Social Media / Social Networking / Technology

Oh, Crap! My Mom’s on Facebook

By Mar-Ce Bennet

My kids groaned when I joined the social network site, Facebook. At least I imagine that they did. I never actually heard them groan. They’re adults and we don’t live in the same city. But I’m sure they were thinking: Oh crap, why does she have to crash our party! To their credit, they are kind and cordial to me on FB. They are charming, cheerful, witty, clever and have tons of FB friends. For my part, I try not to play the worried mom card too much and I don’t scrawl dumb messages on their wall that will embarrass them in front of the world…certainly not every day anyway. I’m still their mother, afterall!

I’ve recruited lots of my friends, who just happen to be parents, to join FB too. You know what? This scares your kids so much their lip rings tremble. My kids don’t wear lip rings but make no mistake about it, your offspring are uncomfortable when you show up in their Face…book. As parents, we have suddenly embedded ourselves in their space. I guess it might be compared to having dear old mom appear on their college campus and announce she’s joining them on Spring Break. Or even worse—ask directions to the next Rave party. Or maybe they feel it’s like you barged into their work place one day out of the blue and began mooning the Zerox Machine. I sense that the younger generation prized Facebook as their own personal cultural-generation, secret society. Their very own exclusive cyber clubhouse where they could blather on about anything and not be outed. Then suddenly mom and pops leap out of the bushes and drats—the kids are doomed.

Having their parents on Facebook rattles the younger generation so much that a couple of Gen Xers have come up with a website called: Oh Crap, My Parents Joined Facebook. It’s actually an amusing site and the two female creators insist they still love their parents. They just don’t love them being on Facebook.

Sharing Facebook with your kids can lead to some very dicey internet protocol. For example: should your kids befriend you or not? If they don’t, will you disinherit them?  What about your kid’s pals? Should they accept you as a friend? This is a huge quandry for them. If they accept you and your kid finds out, will they end up enemies for life?  I’ve had some friends of my kids initiate the friendship thing with me. I don’t mind at all. And what about parents? How should they behave on Facebook?  For starters: don’t play grammar police. Avoid oversharing about yourself as in your love life, personal hygiene or about how sonny boy, Bubba, sucked his thumb until age 17.

The fact is our kids were on Facebook first. We’ve invaded their privacy. Yet I think by now they’re getting used to us. We are not spying on them. I repeat, we’re not keeping tabs on you. But how come you weren’t in the chat room last night? Ha!  Parents and even grandparents have come to regard FB as a really cool thing. We can reconnect with old friends, get updated on what everybody’s doing, tell people about ourselves, view photos of friends and family, play silly games, even shamelessly plug our blogs. It’s far hipper than email. The neat thing about FB is that members come in all ages, sizes, nationalities, religions, political and social viewpoints. It’s an amalgamation of generations and amazingly we all seem to get along in Facebookville. It’s a beautiful thing.

Oh, there’s a brand new site out there called: My Parents Joined Twitter. And guess what. I did…. You can’t escape mom.

(c) Mar-Ce Bennett (aka Boomer Pie) http://www.boomerpie.com/. Republished With Permission.

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