It was a Wednesday night. About ten o’clock. I had just finished my essay for English class, titled “Why Reading Crime and Punishment is Actually a Crime and Punishment,” when it happened. After three dreadful hours of poring through pages of 19th Century-Russian literature, I was finally able to open my laptop and log onto the social capital of the world: Facebook. Immediately upon entering, I noticed a new notification, signaling a “Friend Request.” Thoughts swarmed in my head when I saw this: “Danny, this could be it! That cute girl from math class whose clothes look they’re from Baby Gap has finally requested you! This could be your moment!” Click. “Wait a minute…this says the request is from ‘Jody New’…that’s not the girl from math class. That’s…that’s my…that’s my Mom!!!!”
What happened next I am not really sure of. All I know is that the next day I received multiple phone calls from college football recruiters because apparently a laptop was thrown one hundred yards from my bedroom window. Or maybe it was just Mark Sanchez calling for throwing tips. Regardless, the sight of my own mother trying to add me on Facebook was the most terrifying moment of my life. There are just so many reasons why parents should not have Facebooks.
For starters, let’s throw the obvious reason out there. In my opinion, it’s just not fair when it’s eleven at night and I’m ready to sleep, but my father won’t let me because he needs to understand why his messages got deleted. Or why his page froze. Or why his high school girlfriend looks like a hippopotamus now. Frankly, none of these drawbacks are my fault, so I should not be held responsible for teaching my elder how to work around them (which is saying something considering the size of that hippopotamus…she was so big I couldn’t tell if she was boy or girth).
In addition, it is very infuriating when the ‘rents try to communicate with me through the website. There is no excuse for why my mother can’t scream “Honey! Will you program the television so I can watch Real Housewives?” without a post on my Wall. Truthfully, a simple phone call would be acceptable too, but apparently, posting a picture of the television on my page is much easier.
Now, I am not saying that parents shouldn’t be allowed to have some sort of social website, because they should! Just not the same one that we teenagers use. Maybe Ol’ Marky-Mark Zuckerberg can make a new website for old geezers, like FaceScroll or Botox-Face. I’m just saying, separation makes the heart grow fonder… like with my father and his hairline. Therefore, I think it would be more suitable for everyone if we all went our separate ways. There is just too much information for my mother to utilize against me if she has access to my page.
How so? Well, if the Myspace-years didn’t give it away, one of the main uses for social media sites is that they are the Mecca of Monitoring. When I go to college next year, I want some separation. I want some freedom. Except for when I have to do laundry, I want to feel like I’m living on my own! But how am I supposed to feel independent if my parents are constantly looking at what I’m doing? I’m going to be getting weekly phone calls from my worried, kvetching mother (“Honey! I saw that picture on The Facebook of you eating pizza. You need more fiber in your diet!”)
Now, don’t get me wrong; I love my parents. I am blessed to have them as guidance in life. That being said, I need some breathing room too; because you don’t see me going to Ladies’ Night with my mom, or to “Brogaine” Night with my dad. We’re supposed to have different social lives. We’re supposed to have different friends. We’re not supposed to be able to view each other’s friends’ photos and say “I think you can do better.”
Frankly, I’m just not comfortable with my parents having access to all of my posts and photos. Of course, I know I could reject their “Friend Requests,” but that would just lead to them saying they could make me ride a tricycle to school every day. Facebook requests generate an awkward scenario because obviously, parents would be upset if denied by their own child. On the other hand, if accepted, the information they’d learn would disturb them as well; so the situation is awkward for both outcomes.
But what should be done? What is the solution to this uncomfortable nonsense? I said it once, and I’ll say it again: Parents need their own Facebook. A website dedicated to being more accessible for the older generations. This new site could make all the necessary changes that’d ease online-networking for oldies: The letters would be bigger, the jokes would be cleaner, and the pictures would already be in black and white. This addition to the internet would create a separation that permits each generation to hold on to its own social environment. And best of all…it would prevent my parents from seeing what I’m really doing at college — eating pizza.