Facebook and Family

Oh, brave new world … that world of Facebook. Navigating it as a parent, I’m trying to intuit rules (or make them up) so that my kids don’t eject me from a FB friendship.

I like FB … not love.

I have way too many work friends and acquaintances … and am far too old for this game … to be posting too much on FB. I will post photos of events that my kids miss that I think they’d enjoy seeing in retrospect. I started last year when my daughter was in London, posting pictures of a trip to the pumpkin patch and Thanksgiving dinner as she was a little too far away to join us.

 As for me … I believe there are only 2 or 3 pictures of me on FB – and that is probably too many. Much better to hold the camera and do the snapping than to be frozen with a goofy look on my face, but that has always been my policy and is not an exclusive to FB thing.

I like FB because I get a general idea of what’s going on in my kids’ lives from their feeds … and some of what pops up on mutual friends. I’m friends with 4/5 of the residents of my daughter’s apartment and friends with a few of her other college buddies, so I can get updates vicariously watching exchanges on FB.

My son’s friends and I are not linked, but there have been a few instances where I was tagged so that I could see what was going on – like the time I sent goodies to several of them, my son tagged me on the ‘oh … food’ commentary.

I was trying to explain FB to a same age, real world friend whose children DO NOT want her on FB, and gave her the 4/5 apartment mates statistic, to which she replied, why don’t you just friend the last one. I surprised myself by declaring with confidence that it would be WRONG … that those younger people had to initiate contact or it would just be completely inappropriate. As the words flew from my mouth, I wondered where the heck that rule had come from….

Last weekend – 8 hours after the posting – I found out that my son had burned his hand. 8 hours later. Would I have ever known without FB – unlikely. Was there an advantage to learning it – not sure. Gave me something to worry about … like I needed a new topic … but 8 hours later am I likely to be an effective Florence Nightingale? In a word … nope!

Will it cause me to shut down FB? No, but I continue to find this lurking in the margins of FB to be a little odd. I occasionally comment just to point out that I am here, in the shadows, paying attention. I guess that could get me tossed, but perhaps that is another one of those rules that I’m following, not even knowing where I learned it or if it is true.

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