Just a week ago one of the worst things that could ever happen, happened.
My mom got a Facebook.
At first I didn’t think it would be too bad. I have nothing to hide, and I figured my computer-handicapped mom would tire of it soon enough and opt for the phone instead. Several of my friends warned me about the dangers of accepting a family member on Facebook, but I didn’t heed their advice. I didn’t really see what the big deal wa bys accepting her request if I didn’t have anything I didn’t want her to see.
Now I do.
Every time I sign on Facebook, my mom is bound to pop up on Facebook chat and talk to me, asking me the nitty gritty details of my day. With every post I make on a friend’s wall or picture I put up, there’s a 98 percent chance my mom will comment on it later. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom to death. We’re very close and talk on a daily basis, but now that she has a Facebook, I feel like she is being completely invasive. The one day my status read, “I think I could use this in my life,” from the song “If You’re Gone” by Matchbox Twenty, just because it was stuck in my head. Soon enough, my phone started ringing. Surprise surprise, it was my mom, asking me what my status meant. When I tried to explain to her it was just some song lyrics with no meaning behind them, she didn’t understand. “Why do you post things in that status thingy that make me want to know more?” she asked.
Now almost every phone call my mom and I share somehow leads to the topic of Facebook. Quite a few times she has asked me the significance of something on my friend’s profile, getting all huffy when I replied that I didn’t know. How am I supposed to know what everybody’s status means? The day after that, my mom relayed to me that she doesn’t appreciate the language some of my friends use on Facebook, as if I can do anything about that. To top it all off, a certain word on one of my friend’s Facebook caught my mom’s attention, and of course she had to ask me about it. You know those code words we college students use nowadays that no one understands but our generation? Yeah, it was one of those words, and needless to say that led to a very awkward conversation. It’s to the point that I don’t even want to put up anything in my status because I know my mom will question it or comment on it. I’m constantly thinking twice before putting up any picture, status, etc., fearing my mom’s nagging comments and reactions. Even if I’m careful about what I put on my profile, I still get pestered about what my friends put up on theirs! It’s a hopeless cause.
Maybe my mom is just overly curious. Even so, I know there are other people out there that feel my pain. A lot have people have gone through the internal debate whether or not to accept mom’s, dad’s, or even Aunt Sally’s friend request. Some people choose to simply ignore them, dealing with the complaints of their parents, while others feel too guilty hurting their relatives feelings and reluctantly accept them, hoping it won’t be that bad.
What they don’t realize is accepting a family member on Facebook can turn out to be your worst nightmare. Every wall post, every picture, every status is intensely scrutinized, and this can often lead to unwanted inquiries, comments and arguments. It’s really scary how stalker-ish some parents become! Sometimes accepting your mother’s best friend or dad’s work buddy can be even worse than befriending your own family member. The instant you use a curse word on somebody’s wall or put up a picture that they think your parents should know about, they run to your mom or dad, relaying every little juicy detail back to them. How annoying is that?
As stupid as it sounds, there is a certain Facebook etiquette that needs to be followed, and adults just don’t seem to understand that. Not every picture or status your son puts up has to be commented, and their wall is not an appropriate place to discuss your daughter’s next gynecologist appointment. I’m not saying parents or family members should be forbidden to get Facebook accounts, but they need to learn to give their kids some room and privacy, holding back their urges to question, comment, or freak out about every little thing they see or read on Facebook.