Being the Responsible Parent that I am, when my kids wanted to get a Facebook account, I made them abide by the age limits (yes, contrary to what your kids tell you, there are actually age limits), and then as a condition of joining, I asked (read: insisted) that they friend me. I reasoned that knowing that I could see their Facebook wall, would act as a check to teen stupidity…or at least the public reporting of said stupidity. Turns out that stupidity is not limited to those under the age of 20.
I use Facebook primarily for work and have a large number (2100+) followers interested in adoption or infertility. One of the things that the Facebook haters of the world don’t realize is that an online community is just that—a community of friends. Even though I don’t know these folks personally, I truly enjoy conversing with them daily—usually about adoption or infertility, but also about life in general. When my husband was returning home from an out of town trip, I posted how excited I was for him to come home. My Facebook friends responded with well wishes, and then someone posted something along the lines that they knew we’d be having “fun” that night since he had been gone for a week. I felt the need to point out that he wasn’t due home until after midnight, and no matter how much I had missed him, there wouldn’t be any “fun” until the following night. Well, that got the ball rolling, so to speak, with others joining in with slightly risqué comments on marital bliss.
A couple of days later at dinner:
Son #1: You know Mom, you really shouldn’t be posting about having sex on Facebook. It could ruin your reputation. Please pass the broccoli.
Me: (spewing water out of my mouth and nose)
Son #2: (hands covering ears) Lalalalalalalalalalalalala!
Hubby: What?!? You posted online about our sex life?
Me: No, of course not. You weren’t even mentioned.
Hubby: Well then, who the hell was mentioned?!?
Son #2 and Daughter #2: (hand over ears) LALALALALALALALALALA!!!!
Me: I didn’t post anything about having sex with anyone.
Son #1: Oh, I guess I misunderstood. I just assumed that’s what was meant with comments about the headboard rocking and hats on the door knobs. My bad.
Daughter #s 1 and 2, Son #2: OH GROSS! LALALALALALALALAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: I didn’t post any of that!
Son #1: Maybe not, but your friends did, and you always tell us that we’ll be judged by the friends we keep. Being Facebook friends with you had been very enlightening, but I think it really is better for me to stick with friends my own age. Old people talk about things that really aren’t appropriate for teens. Maybe we should just unfriend each other.
Me: (giving Son #1 the Evil Eye) You’re feeling pretty pleased with yourself right about now, aren’t you?
Son #1: Oh Mom, you have no idea!
- Common Sense Rules for Facebook and Kids/Teens
- Top Ten Adoptive Parenting Tips for Facebook and the Internet
Image credit: Vince Welter