Social media changes parent-child dynamics

Social media changes parent-child dynamics

Social media are changing China's parent-child dynamics both online and offline, enticing some children to resort to cloak-and-dagger measures to protect their privacy. Xu Lin reports.

Lin Zhishan's greatest joy is browsing her son's micro blog - without his knowledge. Her 24-year-old son, who's studying in Japan, has no inkling his mother monitors his online social networks. And Lin hopes to keep it that way. "He only tells me the good news and never lets me know about anything negative," the 51-year-old mom from Liaoning province's capital Shenyang says.

"If he knew I secretly follow him online, he'd never post about the hardships of living overseas. I just want him to have an outlet to blow off steam."

Lin is one of a growing number of Chinese parents who interact with - or spy on - their children's social networking sites, such as micro blogs and WeChat.

But many people don't want their parents to follow their every post.

Magazine editor Xu Xiaoying says her 16-year-old Yuan Jinshun blocked her from his micro blog after a week - even though it was his suggestion she start an account.

Social media are changing China's parent-child dynamics both online and offline, enticing some children to resort to cloak-and-dagger measures to protect their privacy. Xu Lin reports.

Lin Zhishan's greatest joy is browsing her son's micro blog - without his knowledge. Her 24-year-old son, who's studying in Japan, has no inkling his mother monitors his online social networks. And Lin hopes to keep it that way.

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