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When Parents Join Facebook!

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When Parents Join Facebook!

God, I remember the day like it was yesterday.

It was a Monday.
Just like any other Monday, really.

I was sitting at my desk, fielding through emails and phone calls as usual.
A notice popped up saying I had a new message in my inbox.
Looking back, it feels like everything happened in slow motion after that.

I remember dragging the cursor to the open web browser.
I remember the placement of the web browser window on my desktop. Not a full screen, and a little off to the right.
I remember that the sun was shining and it was 72 degress.
I remember that I was wearing a green Ramones shirt and I was smiling...

I was smiling.

Then the nine big black bold letters I never wanted to read:

"Your father wants to be your friend on Facebook"

How in the fuck did this happen?

I stared at the email for what seemed like an eternity. I was paralyzed. I couldn't move.

Do I befriend my father and risk him exposing the pseudo-literate/cultured facade I've worked so hard to create for my profile as the sham that it is? I can just picture it now- I get a note on my wall saying, "Lauren, dear, I'm looking at your profile pic, why are you reading Ulysses and dressed like Truman Capote? You don't wear glasses OR smoke!"

Or do I pretend like I never saw the email and when he asks, say something like, "Oh, you befriended me on Facebook? I have no idea what the hell that is." That would never work!

I realized I was going to have to accept that my father was now becoming internet savvy and it was just a matter of time before he caught wind of this Facebook. Shell-shocked for a week, I felt like I was just coming out of the woods when I get a phone call from my mother.

"Hey Honey! I think I'm going to join this Facebook thingy. Can you help me?"

I slam my head against the desk.

"Mmkay Mmmom", I mustered through smooshed lips.

I felt like a lead weight, heavy with anxiety. My heart beating fast.

Not her too!

"Are you okay with that?"


"Are you sure?"


"You don't sound so sure."


I breathe in deeply.
It's ok, Lauren. It's ok. Relax.
You will be able to handle this!

"Are you sure you want to join Facebook, Mom? I mean, it's not easy to figure out."


Then the Jewish guilt trick.

"Oh...ok. Sure, yeah, if you don't want me to..."


"No, no, Mom. It's ok. Of course I'll help you."

And I did.
And I accepted my Dad's friend request.
And I helped my Mom create her profile.
And I suggested friends to them.
And I pointed out when they would accidentally write on their own wall instead of their friend's.

And then I get an email from my 90 year-old Grandmother asking me to be Facebook friends.

It's become a Facebook world and we all have to live in it.


At 9:07 AM, Blogger Adria said...

I'm friends with my great aunt on facebook...she's in her 90s and lives in Southern California. She skyped in to my grandmother's funeral last month.

The world is a scary, scary place.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Seamus said...

oops. Does that mean I have to watch what I say?

My mamma's on Facebook. It's kinda like she just stepped into my bedroom as a boy and she's peering around at all my stuff.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Melanie's Randomness said...

OMG I KNOW!! I have my aunt on facebook & I like am terrified she's going to see some of my statuses. It's nuts. Well thankfully you can customize the privacy settings of your account!!

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Laura said...

HAHAHAHAHA.... I finally made my mom actually join facebook because I was sick of having to individually send her e-mails with pictures from our travels that took AGES to upload.. so I just keep her focused on the pics.. She really has no clue how to get around FB anyway.. let alone know how to find anything else on there :) thank goodness.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Juliette said...

Both my parents, grandma, AND my teachers are my friends on Facebook.

I'm still not sure how I feel about that.

-Juliette WhereForArtThouRomeo

At 9:44 AM, Blogger AURORA MEGAN said...

I know how you feel. I'm Facebook friends with my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

There's nowhere left to hide.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger One Blonde Girl said...

Ha ha! Both my dad and my mom joined Facebook somewhere along the line in the past year. And they both friend requested me. And I ignored both of them (my dad about 5 times before he got the hint that I wasn't going to "friend" him). One of my nephews and my niece also friend requested me, and I ignored them too. I finally had to explain to them all (via my twin) that I don't "friend" family members outside of my generation. Seems to have worked. (And seriously, c'mon, I don't talk to them in real life, why would I want to in the virtual world?)

At 9:51 AM, Blogger IT said...

Hmmmmmm! Looks like something that can be solved by multiple personalities... at least that works for me ;-P

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Jimmy said...

What's worse? Parents on Facebook or younger cousins/nephews/nieces? I have to deal with the latter...

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Charmalade said...

I'm so very grateful that my mom DIDN'T want to get on Facebook, though her co-workers have urged her to try. That's a time when I'm glad that she's a bit internet-inept.

But I DID get a Facebook friend request from my aunt way before, and was similarly WTF about it. D:

God forbid if they start speaking internet slang.

Toast with Charmalade

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Sophie Neutron said...

So weird.
A few weeks ago my mum asked me to create a profile for her, I said yes, but that I wasn't going to friend her (I know I'm ruthless). Just 15 minutes ago I accepted a friend request from her, then I read the feeling of "oh holey socks" crapness is a little stronger.

But it's okay. I don't really say much on the ol' facebook anyhow. My last status was -
I know, profound right! (my mum "liked" it)

P.S. I don't really know the point of my comment.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Freelance Pallbearer said...

"Not being on facebook; it's like you died." -a text I received from a friend

I was on facebook for four months and I left. The world is a lot smaller now, but it's quieter, less intrusive. Although, I suppose that's because there is a whole lot less people in it.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Jo said...

Thankfully, my parents are of the opinion that Facebook is evil and that it's wrong for people to be so easily in touch with one another, so I've had a lucky escape. Also, my mother only uses one finger to type and frequently says things like "There's no 's' on this keyboard"

I couldn't be more thankful.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Mr London Street said...

Wait till you get to the logical next stage - being unfriended by your own mother on Facebook. That actually happened to me earlier this year.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Jessica Druck said...

Yep! I have these same thoughts! I did a post a while back about this and you hit it right on the head!!!

At 1:47 PM, Blogger T!nK said...

hahahahahahhaha. this was cute.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger kristy el√©na said...

sigh... i went the "you befriended me on facebook?! i don't think you did it right, i never got that" route. it worked. for now at least....

Vogue Gone Rogue

At 2:53 PM, Blogger RenRexx said...

Fortunately, I have a good relationship with my mom, so it was no problem for me to accept her on facebook. Plus, she's on there for family in South America, not specifically to keep an eye out on me.

My father on the other hand...... not so sure how he would react if I cussed on someone's wall. He blames me for other people's dirty mouths and tells me he doesn't like it.

Dad, grow up. I did.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Big Mark 243 said...

Before I read your post, I was having a conversation with a nephew how 'face book was evil'.

For most of my life I have basked in the unbrideled anonymity of being 'Mark Johnson'. When I signed up to Facebook to get my twins sisters to talk to one another, I had suddenly been discovered by people I have to pretend not to recognize. Not to mention the other people who have found me.

It is evil.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Demi said...

My 80 year old grandfather recently joined facebook. He thought it was hysterical when he asked to be my friend.. I was extremely embarrassed, but then I proceeded to block him from seeing all of my pictures and wall posts. The privacy setting is a wonderful creation when dealing with family members via facebook..

At 6:28 PM, Blogger HD said...

Lol. I;m going through what I like to call "Facebook Family Remorse" right now, thanks to certain folks spreading stuff about me based on my statuses. Don't accept family members, just leave em. Makes life much easier.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger TabithaVenasse said...

My parents are so anti-facebook I'd never have to worry about that... I have my aunt and uncle on FB, but they're pretty cool and understand the boundaries between what I put up and what my parents need to know (not that I actually have anything that would be bad.. but you know).

I think I would have a heart attack if my parents ever joined FB, just from the sheer shock of it.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger M.B. said...

Can't you just make yourself unsearchable? It solves so many problems...

At 6:12 AM, Blogger - B said...

Haha! I love it! I remember wayyy back about 5 years ago when Facebook was all shiny and new and PRIVATE for college students only. Those were the days!

Now I am friends with both my parents and other family members and they all like to post ridiculously embarrassing pics of me up from my awkward years (which was pretty much my entire childhood).

At first I was like "NO WAY am I adding my parents as friends". Then (after adding them) I was like, "NO WAY am I going to censor my FB page. I'm a grown woman. What are they going to do about it?!" Haha...but then I felt like a teenager again that might get punished if some guy wrote some "suggestive" things on my wall.

But it takes no time to get creative about keeping things away from the parents/family members on FB. Just think about hiding stuff from them as a kid ^_^

At 8:43 PM, Blogger cjschlottman said...

Lauren, Sweetie, it will be okay. I am facebook friends with my GRANDCHILDREN! And it works.

On to something more important - "..........the pseudo-literate/cultured facade I've worked so hard to create for my profile as the sham that it is?"

WTF? There is nothing pseudo-anything about you!


At 9:43 PM, Blogger Austin Eavesdropper said...


Grin times a thousand.

I think this is one of the most lasting legacies of Gen Y, or Millenials, or whatever the F we are called. We have so few collective experiences, this fragmented, internet-scattered generation of ours, but we do have this. The singular moment of dread that struck when each of our parents joined Facebook.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger emily said...

I was very afraid when my mom got Facebook as well, however, I soon realized she had no clue how to use it. This is an actual phone conversation we had:

Mom: I need to answer Rhonda's message on Facebook. Can you tell me how?
Me: Sure. Just open Facebook...
Mom: I forgot how to get there!!

Worries alleviated!


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