THE BLOG
10/13/2010 10:33 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ask Michael Cohen: The Good and Bad of Facebook

The other day I signed onto Facebook and began reading the updates on my daughter's wall. I was really doing it because with all I am reading about bullying I just wanted to make sure my daughter is OK. I didn't find anything strange but I did learn that she is in love with a pair of Yves Saint Laurent pumps. And because she is a good girl, I decided to surprise her with the gift. She flipped out on me and started screaming that I should stay away from her Facebook account. Did I invade my daughter's private life? I thought I was doing something good.

Lori S, Short Hills New Jersey

Honey, none of my girlfriends would scold you for gifting them fabulous pumps. I can send you their names and addresses. No seriously. With all these horrible stories about bullying and cyber bullying I don't blame you for being concerned. And I commend you for checking her Facebook account. You have every right to. This is the way I see it. When your teenage daughter lives under your roof, her life is your life. We are fortunate that communication tools like Facebook exist, but with them comes added responsibility, especially for parents.

Now as for your daughter, she's acting like a spoiled brat and actually I'm not surprised. What on earth are you doing buying her $700 shoes when she is sixteen years old?

Sorry, I just digressed.

Anyway, being that she is a Facebook devotee, she should know that anything on her wall is public; this incident is a great way to drive that lesson home. You can't let a teenager manipulate you because one day you might find something on her wall that is serious and she may really need your help or, in a few years, it could be an employer checking out a potential employees' extracurricular activities. Whatever you do, don't back down. You're the mom, she's the child.

Last week I had a date set up with a guy I met at a party recently. We spoke the day before to confirm, but when I called him the day of the date he never answered. I checked his Facebook status to see if maybe he posted anything and sure enough he posted a comment about how much fun he and his friends were having singing songs from Glee. I refrained from making a comment, but now I am obsessively checking his account, and I need advice on how to stop.

Mark C, Miami Florida

Oh my god. Are you kidding me? Why on earth would you want to date any man that sings songs from Glee? That is not even remotely sexy. Now if that isn't a big enough turn off, your lack of dignity surely is.

Here are the simple facts. He's not for you because you deserve better than that. Nobody deserves to be thrown to the curb like that. A mature man wouldn't break plans by turning off his phone and updating his Facebook status. And so he's not worth more than a couple more sentences.

But I still need to give you advice on breaking the obsession. Remove him as a friend on Facebook, delete his phone number, and remember never to do this to anybody else. You will find someone who appreciates you -- just make sure he's humming Linkin Park, not Britney Spears.

My friends and I are in our thirties and of course like everyone else we use Facebook and Twitter. Every time we go out, one of the girls is always taking pictures on her Blackberry and instead of saying cheese, she screams, "Facebook!" She immediately does the mobile post and then tags the pictures and what we are doing. Here is the thing. I don't want everyone knowing where and whom I'm spending my night with. I always have to remove the tags at the end of the night and she's really getting on my nerves. How do I tell my friend respect my privacy in a very un-private world?

Nicole S, Long Island

People like this really get on my nerves. I hate posing for pictures and I'm the king of removing tags. And yes, I agree it would be nice to just go out with some friends without the entire world knowing what you're doing. Not to mention the recap of your night -- courtesy of someone else.

I had a friend that did the same thing and here's what I did. I explained exactly this: Please respect my privacy and do not tag, or post comments that have anything to do with me. While I appreciate my time on the town with you -- it is my time with you. And I made it very, very clear when you're with me, put down your iPhone and Facebook obsessions; and it worked.

My friend replied that he had no idea I found it offensive because a majority of people don't mind. Most people want to be recognized as having a fabulous social life. That isn't my aspiration and it doesn't seem like yours. So give that a try.

Need style advice? Ask me any questions from your heels to your home at askmichaelcohen.com or in the comments section here.