Proper Facebook Etiquette

#865 Loosejaws. Stopfeeds!

Sunday 6th June, 2010

Dear Mariann,
Love the site – should be in a sunday newspaper! My sister (14) has just got into Facebook or in fact the parents know she is there. They have told here that she must share her stuff with them as Facebook friends. I’ve used it since being at Uni and the parents and friends but I make sure they can’t see everything. Trouble is they have now got wise and are asking why I’m closing them off. What to do? I know my sister is young but it seems no fair that we should be treated the same.
(From Mudlark in reply to post #264 sh*t looking)

Nosy parents. *ugh*. Well quite rightly so, how on earth could they possibly think that your sister and yourself would warrant lives of your own. You’ll be moving out next. Or at least only visiting home to keep up with various cycles of reclaimed odd socks via the laundered services of home. Strangely enough, I recall adapting myself to other things as family began to appear on Facebook. And let’s face it some things you don’t want to do. But you have to. BF (Before Facebook) all we knew of what our friends and family were up to was from snippets of gossip, rumour and speculation, now a hasty examination of your newsfeed finds a lot of surface noise and a little more, or less, going on underneath.

A number of Friend Requests later, it now seems an appropriate time to reveal my four favourite unusual social situations and consequences of PoF (Parents on Facebook).

1. Loosejaws stopfeeds
As the name suggests, this PoF incidence is in response to those situations that occur in response to those with very loose jaws, usually with sharp teeth. One example is when a friend of a friend discovered her daughter was getting married via a Facebook newsfeed. Imagine mum’s distress. Reduced to circumvented Facebook announcement from one she had bought up, burnt toast, cleaned and lost socks, and spent an awful lot of years disapproving of unsuitable Romeo’s. ‘Stopfeeds’ refers to a necessary Privacy check: all feeds to family must be protected and treated with due care and attention. Mum eventually forgave daughter when the invitation to nuptials was discovered to be a hoax and consequence of a the current Romeo hacking into daughter’s Facebook account. Forgiveness came about swiftly, not least as daughter then dumped said Romeo.

2. Hell-ova reveal
With only a tiny piece of, err, cloth covering some extremities, this is the classic example of when dad and mum come across something they shouldn’t have done. That image intended for only those kinds of friends. If you’re comfortable with your body and a bit of a poser Facebook can become broadcast central. So if you upload something, you’ve got to make sure how you use it. Then reflect how friends will view it. How mum and dad will react. One sister of a well known family revealed her new air bags to all sundry via a new Facebook album. She is the attention seek type, so dad and mum were not that surprised or damaged. But your’s might be if you’re not the look at me, look at me, ‘attractive’ type. Imagine dad and mum’s reaction: open-mouthed, tongues wagging. Or perhaps that’s the point.

3. Seevil
This PoF happenstance is when dad and mum take a moment to shuffle through your friends and decide they do not approve of bizarre looking Johnny. As often is the case a bit of network manipulation can come to your aid. Your networks are larger than those of your parents after all. And whilst most of their time is spent ‘stalking’ on what you’re doing, you can stop their propensity to Seevil (see evil) by locking down various aspects of your page/s. May I recommend not showing who your friends are. When you’re ready to introduce Mr Nice But Dim or Ms Picasso (nice from a distance bit of a mess close up) you can send out a more tradition signal to invite them for a down the pub meet up. Maybe not an inviation via Facebook hey.

4. Snipernights
A PoF that can, if not handled in the right manner, quickly escalate. Snipernights feed on those social situations when there is a still a faint amount of information on one’s offspring. Trying to contain their interest dad and mum don’t want to appear too visible against your Facebook activities. Many, therefore, skim across your feeds in the hope of the BIG reveal, and can adjust the intensity of their sniping (usually at night), so that when you visit/get together their knowledge just seems to disappear. Why? becuase dad and mum prefer to hear your news from you. It’s like a who knows race; everything is already known by all parties, but no-one knows for sure who know what or when.

Oh dear, Mudlark, I still have yet to fully answer your quandary. You have by now begun to live beyond your PoF’s approval. This is quite normal. Yet to come is the urge to drone on about your far distant past and their various roles to play in who you are and what you are doing. When this urge takes force you’re going to want to open up your Facebook page completely as you’ll feel grateful that – even if it’s your parents – anyone takes such interest in what you’re doing. At this point in time, may I suggest if there is anything untoward about your sisters Facebook page/s, then you’ll want to hurl these out of her main newsfeed and retain an angelic glow.

Yes, your parents may be becoming more canny, but this is their job. Like my own related model those PoF presences are notorious for throwing one off balance and exaggerating those awkward moments. I have lost count of the number of times when there has needed to be some re-manoeuvring in light of some small thing. If only, I have pointed out when apologising, weeping and hastily making things up, the PoF were not on Facebook in the first place, then we could have avoided the situation. Apparently it was still my fault.

3 Responses to “#865 Loosejaws. Stopfeeds!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yea right I want to say and this is tricky. OK my parents put up photos and tag the family name of them and their mates at some do. All behaving badly and come on I don’t want my friends seeing badly behaved parents. So cuts both ways – parents and also been embarrassing and should learn the rules for them!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Smells like teen spirit

  3. Bro says:

    I keep an eye on my brozs and makin sure theres aint do nothing I’m not tell em

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