My mom made a new rule that if I want to keep my Facebook and Instagram accounts, I have to add her as a friend and let her follow my posts, but I don’t really want to. What should I do?

It is hard to let parents into your social media life, especially when they change from less restrictive to more restrictive rules. Your mom probably made the decision because she learned more about the negative aspects of social media, such as how these websites sell your information to advertisers, or how they can be used for cyberbullying.

Prove to your mom that you can use Facebook and Instagram (and other social media) safely and responsibly by being mindful of both what you post, and how you interact with your friends. Your mom might even be able help you learn to navigate social situations both online and offline. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are posting things that you don’t want your mom to see, you may want to reconsider whether you should be posting them online at all; even with the strictest privacy settings, nothing is ever truly private online. If you are dealing with issues where you need the advice of others, do so privately with friends and family, and not publicly on social media.

In time, your mom will most likely check on your accounts less often, and the experience may even bring you closer together.

If you have other questions about social media, Ask the Mediatrician.

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