I remember the first time I checked out Facebook. My motivation had nothing to do with social networking or connecting with friends or even with seeing what all the brouhaha about social media was all about. It was a purely selfless and sacrificial motive… and to play detective on my very social teenage daughter.
She Accepted My Friend Request
Of course, it was eons before she accepted my friend request and only after I promised not to post anything embarrassing on her wall that her friends could see. Eventually, I was Facebook friends with all five of my children as well as my husband. I was actually really beginning to enjoy and even become slightly addicted to Facebook. The struggle is real. I even looked forward to checking in on my friends and became annoyed with the updates on the progress of their farms. Several friends from childhood, high school and beyond were also on Facebook and I was able to reconnect with them. Some I was glad to reconnect with some and others, not so much.
My Mom on Facebook! Are You Serious?!
Then one day there it was…a friend request from my Mother!! Are you serious?!?!? My mom’s on Facebook, really? I whined to myself, “But Facebook is my place to be with my friends not with my mother!” Familiar words filled my mind as I thought to myself, “I just know she’s going to post something embarrassing on my wall or some ridiculous picture of me.” I just left the request in my box for several days (I was secretly hoping it would just vanish mysteriously). The phone rings, it’s my mom. The dreaded question, “Why aren’t you my friend on Facebook?” “Oh, ummm, yeah, I forgot, “I sputtered.
So I found myself in the middle of a social media networking sandwich; friends with my kids (ages 17 – 24) and friends with my mom, dad, and step-mom. Oh yeah and don’t forget, the ex-husband and his wife who are friends with my husband and my mom too! Social media and social networking have changed the dynamics of communication world-wide and also in our own families. Last year, my first grandchild was born (before you think I’m old let me tell you I’m part of Generation X!). We were able to communicate with family all over the US about the progressing labor in addition to the birth of the little guy. My husband and I along with my ex-husband and his wife, co-parent our 17 year from two different states through Facebook, Twitter, texting, and email.
The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is ages 55 and up also known as the Baby Boomers. So it comes as no surprise that my mom jumped onto the social media bandwagon along with her friends. A Pew research study showed that individuals aged 50-64 using Facebook had increased 88% over the last year. So my friends, it is inevitable. The next phrase you may hear from your teenager is, “Your mom’s on Facebook!!” and then you can fire back with, “Well your grandma’s on Facebook!”
And….Mom, don’t you dare tweet me!
by Denise Legg, Hope and Wellness Omaha