Parents now able to access Facebook

Tim Magaw

Students might have a new friend request waiting for them on Facebook, but it’s not someone from their sociology class – it’s from their parents.

With Facebook’s regional and workplace networks, almost anyone can now join Facebook if they have a workplace e-mail address, including students’ parents. If their workplace is not listed as a network, they can suggest it be added, making it only a matter of time before they’re able to join the networking site. Among the workplaces listed are law firms, cell phone companies and hotels.

Freshman pre-nursing major Ashley Kenworthy doesn’t like that people other than college students can access Facebook.

“I don’t think (parents) should be able to, but I don’t think high school kids should be able to either,” Kenworthy said. “Because if we wanted them to know what we are doing, we would be telling them about it.”

Brian Nagel, senior business management major, said he wouldn’t mind if his parents were on Facebook.

“My parents aren’t technologically advanced,” he said. “But I don’t think they’d care that much, but I know a lot of parents that would.”

Nagel said, for example, that some parents might be interested in what their children are up to, especially if they are getting poor grades because it “would give parents a reason to do research on their kid.”

Freshman exploratory major Renee Chartier said her mother would probably be on Facebook if she was computer-savvy.

“She doesn’t trust me,” she said. “She’s generally curious about what I’m doing, what I’m up to. I’m not doing anything wrong. I just want my privacy.”

Chartier said her response to parents joining Facebook is two-fold.

“It has its pros and cons. In a sense, they have a right to know what we’re up to,” Chartier said. “But we’re in college now. We have responsibilities and they should be able to trust us.”

For some students, it’s not always their parents looking for information about them on Facebook, but other adults.

“My boyfriend’s mom was looking me up on Facebook and some pictures of me, and it started a controversy,” freshman sociology major Amanda-Kay Dyer. “She jumped to conclusions about me and a friend of mine who happened to be a boy.”

But for Nagel, it all boils down to privacy.

“I like to keep my personal life to myself,” he said. “My life is my life.”

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].