Media Generation

By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent 

Parents may rule the roost at home, but children in modern families most definitely lay down the law when it comes to social media, according to new research.

The study of 1,000 teenagers by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment found young people will go to great lengths to keep their parents at bay, with almost one in ten teenagers rejecting a Facebook friend request from a parent and one in five going so far as blocking them. One in six teens have ‘de-tagged’ themselves from family photos and even asked a parent not to ‘like’ their posts and 25 per cent of teens admitted they have had to give their parents a lecture on what they can and can’t do on social media.

A spokesman for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment said: “Young people just like to have something to call their own, and give them a sense of independence.”

“But we also know that times are changing and parents want to be involved with social media just as much as their children. During your teenage years, all you can think about is making a good impression on friends and getting to know new people. And when you’re a parent, you just want to make sure your child is safe when they’re online, so it’s understandable if they want to be ‘friends’ on social media.”

The survey also found some parents are being told not to let anyone know they are related to their offspring while on social media. They aren’t even allowed to look at their pictures and have even had a comment deleted by their child.

Over a quarter of teens have even put rules in place to keep their parents in check when it comes to working sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with a well-behaved nine out of ten mums and dads happy to abide by these rules if it means a quiet life. Sixteen per cent of rejected parents have even been told to delete their account so their offspring don’t have to ‘connect’ with them online.

But mum and dad get their own back on their children occasionally – one teen told of the embarrassment when their father dressed up in a Spiderman t-shirt and helmet with dog ears.

Photos of the cringeworthy moment were then posted on dad’s Facebook page for the whole world to see. It doesn’t always go smoothly though as the average parent and child have had three arguments due to social media alone in the past six months.

The average teen currently has 148 friends on their Facebook page, nine of which are parents and other relatives. And it’s not just mum and dad who have felt the wrath of a teen who doesn’t want to be ‘friends’ online – more than one in five have also blocked other relatives such as a cousin, a sibling and even a grandparent.

The spokesman added: “We’ve heard of many parents who like to have a little bit of fun by embarrassing their teenage children.”

Modern Family Season 6 is released on DVD on 14th September 2015.

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