Facebook can be a fun way to escape the horrific realities of the world caused by Facebook. But could unmonitored screen time be putting your adults in harm's way? After years of falling for the false promise of clickbait, is there anything you can do to protect their mistrusting yet impressionable minds?
Q. What is Facebook?
A. It’s a great place for people to connect with others who are also lonely in the suburbs.
Q. Why should I talk to my parents about it?
A. Sociopolitically charged comment threads can be a frightening place, even for a well-adjusted adult. Imagine the fear you felt lost and alone in the department store. Except the clothes are search engine-optimized hate speech headlines. And the store clerks won’t let you go home.
Q. What’s so dangerous about it?
A. For your adults, stumbling into radicalizing content is as easy as it was for you to stumble into internet porn. Unfortunately, they also won’t fully understand what they’re looking at.
Q. But if this is such a big deal, wouldn’t someone more official be doing something about it?
A. Great question! No.
Q. What draws parents to Facebook in the first place?
A. Ten-year-old memes.
Q. I'm worried! How will I know if they’re in danger?
A. Resist the urge to become a helicopter kid. We don't want the other parents poking fun. Thankfully, there are signs when they've gotten themselves into real trouble.
Q. What should I be looking for?
A. Keep an eye out for coded communication like HIOTC (Heard it on Tucker Carlson) and BBIAC (Big Bird is a Communist). To be extra safe, make a habit of inconspicuously probing about any friends thrown off major airlines. This could be a red flag.
Q. How can I break my parents' Facebook habit?
A. Encouraging activities outside of the house is everything! Get them off the screens and outside doing what they love: watching the neighbor’s backyard remodel with suspicion and envy while pretending to do yard work.
Q. They’re asking about the Metaverse—what do I say?
A. Adults sure can ask tricky questions, can't they? The Metaverse is an innovative way for Facebook to create new realities it can also ruin.
Q. Any advice for when I tell them it’s time to log off?
A. Parents love to test limits. Stand firm! Lie and tell them they will understand when they’re older.