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This is MY Job: When Parents Embarrass their Adult Children Online

Have you been following the story about the mom who embarrassed her Navy vet son by tweeting about his military accomplishments and his dating life? Her post went viral, and now he's mortified.

It's time to talk about the parents who go on social media to get all up in their children's professional business!

Instead of allowing their children the time and space to construct their own online narrative, these parents are all over social media talking about their child's job much they don't like it. Their child is tired, overworked and underpaid. If only their meanie of a manager would stop being so awful!

If the previous paragraph hits a little too close to home, then Navy Vet Son is your worst nightmare come true. You can imagine your photo floating around the internet, attached forever to your mother's random Twitter thoughts, and now your friends are texting you at work to let you know that you're trending worldwide.

Oh, man. You've gone viral, dude! Your mom tweeted about you an hour ago using the #HimToo hashtag, and now you're everywhere!


All I can say is: just wait five years. We have an entire generation coming up, Generation Z, who have had their entire lives documented online from Day One. In ten years, employers will be able to pop online and get a job candidate's entire life arc ranging from the day they were born to their first day of kindergarten to their tantrum at Disneyland at age 7 to the car they dented in a parking lot at age 17.

How will employers consider a job candidate's birth-to-25 information arc? Hmm, he seems like he was a real handful from age 2 on,no. Next. Could we get some future labor laws around this issue, please?

When Mom's Status Updates Upend Your Professional Life
But we're here to deal with the question of the day, which is: How should you stop your parents from talking about you in their online status updates? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Explain to your parents how damaging their comments are. Their constant online posts about your job and relationship prospects are not helpful. They need to know this, and they need to understand that employers will be able to read it all. It's online forever and will appear in employers' online searches.


2. Don't talk about your job with your mom anymore. You'll have to be more careful about what you share. Simply say "it's going fine" when your mom asks how work is going. It's on a need-to-know basis until she stops this online behavior. She won't like it, but this step has to happen if she can't be trusted.

3. Respond to your parent online. You might log onto social media to politely let your parent know that her comment wasn't appreciated. Some version of I love you Mom, but please stop sharing stuff about me might help her get the message.

4. Explain your boundaries to them. What is okay to discuss about you online, and what is not okay to discuss about you online? Let your parents know your boundaries, because it's clear they don't understand them. A post about how proud she is that you got a promotion -- okay to share. A status update about how tired your job makes you feel -- NOT okay to share.

5. Ask them to ask you before posting. Tell your parents that you would prefer any job-related comments to be run past you before posting. This strategy is probably a long shot and it could make your mother ask why you don't trust her anymore, but it might be worth a try. Trust, but verify so you don't go viral.

Most of all, remember that you're not alone. Other employees of your generation are dealing with the overly-chatty, boastful online parent and have lived to tell about it. If they want to talk about it, that is. Unfortunately, this online virus is probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.


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