Not all social networks are made for parental/child interaction, but parents and adults are missing a huge advantage! Parents: You might be able to get us to actually be interested in family gatherings, photos and updates if you use our mediums.
I think families should seriously consider all joining a social network and creating their own family network or group to keep in touch (even if you all live in the same house). Here is how and why:
1) Use News Feeds to Keep Each Other Updated
When my parents called me at college, I would always have to carve out hour-long-blocks into my schedule to fill them in and hear what was going on at home. If my parents were to join a network they could send everyone in their family updates and see easily what other members are doing and comment! So much better than long-distance phone calls.
2) Use Photo Albums to Share
How hard is it when your mom wants you to email pictures of your birthday dinner. It always takes forever to load, she cannot figure out how to get them off the email, how does she print them (ok maybe this is getting too personal—I love you mom!) But seriously, social network photo albums are a really easy way to share photos and comment on each other’s pictures.
3) Plan Events
Reunion? Soccer game? Dentist appointment? Plan it all on a social network, it is perfect for all of those mini, quick time reminders and schedule checking. Also planning a big family event can be a nightmare, social networks make it so much easier to post all the information (who is bringing what for the buffet/dress code) and updates in one place.
4) Know Your History
In this day and age it is so easy to lose track of your family history, traditions and relationships. Social networks can document this all for you. Each family member can post notes or blogs about their childhood, memories and family traditions—trust me, your grandkids will thank you later!
Family is so important, stay connected, keep your relationships and have fun doing it! I never want social networks to replace family relationships, but I think they can enhance them.