Italian parents and Facebook

When I arrived in San Diego, I started to use Facebook daily, for different reasons. Mainly, I needed a tool for sharing pictures and contacts with my family and friends in Italy. Then, because there was my UCSD Marketing Programme community.

With my “Marketing via New Media” class, I also started appreciating this social media business features.

Last week, a friend sent me a link to an article from one of the most important Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”, and this article immediately appealed to me. It was about how Italian parents use Facebook.

As you probably know, Italian parents are really protective, and this is one of the main reasons that pushed them to use Facebook.

Let me better explain…

First of all, the article reports data from a recent survey in Italy: in the last 12 months people over 39 subscriptions are rapidly increased . In fact, the number of people between 35-54 years old is tripled.

The main reason seems to be that parents would like to keep under control their children. Furthermore, they would like to know what their children really think, and to protect them. So that they try to improve their relationship by using Facebook, in order to be connected with their children and their friends.

We have two opposite consequences: on one hand, there are many children that refuse their parents link’s request; on the other hand, some of them teach their parents how to use Facebook, how to upload pictures, or to create personal pages.

At the end of the article, the journalist’s suggestion to the parents is not to force their own children, but waiting for their invitations.

It’s interesting, isn’t it? Have you ever considered Facebook as a tool for changing family relationships?

I’m waiting for your replies!

For any further information, you can read the article (unfortunately, only Italian version): http://www.repubblica.it/2008/08/sezioni/scienza_e_tecnologia/facebook-genitori/facebook-genitori/facebook-genitori.html?ref=hpspr1

One thought on “Italian parents and Facebook

  1. That is an interesting article you read and I certainly wasn’t aware at all of that trend.
    I followed your link to the article and was surprised to read that many parents communicate more with friends of their children than with their own children. Personally, I don’t know if I would appreciate my parents doing that, as I would feel it would invade my privacy a little too much and perceive it as a little too controlling. On the other hand I understand the parents’ anxiety and concern, observing their kids spending more and more time at the computer and not knowing at all what they’re doing. Especially with frequent reports about the dangers of social networks or chat rooms for young people in association with sexual harassment, abuse or abduction. I will admit that in certain situations communication is easier in a virtual world where some inhibitions may vanish, but in a “perfect” world parents would certainly be able to improve “real world” communication with their children first. But if facebook works as a means to improve relationships for certain families, why not!

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