Young people block mum and dad on Facebook

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Photo: Armin Weigel/DPA/Scanpix
14:26 CET+01:00
More than a third of Facebook users under the age of 22 take steps to prevent their parents from seeing what they are up to on the social media site, a Norwegian study has found.

38 percent of young people aged 13 to 15 admitted having blocked family members from accessing their Facebook activity, according to the study carried out at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

The results were similar for 18 to 22-year-olds, with 36 percent actively keeping family away from their Facebook friends, newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad reports.

Associate Professor Berit Skog, who carried out the research at the Department of Sociology and Political Science, said she was unsurprised by the findings.  

“Young people want to keep their parents out of Facebook. It’s possible they want to hide personal matters and they view Facebook as their own personal arena, which they don’t want their parents having anything to do with,” she told the newspaper.

“The themes they write about can include lovers, small talk, updates and pictures. They want their own space.”

A separate study conducted by Skog last year showed that just one in ten Facebook users over the age of 39 had chosen to reject family members.

“This may indicate that it’s less important for older people.”

She added that, in contrast to teenagers, many people under the age of 13 are friends with their parents on Facebook.

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“This indicates that the parents have given their permission for them to be there even though you’re actually supposed to be over 13. In return, they get to see what their children are doing.”

Skog’s analysis of more than 1,300 Facebook users showed that 69 percent of people aged 18 to 22 had blocked people they didn’t like.

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