I am friends with several of my friends' parents on Facebook. For the most part they are good for a like on a status or a happy birthday on my timeline, but occasionally things get more complicated.
The mom who walks backwards. For the launch of ATOB, Sara and I made a Facebook event where I invited pretty much everyone (okay, I didn’t invite the people who I secretly write about). One of our guests was my friend’s mom. She first apologized she wouldn't be able to make the event; she would in Thailand. I tried to clear up the confusion that it wasn't an event that required physical presence. This is how she responded:
The mom who likes her newsfeed silent. Sometimes I add people on Facebook who I’ve never met. Parents are not exempt. This was the case with my friend’s mom. Years later I met her only to discover that at some point in time she had de-friended me. Why? Because I post “too much” (she told her son this). I guess I do when you have less than 25 friends, and most of them are non-posting Baby Boomers. Also, sophomore year was a social year.
The mom who drunk messages. Once upon a time, my friend's mom chatted me while drunk. It’s not as creepy as it sounds; my friend was with her mom when it happened (as well as being at the winery with her). Still, I had no idea how to respond. Some quotes included:
Too much wine already. No bubble tea however
Wine was good.....well some were
Maybe I shouldn't have friended her.
My mom. In high school, I would have balked at my mom being on Facebook, but these days it's more convenient if we're Facebook friends. She can see pictures of friends and events without me emailing or transcribing over the phone. Now my dad can't distinguish between the Internet and "the Google," but I thought my mom was better (besides the occasional "Did you Twitter it?"). I mean, she has a Smartphone for work. Assuming a quick learning curve, I gave a short tutorial and let her loose. A few weeks later I woke up to my mom having liked EVERY SINGLE PHOTO I've ever been tagged in. My poor friends' notifications!
She stopped using Facebook for about a year until one day her childhood best friend whom she hasn't seen since her wedding found her on Facebook. This friend reached out to me when my mom hadn’t responded to the request (since she hadn’t been logging on). This halted my mom’s world: “How does she know I’m on Facebook?” I tried explaining the search button, but my mom became agitated: “You mean, people can see my profile?”
“Just your name and photo.”
“I don’t want them to see that.”
Somehow this led to the revelation that her friends – all sixteen of them – can see her full profile, i.e. all six posts on her wall, including her first ever from me “This is a post on your wall.” But this was not okay; she wanted to see her friends’ profiles without them seeing hers. Sounds fair, right? She should work for the NSA. And I had deceived my mother. I had left her exposed to all the hackers in the world. Shouting commenced. I had to leave the house. Now my mom and I don’t discuss Facebook.