Hell did not actually freeze over, but it may as well have:
My Mom joined Facebook.
Her progression into a Facebook account was long and slow, beginning years ago with a complete lack of understanding about what the hell a Facebook was and how we could possibly see and hear all of this news about people that she hadn’t gotten a Christmas card from in a decade. It all sounded very sinister and she put her foot down: She would NEVER have a Facebook account. My Dad backed her up with angry warnings about the evils of social media, making us promise to never put his name or picture on “Facialbook” or God forbid, “Tweeter.” Then Mom went through a little Facebook-Hater phase, where she vehemently despised the concept, calling Facebook users “voyers” and “stalkers.” Then as ever more of her family and friends got accounts, she started getting a little bit sassy about her children putting pictures or information up without sending it to her separately, wondering just how much she was missing out on. “I don’t have Facebook, you know…”
And finally, something broke down and I received the most exciting friend request I’ve ever gotten since I opened my account almost ten years ago. It may have been because my little sister set up the account on my Mom’s phone and forced her to start friending people, but no matter the reason, I am so happy my Momma is now one of us! I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed and struggled with what to actually post on Facebook when I first got my account, so I decided to write up a few tips and pointers to help my Mommy-O transition into a full time Facebook user and avoid some of the pitfalls of social media.
1. Your Status Is Different Than A Private Message
When typing in the area that asks, “What’s on your mind?” or after clicking “status” you are typing in an area that everyone on your friend’s list can see. This is where you share general information about your day, complain about something you want others to sympathize with you about, ask a question that you want lots of input on etcetera. This is not the area that you use to talk shit about someone or discuss a personal issue that you only want one person to read.
Example of an appropriate status update:
What a beautiful day in Northern Michigan! Can’t wait to see my favorite child, Annie Yeoman (tagged me, like a pro!) and her precious family this weekend.
Example of an inappropriate status update:
Nellie, even though we tried to get out of it, your asshole sister Annie and her obnoxious family are coming for a visit. HELP!
If it isn’t something you want everyone to know, private message that shiz Momma.
2. Beware Of Commenting On Debate Articles And Controversial Topics
It is sometimes impossible to hold your tongue when you see the sheer stupidity of the things people post on Facebook, Mom. Sometimes it can make your eye twitch and your butt hole pucker. If you want to dive in and be wrapped up in a back and forth argument all day with strangers or friends who will NEVER see your side of the issue, then be my guest; but I must warn you that people are brutal and crazy online and knowing that you are sensitive like I am, I highly recommend avoiding the whole mess and staying quiet if you want to sleep at night. Topics include; politics, religion, any high profile community issue, abortion, gun control, vaccination, and anything having to do with raising children. No matter how polite, helpful or seemingly mild your comment is, some whack-a-doo will accuse you of being evil, dangerous, irresponsible, Satan’s daughter or my favorite, a Jesus hating liberal. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
3. Make Sure You Have Final Approval On Tagged Photos
It isn’t that your friends hate you, they will just inevitably pick the WORST photo of you that exists, post it online and TAG you in it so all of your other friends see how you look after six beers, being rained on and in the middle of picking a wedgie. They will always look adorable in the photo next to you which just makes you look worse. At least changing your settings is possible so while you can’t stop them from posting the picture on their own page, you can stop them from showing it to all the people you know and love. The last thing you need are twenty phone calls asking if you’re doing ok, you know, cause you look… different.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Unfriend
If someone is constantly pissing you off with stuff they post or comments they make, get rid of them! You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. If they re-friend you and ask what happened, tell them. I like this approach:
“Sorry, but the never ending barrage of stupid and annoying shit that you post makes my day unbearable. Re-friend me when you turn cool.”
Ok, so I’ve never really had to say that to someone, but I’ve secretly always wanted to. I usually just let them re-friend me and regret it every day after.
5. Take Advantage And Find People
Facebook is an awesome tool for getting in touch with people that you just don’t have time to call and catch up with. If they pop into your head, search for them. It is so fun finding people you haven’t seen in years, or someone you met once or twice and thought they were cool but never exchanged numbers with. It is really the beauty of social media. You would normally never get to see what an old neighbor’s grandchildren look like or see what became of that girl you sat next to in science class. You may otherwise miss out on the rants and ravings of your kids and I can tell you, you do not want to miss out on my posts, because I am hilarious. (And modest.)
Above all else, have fun with it Momma. Welcome to Facebook. Love you much!