embarrassing facebook posts

For the Sake of Your Kids, Stop These Embarrassing Facebook Posts

One of my favorite movies is Uncle Buck starring John Candy. When the parents in the movie have to go out of town suddenly, they call on Uncle Buck to watch their three kids. One of those kids is an angry and rebellious teenager. When he drops her off at school right in front of a crowd, his car smokes and then lets off an explosive backfire. When the smoke clears, it reveals the teenager hiding in embarrassment. All of this brings enjoyment to Uncle Buck. After that, she threatens to not be there when he comes to pick her up when school ends. To this, he replies, “Stand me up today and, tomorrow I’ll bring you to school in my robe and pajamas and walk you to your first class.”

Adults, particularly parents, have been embarrassing teenage kids for ages. I am thankful every day that I grew in an era before the Internet. It has given parents an easier opportunity to mortify their kids. There is no bigger medium for parents to do this than Facebook. After talking with teenagers, there are certain things they really wish their parents would stop doing. Don’t shoot the messenger. I too had to evaluate my own Facebook behavior. These are your kids talking. So for the sake of your kids, stop these embarrassing Facebook posts.

Checking In

If this was ever cool at all, it sure isn’t anymore. There are a few people that need to know our exact location. The rest of the world doesn’t.

Share This If You Believe…

It’s one thing to share something, but another to pressure others to do the same. Telling people to share if they agree with some generic or cheesy saying is nothing more than an annoying chain letter.

Throwback Thursday

Doing TBT every once in a while is fine, but every week is too much. Also, make TBT about you, not your kids. The last thing they need is a picture of them in diapers on the Internet for all of their peers to ridicule.

Liking Your Own Comment, Post or Status

We know you like it or you wouldn’t have said it, posted it, or shared it. It comes across like you are trying to impress people or are needy for support and affirmation. You wouldn’t applaud yourself after giving a speech; let others applaud you. Better yet, make your statement and let people respond as they may without looking to accumulate likes. Sometimes true genius is not appreciated until later.

Incorrect Shorthand Usage

If you use shorthand, make sure you know what you are communicating. Too many bad things have been communicated by parents who thought LOL meant Lots of Love among others. Personally, my advice would be to write in complete sentences and use correct spelling. Their generation is losing the ability to do that well. I think we should model it to them any chance we get.

Sharing Quiz Results

Everyone loves quizzes to see what Star Wars character they’d be, etc. Keep the results to yourself though. Most of the world doesn’t need to know that you’re most like Han Solo.

Bad Selfies

Posting a selfie that is out of focus or at a weird angle says, “I’m trying to do what the kids are doing, but I’m not good at it.” Either do it right or don’t do it at all.

Overposting and Oversharing

This is the problem of too many posts and sharing overly personal information. Limiting the frequency of your posts normally helps with the second thing. Personally, I try to limit myself to one a day at most and I’m told that even that might be too much.

Overbearing Political Views

Political convictions are good. However, you are divisive when your political posts consistently demonize opposing parties and viewpoints. You represent the entire family when you post something. [Tweet This] People can have emotional responses, not just towards you but also your children (for right or wrong).

Instagram

They would rather you not be here at all. They see this as their thing. You already took over Facebook and they don’t want to move again. It’s good to be there so you know what they are doing, but save your posts for Facebook.

Sound Off

Are any of these hard to give up?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • Patrick

    I get the heart of what the author is saying, but I think the crux of the issue should be to involve your kids in your social media. Even with a seven year-old, when I’m preparing to post something that is about him, my conversations with him center on questions like, “do you want me to put this on Facebook?” So often, the things listed above are problems because the parent’s attitude is “it’s my account, and I don’t care what my child thinks.” Even if that’s not actively vocalized as the decision, it’s the conclusion the child comes to. If he is a part of the decision, you stave off those concerns.

    • This is a great point. Just committing internally to asking them before posting helps you filter the stuff they wouldn’t want out there. I’ve found my teenagers are excited for me to post something about them, because we’ve established that it will be positive. Taking this route makes Facebook an encouragement–not a dreaded thing.

  • Paul_Sp

    Some excellent points, a few not so much.
    Nothing wrong with posting quiz results, for example, and I don’t do that.
    Same thing with using Instagram, and I don’t use it either.

    But the dopier (dopey-er) anything is, of course the kids will eye-roll.

  • BC

    How about not using Facebook altogether? We all did fine without it for the entire history of time until recently. Zuckerburg should not have that much control over society & this is not healthy. Go do charity work with all that extra time & we can make the world a better place for all!!

  • Candice

    I think I break all these rules, but no children. So thats okay right??

  • Tina B.

    I think I break all these rules, but I have no children. So then its okay right??

    • Tina B.

      I also post quiz results.. eeeeek…

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Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Is there anything I do on social media that you wish I didn’t?”

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