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Q&A: Should I Friend or Follow My Teen on Social Media?

You can ask, but don't insist on it. Some families are connected on social media and it works for them. Some teens don't want their parents seeing everything on their pages (and will block you from seeing things, which kind of defeats the purpose of being friends). Following your teens online opens up a can of worms, and you'll have to figure out how to negotiate that new relationship.
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Common Sense Media parenting expert Caroline Knorr answers questions about parenting, media, and everything in between.

Q: Should I friend or follow my teen on social media?

A: You can ask, but don't insist on it. Some families are connected on social media and it works for them. Some teens don't want their parents seeing everything on their pages (and will block you from seeing things, which kind of defeats the purpose of being friends). Following your teens online opens up a can of worms, and you'll have to figure out how to negotiate that new relationship.

If your teens let you friend or follow them, stay in the background (don't comment or "like" their posts unless they want you to), pick your battles, and make sure to address anything important face to face, not on their pages in front of their friends.


Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org