We all want our kids to love us even a smidge as much as we love them. But needing our kids to verify we’re cool enough to be their “friends” on Facebook? Maybe it’s time you get off the internet and MEET your kid.
I laughed at Lisa Belkin’s essay a few months back in the Times about her kid refusing to friend her online. She even joined a group of moms whose kids are embarrased to find them on Facebook. Now the kids are getting back – with a group that’s five thousand strong and growing, dubbed “For the love of god — don’t let parents join Facebook.”
I’ve got news for you kids, not every mom wants her kid sending her a friend request. If they do, there’s a fair amount of us who wouldn’t hesitate to hit “deny.”
I have always been one of the big proponents of kids getting on social networks, especially kids who need to reach outside of the limited social group in their own schools. Remember middle and high school anyone? It sucked. So why shouldn’t our kids get a chance at something a little bit better – you know, like finding friends who share their interests, goals, secrets . . . and know nothing about the day they pissed their pants in the first grade?
But there’s Facebook for kids. Then there’s Facebook for the rest of us. (or Myspace or Twitter . . . or whatever social media you kids are using these days). Those of us who have opted for a “private” page, wherein we allow only those we’ve “confirmed” to see status updates and goofy pictures, have done so to keep out anyone who would judge what we have to say on there. For smart folks, that includes their bosses. For parents, it can also include their kids.
The flippant comment in the office becomes permanent when typed up and left on Facebook – by one of your “friends.” But where you can earmuff the kids when your sloshed best friend starts talking about the good ol’ days at a family party, the cat’s out of the bag online. So who wants their kids to see that?
I’m a fully-grown, responsible adult and mother. OK, according to my mortgage coupon book, I am. According to Facebook, where I just wrapped up a discussion with a friend about Pillow Pants, the vagina troll (Clerks ringing a bell for you Kevin Smith fans?), well. . . you be the judge. What my kid doesn’t know won’t hurt her.