This is my reality. Two of my four kids are computer literate. They have both joined Facebook. And they have both friended me.
I decided long ago to treat Facebook and other social media outlets like slightly more-fun versions of a resume, meaning, no, uh, language more “colorful” than occasional outdated surferism exclamations of “Dude!” and “Awesome!” and no TMI overly-revealing stories abut drinking binges or losing my panties in an elevator or photos of my piercings and tats (seriously, are you falling for any of this?).
But I was not prepared for the kid thing.
Oh, there are perks. Reading about what’s up with my daughter, for instance, and seeing into her life a little from a perspective I wouldn’t have otherwise. That part’s cool.
And seeing there on the right-hand sidebar that my son is now a fan of “I love my MOM.” That one brought tears to my eyes. I mean, he’s THIRTEEN. Also the thing of being hit in the face by his virtual water pistol, THAT was a blast (and yeah, I totally got him back).
But … dude.
Didn’t they know that The Interwebs belong to ME? That I am the blogger, the writer, the purveyor of all things Social Media? Me! ME! How dare they enter my personal domain!
It’s sort of like when I found out my mom had been reading my blog, and I remembered that I had said a certain word many many many times on that blog, a word my mom had never actually heard me utter. The word was there on my blog because of the *cough* anonymity of the internet. And then after my mom started referring to things she could only have known about by reading my blog, I realized that not only was I totally busted but also that I wasn’t maybe so anonymous after all. The kids-on-Facebook thing is sort of like that.
Obviously, if your kids are like 3 and 5 they’re probably not on Facebook yet (please don’t let them be, please? Because imo if you can’t actually type you should not have a social media account named for you, and I SO am speaking to you, Ashton Kutcher!), so for you it’s not an issue. Yet. But devising a plan NOW is probably your best bet, because, dude. It’s GOING to happen. Facebook, Twitter, whatever. My reality is your future.
So what’s it going to be? What’s your reaction when your own kid wants to friend you on Facebook? Changing your name and moving to Tahiti? Friending them back and friending all THEIR friends so you can totally keep tabs on everything they do or say (no, I have NOT done this … yet)? Or are you the cool mom? Is your privacy invaded a little? Do you change your posting habits so you don’t have to explain phrases like “beer o’clock” to your 11-year-old?
Me, well, I already played it pretty safe, so there wasn’t much to change. My social media persona is tied to my work persona anyway. In other words, I’m boooring. (But go ahead and friend me. You know you wanna.)
But it’s still weird. And I’m sort of toying with the Tahiti thing.