Thursday, September 17, 2009

E-mom - Are parents on facebook a no-no?


Well it’s apparently official – I’m an E-mom. This is not a good thing. It makes me feel like someone who’s past their prime, trying to be young, hip and cool (a cougar? - hanging out in nightclubs thinking they pass for 20 something but just not cutting it in their leopard skin tights...).

The thing is that I joined facebook quite a while ago. I have a network or friends and contacts… My children also joined facebook. The opportunities for overlapping were there… Of course they accepted my friend requests, and some of their friends even ‘friended’ me… so I thought it was all ok.

But I was wrong. Apparently if you have children, you must be old and by proxy, have no business using social networking sites – because your children are on there and that is their domain … and you are a stalker!!!

Watch this news piece on the phenomenon below…




Are all mothers so uncool? I just feel lumped into this category now - ashamed and utterly uncool. I feel like the pimply pre-teen outcast in Grade 7… who has tried to join the chat in the cafeteria with the cool girls, and they all turn and look at you in stony silence.

Should I retreat? Give it all up to spare my children the embarrassment?

The real issue is that once parents are on facebook, any photos of their children that are uploaded (and tagged), can be viewed and even saved by their parents… And I admit guilt here. Our college aged son is half a world away, across continents even! We are really easy going, non-pedantic, open minded parents. But it’s nice to ‘see what their up to’ from time to time… there have been a few times it would have been better NOT to see though… The truth is that those years are all about finding your footing. Learning how much partying you can get away with, and still make it through to a degree. I suppose if you come out the other end having had fun and succeeded, then no harm done.

But how would I feel if the shoe were on the other foot? If my parents could have seen into my social world when I was a teenager – with evidence of every out of control party, and tweets professing that I was too hung over to get to class … well. I guess I would be equally horrified.

I am so glad the world has only taken this turn toward complete social invasion – with constant updates and photo proof of everyone’s movements – AFTER I got through the teenage years and college.

Not sure my parents would still be talking to me if they’d seen what I see now!
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18 comments:

Chad Sayban said...

Rage...rage against the dying of the Facebook. Umm, or something like that. ;-)

blunt edges said...

hahahaha...thankfully my folks aren't that net-savvy ;)

neat blog :D

i read ur last 2 posts too...dunno if u knew this, but homosexuality was decriminalised in india just a month or so ago...n it still is a taboo subject around here looked down by the majority as something 2 be ridiculed!

so decriminalisation doesn't necessarily mean that the society will accept it...but then it sure is a start towards it (now what am i actually trying 2 say here ***scratches head***)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Okay, that mother was scary.

I think the difference is how you use the information. If you're stalking your child like she is and psychopathically checking up on all his friends, then yeah, you need to take a chill pill. I don't think that's you.

Plus, if it was me, and I knew my mom might be checking up, I just wouldn't post want I didn't want her to see, y' know?

Rahul said...

"if you come out the other end having had fun and succeeded, then no harm done". you said absolutely right.
And now youngsters know all these things about their parents may watch their activities. So they become smart and careful too :)

The pale observer said...

Thanks for all the comments!

@blunt - it's true that just because it's decriminalised, doesn't mean society will accept - but these are the steps that over time make a difference...

@Solvang - by the way, my son has informed me that the news piece I linked is from a joke show, so the lady was over the top because it was all an act! Good to know... and no I am definitely not THAT woman! :)

@Rahul - the trouble is that if one of the kid's friends was camera-happy at a party and got some compromising photos - they can post them without consent and as long as the child is tagged, their mother will see the pics...

So I guess the moral of the story is not to let any friends take any pics of you when you're out having fun?! :)

Stephanie Faris said...

A blogger wrote recently that the key is to be on there, but not be active on your kids' pages. Just watch them from a distance. Because if you're too active on there, they feel that their privacy is being invaded.

The pale observer said...

Good point Stephanie! I try not to send big fat hearts and affirmations of motherly love and concern on the public pages of my kids... but I do actually know some mothers who do!

Heather on her travels said...

come on, do you think your kids are stupid? they can suss out an uncool mum in an instant.

Anyway I don't want to think about my little darlings getting up to mischief - I prefer to preserve the illusion of them as young and innocent.

And, I prefer to be getting up to my own mischief rather than checking up on theirs.

The pale observer said...

Thanks Heather! True - much better to be busy yourself, than worrying about what they're getting up to!

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious said...

Its not so much about it being uncool. Its more like I couldn't imagine my parents reading comments and status updates from my profile. They'd have heart attacks if they knew that their once sweet n innocent daughter is not-so sweet/innocent anymore!! ;) I'm definitely glad my parents don't have the patience for social networking. Their internet usage is pretty much limited to the occasional email, thank the Lord for that. :)

The pale observer said...

Hi Super - true - although I am the parent in this situation, I wouldn't want the positions reversed!

Luckily for my boys I'm totally in touch with the rough realities of life and have no issues with it all.

Also I do try to be focusing om my things, my friends etc. and not on their pages. Don't want to be called a stalker!! :)

Thanks for visiting and of course commenting! :)

krissy said...

A good quote I read recently:

Don't be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black.

The pale observer said...

Thanks Krissy - good point :)
I've never been too good at cool anyway :)

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Too funny. If I weren't on Facebook, though, I would never hear from my nieces/nephews!
http://threeriversdailyphoto.blogspot.com

The pale observer said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting Three Rivers!! I agree - facebook is wonderful for keeping in touch with family from anywhere!

J. said...

I'm in my early 40's but still draw the line at Facebook friending my own parents or friends of my parents. Even at my age, there are just some corners of my life - visible enough on Facebook - that it's just much easier if my parents remain blissfully ignorant of.

As for my own children... forget Facebook friending. I'll be implanting GPS tracking chips in each of them soon...

The pale observer said...

Thanks J - for me, my parents aren't too clued up so I'm safe.

But you seem a tad hypocritical when it comes to your ideas for your own kids?! :)

J. said...

Yeah, true enough. I'm embracing this particular hypocrisy... at least for now. :D

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