How’s the weather there? It was nice & sunny here today. How’s Dad? And the cat? Good, good. Glad to hear it.
Down to business: I see you’ve taken the interwebs by the horns and rustled yourself up a shiny, new Facebook account. Congratulations! Although, you won’t mind my asking how that’s possible, since you’ve previously decried Facebook as the downfall of humanity no fewer than 7,213 times… will you?
No? Good. Didn’t think so.
Now that you’re here, your head is no doubt spinning from all the excitement. Bells, whistles, new toys… It’s like Vegas! On your laptop! And I’m honestly flattered that sending me a friend request (we kids call it “friending,” by the way) was among the very first things you did after establishing your account. It warmed my heart to see your name — of all people’s! — on my screen. Banishing your long-time Facebook fears and tracking down your daughter, all in one day?
They grow up so fast…
Before I can click “accept” on that request, though, there are a few ground rules we need to set. You understand, right? I just need to make sure we’re on the same page & you know what lies ahead. So just read & initial each of the following, and then sign on the dotted line. We’ll be swapping “OMG!”s in no time!
I, Ang’s Mom, do solemnly attest that by “friending” my daughter, I agree to abide by the following:
1. I will not comment on my daughter’s language. Let’s face it, Mom. Your daughter swears like a goddamn sailor and everyone knows it — including you. This is the point in life where you just need to accept that fact. No, it doesn’t make people think you’re a bad parent. And your daughter doesn’t particularly care what it makes other people think about her. The ones who matter simply know that two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and your daughter — well, she took the one with the most F-bombs.
2. I will not fret — online or off — about my daughter’s Facebook etiquette. Your daughter lives in the digital age. She knows all about the Big Bad Bogeyman of Big Brother watching her every online move. She knows that Facebook is a bottomless pit of data-mining and she’s made peace with it. So if she sometimes posts during work or uses a Diet Coke bong illustration as her profile pic, you just have to live and let live.
3. I understand that, upon learning I have a Facebook page, my daughter’s friends may randomly try to friend me. If they are successful, they may subsequently tag me in photos or posts or “poke” me.
3a. I promise not to call my daughter at work and ask her what it means every time one of the aforementioned things happens.
4. I will not yell at my daughter for photos of me she may have previously posted on Facebook. Even if they’re photos involving Guitar Hero. Strictly hypothetically, of course.
5. I will not post things on my daughter’s Facebook if they actually merit a phone or email discussion… Once I figure out how to post on walls, that is. There’s obviously a time and a place for different types of discussion. And if the question is “Have you had a chance to dump the bodies yet?” or “How’s that rash doing?” — let’s be honest, Facebook probably isn’t the right forum for such details. Besides, your daughter enjoys the unique tone & cadence of your emails, and she’d genuinely hate to stop receiving those.
6. I will not play FarmVille. I mean it, young lady. If one of your fellow teachers asks you to try FarmVille, you just politely say “No, thank you” and walk away. It doesn’t matter if all of your friends are doing it. If all of your Facebook friends told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? (If so, we need to have a serious chat about the definition of “hypocrisy.”) If you’re worried that saying “no” will make your peers think you’re uncool, you can just blame it on me. I’ve got big shoulders.
And last, but — sweet Jesus! — not least:
7. I will remember not to take my daughter’s humor too seriously. The awesome part about Facebook is the ability to stay more up-to-date on the lives of your friends and non-ponytailed children. (Until he breaks down and joins the social network, Trucker Dan will have to remain an enigma.) The sometimes less awesome part about Facebook is… the ability to stay more up-to-date on the lives of your friends and non-ponytailed children. Facebook statuses – not unlike blog posts — offer snapshots of what’s on a person’s mind in a given moment. Sometimes those snapshots are happy and light and fluffy and hilarious. Other times they’re sad, or upsetting, or bizarre, or nonsensical, or confusing, or irresponsible, or idiotic (see: FarmVille). It stands to reason that any of those emotions could be driven by any of the people we know — including our families.
It also stands to reason that your “all the world’s a stage” daughter will amuse herself by finding words to ramble about all of it. You can hardly blame her for that, right? God knows you all give her enough fodder.
In summary: Increased communication = good. Personal boundaries = also good. Sense of humor = mandatory. If it helps, just think of this as conditioning for when the times comes to write the memoir… You know, the one in which you want your name changed…
…And there you have it. Bases? Covered. See how easy that was?
Welcome to the social network, Mom. I love you. I’m excited to watch you get your online legs under you. And I promise not to reveal the locations of any of your dead bodies… Just as long as you play by the rules.
Now put on a helmet and go challenge your son to a game of WordTwist, will you? He’s been killing me at that damn game for years.