Everyone and their mom is on Facebook these days, and sometimes mom wants to say hey, according to a company analysis of parent-child interactions on the site released Thursday. Here's what they found.
Young teens are more likely to friend their parents than older teens: In perhaps the least shocking revelation ever, Facebook's youngest members are most likely to send their parents an initial friend request. About 65 percent of friendships between 13-year-olds and their parents are initiated by the child; about a third of friendships between 19-year-olds and their parents are initiated by the child. The data presumably includes children who are younger than 13 but lie about their age to get on the site. As children enter midlife, they become more likely than the parent to initiate the friend request. As Facebook puts it, "This overall trend follows the rough arc of children seeking distance from their parents as they prepare to leave the nest, and then gradually gravitating back as they accomplish their own milestones in life." As everyone else would put it, "Moommmmm stop invading my life."
Young men rarely post on their parents' walls: According to the analysis, only about 25 percent of wall posts in a parent's online relationship with their teenage sons are written by the son. Daughter-parent posts are split pretty evenly.
Wall posts are pretty loving—usually: The most popular words and phrases used by parents when talking to their daughters: "love you baby," "come home," beautiful." The most popular words dads use when talking to their sons: "football," "beer," "ass," "the game," "I love you."
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Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.