Thursday, June 7, 2007

When parents join their children on Facebook

I just finished reading this wonderful New York Times article: omg my mom joined facebook!! It reminded me of my own early Facebook experience and my college-age daughter's reaction.

Being an academic type I was "allowed" into Facebook prior to their opening it to the world. I hadn't taught in several years, and had zero contact with undergraduates except for the occasional student employee. When I first went into Facebook I didn't have a soul to add to my "social network". I was just doing what I do all the time with these social software applications--creating an account and kicking the tires.

So it was great fun for me when out-of-the-blue a bunch of college students from Canada began to friend me. I gladly accepted all of their offers, and before long I was building quite the impressive list of friends. Many of those "friends" are still on my list today.

Then one day, one of my Ottawa peeps left this on my wall, "GUYS this isnt kevin gamble!!!!!!!!", and all-the-sudden the friending stopped.

Feeling abandoned and desperate for friends I did the only thing any self-respecting parent would do--I friended my daughter. This resulted in the following being posted to my wall: you realized your friends weren't really your friends so you had to go and friend your daughter. well, i guess you're alright. trav still isn't your friend i see. :) so...does this mean i get a better christmas present??!!?? :)

And that my friends, was my introduction to Facebook. I still follow with great interest my friends in Canada. They lead interesting lives. It's much better following their antics than those of my daughter. There are some places a parent shouldn't go.

Now that we adult types are off-and-running with Facebook it's quite the different place. I'm wondering if there might be some things I should do to nurture my Ottawa node so as not to lose it in the fray?


Anonymous said...

I just home that your children don't ask you to unfriend them or their friends!

Greg said...

My daughter's reaction was much the same. "ohemgee!"

I've considered seeing just how many social sites I could find and join. Partly for the research and partly to be ahead of someone's curve. If it should happen to be a know-it-all child, so be it. :)