I think both the mother and the couple are at fault to some degree. One would think that Garrett Hand would know the temperament of his mother, and would be able to anticipate this type of a response. It seems that much of this could have been averted with a simple call, e-mail, or Facebook post saying that they'd be off the grid for X number of days, and not to expect any updates. That being so, Hand did inform his mother that there would be periods when he'd be out of range. And the whole "PROOF OF LIFE" thing seems to me a bit overblown. Some of the comments on the article were funny, especially those urging Jamie Neal to break up with Hand to avoid having to deal with his mother.
This came to my attention by way of Amy Alkon, who titled it "Why You Shouldn't Friend Your Mom On Facebook." I am, in that sense, fortunate that such a quandary would never present itself to me in this form. My mom can barely check e-mail and play solitaire, and my dad considers his computer illiteracy a point of pride. I don't think either of them would have any use for social media. And as for calling and/or emailing, I've never considered my parents to be the "helicopter" type, so I don't think they'd get too worried if I didn't. (I had a habit of going long stretches without communicating when I was at Cornell, but that was upstate New York, not South America.)