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China Daily Website

Family networks

Updated: 2013-09-15 07:33
By Xu Lin ( China Daily)

Lu Dan'ni, a 32-year-old primary school teacher in Guangdong province's Shantou, says: "The older generation doesn't have an awareness of privacy. They even had to report their marriages and divorces to service organizations and companies in the old days. It's easy to understand their actions if you know about their backgrounds."

While there are many distinctively Chinese contours to familial SNS relationships, the existence of such relationships is an international phenomenon.

US website Onlineeducation.net's survey found 92 percent of American parents on Facebook are their children's friends on the site. Half the parents say they joined the site to keep tabs on their kids.

And one in three teens on Facebook feel embarrassed by comments left by their parents, the survey finds. Comparably, 30 percent say they would unfriend their parents if they could.

Also, globally speaking, monitoring their children isn't the only reason parents start SNS accounts. Many enjoy their own social media lives.

Lu, the teacher, helped her 60-year-old mother Xie Yanying open a WeChat account because her mom was curious about the new technology and knew relatives her age were using it. Xie says it's also a great way to get news.

And Xu, the editor, often uses her micro blog for work, to share experiences and views, and communicate with colleagues.

She has continued using her micro blog long after her son - her original reason for getting her accounts - blocked her.

The mother and her boy, instead, discuss experiences and thoughts face-to-face, and share with others online.

And, they agree, that's the way they like it.

Contact the writer at xulin@chinadaily.com.cn

Tiffany Tan, Liao Mei and Lin Shutong contributed to this story.


Family networks

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