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Rob Gould

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002). Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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Social Social with Rob Gould
Posted: April 22, 2014

In Shocking News: Survey confirms that parents are embarrassing

Being a teenager in 2014 is very different than it was for me, but let’s face it, some things never change. Parents have been embarrassing teenagers since the beginning of time. Now, social media and the Internet have given them a whole new platform on which they can “humiliate” their children. I mean, I remember hating to even be seen with my parents when I was a teenager. I would have much preferred if I had been thought of as an independently wealthy orphan or something. Complete with a Lacoste shirt collection and a car that I definitely couldn’t afford. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to have Marylou and Don following me around on Facebook and Instagram. Ugh. What a nightmare. Then again, I was a spoiled jerky teenager. But, that’s another story for another day. I’d prefer that you think of me as the selfless individual I am today. Plus, this is supposed to be about how embarrassing parents are. Remember?

Moving right along … as a growing number of mothers and fathers create their own social media profiles to keep tabs on their children and connect with friends, so too have grown their opportunities to embarrass their offspring. According to survey results from Three, a mobile provider, 29% of British children have been embarrassed by their parents online, prompting 30% of social media users ages 18-34 to block or delete their parents from Facebook. I find it hard to believe that the results would be very different if the survey were administered in the United States. In fact, in a 2010 survey by Nielsen and AOL, 30% of teens said they would like to “unfriend” their parents, given the option. So, there you go. Is anyone even slightly surprised? Parents are just mortifying sometimes. SUCH LOSERS.

The most embarrassing parental behaviors included posting inappropriate photos of the child, at 24%; posting inappropriate photos of themselves, at 21%; using online slang incorrectly, at 10%; posting inappropriate comments on the child’s wall, at 10%; commenting on the child’s status, at 9%; chatting with the child’s friends, at 4%; commenting on the friends’ photos, at 4%; commenting on the child’s photos, at 3%; tagging the child in posts, at 3%; and liking posts on the child’s wall, at 3%.Erik Sass, The Social Graf, MediaPost

It should come as no surprise that dads are considered to be far more humiliating (40 percent) versus moms (28 percent). This could be explained by the fact that mothers are also more “down with the lingo”, with twice as many understanding digital slang like ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing), YOLO (you only live once), and LOL.

A spokesperson for Three said: “With parents becoming more active in the digital world, it’s interesting to look at the ways in which they’re interacting with their children.”

“As a network built for the Internet, we know how easy it can be for those embarrassing moments to occur.”

“The truth is, it’s those blunders; the typos in texts and public over-shares on Facebook, that cause the most giggles, which is what sharing should all be about.”

WHATEVS Three spokesperson. omg. How embarrassing.


For more on the Three survey:


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