June 8, 2007


Facebook Face Plant

A couple of weeks back, I wrote a column about Facebook. I basically said it's for kids, as it was initially marketed to high school and college students. Now it's wide open to anyone with an email address, and let me tell, you there must be some high school and college students mighty pissy about that.

This is actually going to turn out to be just one more neon hat. I suppose I should explain that. Back when I was youngyoungyoung, and fashion was everything (though it was in the 80's, and I recognize now that 'fashion' and '80s' don't really go together)I recall neon colours becoming very hot, for a very short period of time. A little neon green or pink went a long way. Man, we were so cool.

And then a funny thing happened - I noticed a bunch of 8-year-olds in neon T-shirts. Then 4-year-olds with neon shoelaces. And then, the ultimate death knell of a style, my father got a neon baseball cap.

Everything becomes just one more neon hat.

I am not cool enough to hang out with my sons. It would break every law of evolution if they wanted me to. Here's a mother who joined Facebook to spy on her kid, and frankly, the only reaction in the piece that makes any sense is her daughter's. It would be like sitting on her bed when her friends are over talking in her room. Get out.

I asked Marc, 15, the other night what he thought about adults on Facebook. He shrugged. He showed me some photos on his site of his friends they'd taken that day on a golf course, and picked through others until I got bored. He said if I joined, I could just look at them when I wanted. Gee, finally something to do with my empty days.

"You want your mother to join Facebook?"
"Well, I don't care. It's not like you don't see this stuff anyway," he replied.
"I'm not mucking in your stuff," I told him.
"You only let the computers be in the kitchen and rec room! Like there's so many secrets in this house!" he laughed.

I left him to his Facebooking, aware I had totally been handled.

But I prefer this dynamic, to the creepy new one of asking your kid to be your friend. And having them say no.

Don't worry; pretty soon all the under 20's will have vanished from Facebook, leaving the littered playground for the rest of us. I mean, once your dad has a neon hat, there's just no going back.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

Although I don't disagree that Facebook is the Internet's latest fad offering, I don't know why everyone is so concerned about who is on it. I'm 36 and use it, I've found high school friends, college friends, seen pics of their kids, family, remembered good times, and even reunited with a couple for coffee. Sure in a couple of weeks I'll have lost interest, but that is then, this is now.

As for the mother that signed up to spy on her daughter, that's her business, but regardless, it's not comparable to her sitting at the edge of her bed. You can't actually see other people's private conversations. It would be more like "Rear Window" where you could "see" what other people are doing, and only if they wanted to.

You are in complete control of what people see in your profile. If you don't have enough Internet smarts to NOT post your address and phone number in it, then perhaps Facebook isn't for you...

June 08, 2007 10:47 AM  
Anonymous April said...

Sorry Lorraine you're sounding like an old fart here.
I'm mid 30s. Me and hubby (same age) are on FB. We have enjoyed reconnecting with old school mates and teachers and so on...and better we've loved "showing up" the younger crowd who only lives to get drunk or high. Those of us born before the mid 70s are finding new ways to reconnect socially and it is quit easy to ignore the youth there...let them have their fun irregardless of the fact it is a fad to some, and just stop knocking it.

I personally LOVE neon hats.

June 08, 2007 10:18 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Heh. Talk to some teens about how they feel. There are lots of sites for adults to socialize on, I just happen to sympathize with the kids who feel invaded.

They'll move on; they always do. I'm just curious why a site marketed to one exclusive group threw open the doors after the fact.

As for the younger crowd who only live to get drunk or high? Come on April, I'M sounding like an old fart?!

As Groucho Marx once said...

June 09, 2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous April said...

Maybe if you spent a little time on FB instead of "just" trusting your teen boys, you'd see what the jig was all about there for youth.
No one invaded anything. Ever hear of Classmates? Same idea. It was created by college/university students. No one told the much younger crowd to overtake it.

June 10, 2007 9:55 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

'Just' trusting my teen boys? My advocacy for parents being informed about their kids computer interactions goes back over three years, and is well documented.

I've spoken on panels with police experts and family therapists.

I respect my kids' privacy; I also am smart enough to know it's my responsiblity to keep tabs on them.

I've spent time on pretty much every major forum out there, and my opinions regarding Facebook and Myspace et al, while admittedly that, are still not just pulled out of my ass.

You now what? That's all I have to say about the subject in this forum. Sometimes the ludicrous is so easy it's just not fun anymore.

June 10, 2007 11:58 AM  

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