Social media sites were intended to connect people. To give every human the chance to interact with other humans, no matter how great the physical distance between them.
One of these subsections of humans is parents, and they occasionally find their way to Facebook. And it is incredible when they do.
Facebook, when you think about it, is all of your parents’ favorite things conveniently wrapped up into one.
1. Allows you to post all the pictures from your vacation to the Grand Canyon, instead of having to pick just one to go on the Christmas Card
2. Lets you monitor the activities of your kids, your kids’ friends and your kids’ friends’ parents (for the ultra-surveillance parents out there).
3. Gives you the power to write embarrassing messages and like embarrassing things that EVERYONE can see.
These powers just SCREAM parent to me, but something even more incredible is happening.
Parents on Facebook are actually hilarious.
Here is an example. My roommate, Dan, is a very mild-mannered, kind guy; he is never someone looking to interact with anyone on Facebook either. But that does not stop his mom from interacting with him. She probably tags him in a post once a day, amidst 5 or 6 of her other, non-Dan related posts.
And everytime it happens, Dan turns to me and says the same thing: “Parents on Facebook, man.”
Because it is not that parents shouldn’t be allowed on Facebook, it’s that they just don’t get it. They don’t understand the standard social media etiquette or trends. They don’t monitor their posts to make sure they were politically correct at all. They don’t care if what they are saying has nothing to do with what they are commenting on (Case in point: Dan’s mom recently commented on a picture of his with the question “do you need gas money?”).
In some cases, I’m sure parents have forced their children to leave Facebook. It’s ridiculous, but it is also the funniest thing in the entire world to me because my parents aren’t on Facebook (for the time being).
In the end, #ParentsOnFacebook should be allowed; they contribute to the overall content and appeal that social media offer, and without them on Facebook, my conversations with Dan would probably be a little less funny.
But just because they should be allowed, doesn’t mean should be taught how to correctly use social media, because who is even to say what the correct way is? We obviously digest news and commentary in a substantially different way than the generation so how could we give the baby boomers any advice on how interact online?
They would forget it pretty quickly anyway.