Saturday, February 7, 2009

Play it Again Sam

George the Younger has been begging for a Facebook account. According to him, EVERYONE he knows has one and he is the ONLY ONE who is not allowed to have one. All I can say is, "well, here we go again."

Here we go again in the sense that I have walked this lonely road before. EVERYONE was mentioned a least nine hundred thousand times when Shannon was wrestling, meandering, and striding through her pre-teens and regular-teens. "EVERYONE" I have come to understand can mean anywhere from a single friend to say, three friends. It never truly means EVERYONE. "EVERYONE" doing something is statistically impossible.

In George's case, I have come to understand that EVERYONE he knows that has a Facebook account is the sum total of three guys in his class. Three guys who also have I-phones, very expensive clothing and everything that they could ever want or ask for. Want a new phone, electronic gadget, $100 hat or sweatshirt. Sure! Why not? As for me, George needs an I-Phone like he needs growth-hormone therapy and since he grows out of his clothes so often I shop at Old Navy. Yes, I know, he is deprived and child services should be contacted immediately.

The thing about Facebook is that they have rules. Hard to believe, but they do. You have to be 13 to open a Facebook account. Having an account of my own, I know why this is. Hell, at the age of 49 I have trouble deciding whether or not to add the "bumper sticker" application or what the whoody-hell I am supposed to do with friends who request that I be-friends-with-other-people-that-I-would-really-prefer-not-to-be-friends-with-at-all-because-they-are-not-really-my-friends. You know, in that "we are friends" in real like life kind of way.

It occurs to me that Facebook may need to add a new category. Friends and then Acquaintances or more aptly, Electronic Acquaintances. This way, you would monitor the difference between people that you actually care to hear from or hear about, as opposed to letting Ivanka I-Don't-know-who-you-are in on everything. Like why would Ivanka want to see my photos. So she can recognize my children when she is stalking me?

So, since I have trouble coping with the attributes of Facebook - the security, the friend-thing, the people who share too much or too little - - I am even more firmly fixed on my decision not to let George the Younger in on this big world-wide electronic party. So, he is pouting. Break out the violins - learn to play the sad, sad song with righteous indignation about how the Mom is keeping you down. Keep practicing, you will need to know it well over the next several years. You will be playing this song a whole, whole lot.

George the Younger will have to live his life as the ONLY ONE who does not have a Facebook account. At least for the next 6 months. When, according to Facebook he will have the necessary maturity to navigate the tricky world of electronic friendships. Should I tell George now that he can have one at 13 as long as I get the password and can monitor his account until I am confident that he is acting responsibly? I'm gonna go with "probably not" at this point. I will fight that fight on September 1st. You may be able to hear the sad, sad, violin song from wherever you are that day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just to play a little devil's advocate (i.e., Georgie's advocate post Sept 1 for sure): I fail to see how his having a facebook account with at least some measure of security as to who can be his friend or see his information is more public than a blog that has no security to who sees the pictures or reads far more revealing information. I'm just saying...and as you well know, pick your battles. And yes, I do believe you have a right to his passwords. OR.. as we did: There is no lag time between my wanting to see myspace or facebook pages and getting to see it. Therefore, Charlie and Bay know it would be wise not to have anything on there that would get you grounded. :) Of course, once they use my computer to input passwords, I have them anyway!

Then again, I take parenting tips from Saturday Night LIve and Weekend Update who said last night that if your kids say to you, "Michael Phelps smokes pot, why can't I?" My response of choice is now, "ok..You win 12 gold metals for your country and you can smoke all the pot you want." Not sure Dr. Spock would agree.

Love, M