Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rejected and Red in the Facebook

Because I have a blog, I may be just a teeny bit more tech-savvy than some of my fellow moms. Emphasis on the word “teeny.” They can kick my ass in the cooking and doing pretty much anything else domestically department. I’m pretty good at navigating the worldwide web and that’s about all.

So during the holidays, my family and I were having a nice family dinner. During the meal, I brought up the subject of Facebook, the social networking website that has become very popular. I have two teens in my house, and, for them, Facebook has eclipsed MySpace for staying in touch with friends. I was asking them about Facebook when one of them said: “Well, you could sign up for Facebook, Mom. Anyone can.” What they probably meant was: “Mom, technically you could sign up for Facebook, but if you go near it, I’ll hate you forever.” What I heard was: “Mom, go on Facebook and sign up!” Can you see where this is going?

So, one lazy morning during vacation, after the paper was read and the e-mails were checked and while everyone else was still sleeping, I decided to venture over to Facebook and see what was involved. Registering for Facebook is deceptively easy. It takes scant seconds. And then the fun begins. Through some Bill Gates-enhanced cyber spy feature, one of the first things that Facebook does is reach into your e-mail address book and find everyone in it that has a Facebook page. I found this interesting. Of course my kids and a couple of their friends popped up and even one of my college roommates who teaches in college. I thought I was being careful not to invade my kids’ privacy. Apparently not. I signed up and gave up as little information as possible. Really, I just sort of wanted to look around the place and see what it was like. Silly me.

About two hours later, I heard my sleepy daughter walk over to the computer and start typing. I was in the kitchen reading a book, having finished with my brief Facebook field trip. Suddenly, she roared: “MOM, NO!” Since I had used a different computer earlier, I really didn’t know what she was yelling about. It soon became apparent.

“I’m rejecting you as a friend!” she said.

“How can you reject me? I didn’t even ask you to be my friend! And you’re the one who said I could go on Facebook.”

“MOM, NO!”

Apparently, all those people in my address book were inadvertently invited to become my friend. Yes, I pathetically implored teenagers that I knew to become my friend. Talk about embarrassing. At least that’s how my kids made me feel. I told my son about it in advance and told him that he could reject me too…and he did.

I had pretty much made the decision to delete my Facebook account when I ran into a couple of the other kids that had received my “invitation.” To my great surprise, they did NOT reject me and thought it was kind of funny. I didn’t exactly feel validated, but I felt less like the creepy stalker mom that my kids had painted me to be.

So today, my Facebook account is still barely alive. I added a photo and a little bit more information. My college roommate “wrote on my wall” and I have a whopping 5 friends. I’m still rejected by my own kids, but then again, isn’t that what motherhood is all about?


At 12:38 PM , Blogger kenju said...

I really got a chuckle out of this. I am sure I would get the same reaction if I were to do that - so I won't bother. I did get a page on My Space - more out of curiosity than anything - but then the requests for "Being my friend" started to creep me out, so I stopped going there and deleted what I could. Live and learn, Mom....LOL

At 9:14 PM , Blogger Em said...

This is truly the funniest post I've read in a long time. I've never tried myspace or facebook. My kids use livejournal, so I would stay away from that. I couldn't handle the rejection. Once that happened, the next time they needed something from me, it would get ugly.

At 10:41 PM , Blogger Tonikka said...

ha ha you are so funny.... wish my mom had a snse of humour....


today my son told me i embarassed him.... oh the fun begins

At 8:42 AM , Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

So that's what happens with facebook! I guess I won't be trying it any time soon!!

Michele sent me

At 12:30 AM , Blogger Swishy said...

How funny! I've thought about going on Facebook to spy on my little sister ... good to know that you can't exactly "spy" without getting caught!

At 6:53 PM , Anonymous colleen said...

Ha! We're will this all lead. It's like reality TV online. Well told and funny! I'm here from michele's.

At 9:15 PM , Anonymous kontan said...

I started a myspace to see what it was all babysitter spoke highly. It is entertaining but that is about it. I do have a facebook, but I haven't logged on in about a year! I have come across a few of my students on myspace (no way would I do a friend add or allow one if they figured out who I am) but it is interesting, what they won't put on their site, their friends will. SCARY stuff...strange too

have a great week

At 5:40 AM , Blogger Blitz Krieg said...

I registered on myspace last year after hearing some unbelievable stories from a neighbor. Students in my son's high school were telling these stories and posting photos of them on their space. I used my junk email address and a photo of some guy I pulled off Google images to create a profile.

I used it just to keep an eye on my son and who he was talking with out there. The other stories, they were true. Some of his
"friends" posted photos of drinking, pot parties and vandalism.

So far no incriminating things on his space, but that could mean nothing. I remember being in high school even though it was quite a while ago.

Thanks for visiting me yesterday!

At 2:28 PM , Blogger kimbofo said...

Hehehe. I laughed out loud at this! I thought I was pretty clued up on the whole techy thing -- I maintain three blogs after all, all my music is digital, I have a digital camera etc -- but when I visited a MySpace page for the first time it freaked me out. I just did not understand the whole concept of having 'friends' etc. At 37 years of age I suddenly felt very very old!

PS> Thanks for dropping by my site the other day.

At 8:25 PM , Blogger Shephard said...

That's actually kinda funny. You have such a great attitude. And I didn't know about Facebook. Interesting (sticking with Blogger).

Michele says Hello!

At 7:15 AM , Blogger kenju said...

Has it gotten any better since I was here last? I thought maybe they had taken pity on you by now....LOL

Michele sent me this time.

At 7:15 AM , Blogger Bob-kat said...

That made me smile. so - the kids you clean up after adn raise rejected you? There's gratitude!!! I like that the other teenagers didn't - friends moms are always cool so don't feel bad.

It's the role of moms to embarrass their kids - I say embrace it (evil grin)! It is a bit insidious the way it went into your email though.

At 8:27 AM , Blogger Oracle said...

That really made smile as my business partner has been asking about myspace and his daught is horrified lol! I have been read some of Dannah Boyd's work as well some interesting tsuff there on social networking and the whole friends and friends rejection psychology ;)

Don't feel too bad....

They wont like it when you have more friends than them ;)

Here via Michele ;)

At 12:29 PM , Blogger utenzi said...

That's a great post, Karen. I'll show it to my girlfriend. She's got two sons of college age--so she's got similar experiences. Sites like that should really warn you that they're sending out invitations to people in your address book. That sorta thing can be quite embarrassing! I'm sorry your kids rejected you, Karen. You can be my friend!

Michele sent me over to enjoy your wondeful post today.

At 9:39 PM , Blogger Catherine said...

I think I'll stay away from Facebook! Though I wonder if you have to be using Outlook for that "raiding the address book" thing to work? Since I use a Mac, I try to stay away from anything Bill Gates-inspired.
Michele sent me

At 9:59 PM , Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele.
I tried to sign up for facebook but at the time you had to be an alumni of a university on their list and mine wasn't on their list. Then you had to have an email address from that university. So I just gave up. I keep up with one of my college roommates a different way... not sure if any of the others would be computer savvy.... I am that old!

At 7:49 AM , Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

I have a blog, but am in no way 'tech-savvy'.

Michele sent me here.

At 4:58 PM , Blogger Carmi said...

The generational divide of technology continues apace. When I watch my kids IM their friends, I feel old. Come to think of it, they go near a computer and I feel old.

I'm sure when my kids hit their teens and beyond, some follow-on to Facebook will drive similar humiliation to my house's front door. It's depressing: we've raised them to make us obsolete.

Great to e-see you again, Karen. I've missed your wit - something that no amount of eye-rolling from the younger generation can ever change.

At 10:40 PM , Blogger kenju said...

Michele sent me back, karen. It is fun to read other's comments on this. I hope your kids decide to be your friend at home, if not on Facebook.....LOL

At 6:05 AM , Blogger Manic Mom said...

hahahah! This had me cracking up! But hey, you are totally cool if your kids' friends accept you and your kids reject you! Seriously!

You can tell your kids, nanny nanny boo boo, your friends LIKE ME!

THAT will mortify them! Isn't it awesome being a parent?!?!

At 12:06 PM , Blogger Jess Riley said...

Oh my goodness! What a mortifying (yet funny) story.

My brother is a young teacher outside of Chicago and two of his students were punished recently for impersonating him on Facebook. They set up a "joke" site for him and everything.

At 9:06 AM , Anonymous Claire said...

This was so funny!!

A lot of my friends are moving over to Facebook from MySpace but then MySpace over here has only really taken off in the last year so it's still new enough for me to not go running to Facebook...just yet!

I think it's great you signed up...there's no rule that says Mom's not allowed!!


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