Facebook Dos and Don’ts for Dads

Today’s guest blogger is Toby Suhm, a “super dad” with a super good sense of humor after his daughters tell him what he is allowed to post on Facebook.

Like many parents of teenagers, I struggle to balance my desire to stay relevant in the rapidly evolving world of social media with the feeling of a drowning man – I am having trouble keeping my head above water.  Instagram, Snapchat, Pintrest, Twitter, Viber, Vine… who can possibly keep up? Thankfully, MySpace has fallen by the wayside, so I don’t have to worry about that one anymore.

I recently shared one of my daughter’s athletic competition pictures on my Facebook page. In my comments I mentioned that I was probably violating Facebook Posting Rule #4 by posting the sports picture, but thought the risk was worth it. I got a number of queries –  what are the Facebook Posting Rules?  Simply stated, “The Rules” are  guidelines my daughters have given me to keep from embarrassing them or myself on Facebook. Bear in mind my daughters are 19 and 16 years old; virtually anything I do embarrasses them.suhm family

A year or so ago, they gave me this set of five rules – plus I’m pretty sure, the sixth one implied. The girls tell me they are for my own protection, so I won’t embarrass myself.  I think we all know the real reason for the rules…

  1. Is it longer than one sentence? If so, don’t post. Now I appreciate brevity as much as the next guy, but really, who can communicate anything meaningful in one sentence? Even in a speech renowned for its brevity, Abraham Lincoln needed 10 sentences to deliver the Gettysburg Address. How can I possibly communicate anything in Facebook in one sentence or less?
  2. Is it bragging? If so, don’t post. This one I actually sort of get. Who likes to constantly read posts from people strutting around on-line, thumping their chests and spouting off? On the other hand, isn’t that the whole reason behind Facebook? Look at what interesting things I’m doing! Look at my amazing kids. Isn’t my pet the cutest thing you have ever seen? How do you like these photos of our recent kitchen remodel?
  3. Is it political? If so, don’t post. I claim that I don’t post anything blatantly liberal or conservative, but, rather interesting, thought-provoking, middle-of-the-road essays and editorials that cause one to stop and ponder the issues. My daughters say that’s not possible. Anything remotely political is going to offend at least some of your friends.
  4. Is it about your daughters? If so, do you have their permission? If no, don’t post. Refer to #2 above. The whole reason for Facebook’s existence if you are a parent is to post pictures, newspaper articles, updates and “A” English essays from your kids. I don’t consider it bragging, just keeping family and friends updated on what they’re up to. Besides, if I had to get their permission, I’d never get to post anything.
  5. Are you using the Facebook “check-in” feature from a sporting event, movie theater, restaurant, activity, venue, roadside attraction, monument or anywhere else on planet Earth? If so, don’t check in. This one has always confused me because my daughters, and every person below the age of 30 I know, checks in on Facebook about 25 times a day. But for some reason, if I try to check in from the Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy soccer match of the year, I am violating rule #5 and am in the Facebook equivalent of a time-out.
  6. If in doubt, don’t post. It’s always good to a have a blanket, catch-all rule to fall back on.
    Italiano: versione ombreggiata e ingrandita de...

    Italiano: versione ombreggiata e ingrandita del simboletto “like” di FB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Other than that, I have their approval to post pretty much anything I want on FB.

Toby Suhm November 4, 2013

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If you haven’t already seen this funny list, check out: 17 Reasons Why The Kids Don’t Like Facebook Anymore.


  1. Love this! All so true …

  2. M.E. Johnson says:

    Fortunately or unfortunately, Myspace.com is in fact back ( http://www.myspace.com ) and is heavily funded by Justin Timberlake. I am always reminded of Sherman Alexie’s sonnet regarding Facebook which offers a counterpoint to Toby’s use of the social media site. I have the sonnet in hard copy but am told you can find it all over Facebook. I do not use Facebook so I’m hardly in a position to opine – just offering another perspective to ponder.

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