Who’s dodgier online, teens or us?
Are your kids watching what you post? Those pics of you slobbering on the office hunk, for example…
(Shawn Benjamin)

There’s a lot of concern from parents about the lack of boundaries the new generation have. Many parents of teen have had to swallow hard at online evidence that their delightful darling is drinking, fornicating or generally up to not much good. But are they getting it from their peers, or are we, the older Facebook generation, setting a poor example too?

With 20% of divorce petitions in the US now citing Facebook as proof of misbehaviour, it’s clear that teens are not the only ones blotting their copybooks on this most public of all forums. Caught en flagrante online, these cheating and lying spouses find themselves revealed and reviled. So next time you’re tearing your hair out wondering what your teen is doing on MXit or Facebook, remember that adults are just as likely to be using these tools for unsuitable activities.

A friend recently made a racy remark about masturbation on a Facebook post. It stopped me. What about her teenage children? Would they happily brush off the image of their mom getting jiggy with herself? Are they perhaps not her friends online and so she felt safe in a ‘private’ interaction?

I feel privileged to be my son’s friend on Facebook, and I never go and snoop around on his profile. I see his statuses and the odd picture on my updates, though, so he sees the same on mine. I can imagine how he would feel if there was some dodgy picture of me showing my knickers at the office party, Tweeting my bra colour or making a winking innuendo to some male Facebook connection.

Just as we parents behave ourselves at school functions, it’s probably best if we don’t show our worst parts online if we don’t want our children – and spouses – to see us.

Do you consider who’s watching when using social media?

Read more by Adele Hamilton

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