Monday, October 01, 2007

An announcement on Facebook

Younger Daughter almost tackled me the other night as I came through the front door.

"You have to see this!"

She was so excited, in fact, that she forgot her solemn vow never to let a parental unit actually view a Facebook page.

I don't believe that users actually have to take a vow to keep their parents away from their Facebook pages -- but I believe the Terms of Service require something awfully close.

That's supposition on my part, of course.

And Younger Daughter didn't actually let me see her Facebook page.

No: I was dragged over to the computer (let me put down my briefcase, will you?) to see Oldest Son's Facebook.

I have fretted about Facebook pages here in the past: I keep reading articles about how people have been denied jobs, or had job offers pulled, because an employer got wind of inappropriate photos on a social networking site. I couldn't persuade Oldest Son to drop his Facebook site entirely as graduation loomed last Spring -- but he did 'corporatize' it, 'burying' (he said) or even taking off potentially incriminating photos or comments.

But this...

Well, Younger Daughter was beside herself. How could she have missed this? she said, over and over again. "I should have stalked him more," she said, "then I would have known about this sooner."

There was apparently a "news feed" and everything.

And Younger Daughter had missed it. For two whole weeks!

By this point Younger Daughter had practically pressed my nose into the computer screen. "Don't you see it?" she screamed. In my ear.


But I didn't see any photos -- that's what I was looking for initially -- and my nose was pressed too near the screen to allow the words to come into focus.

I shook Younger Daughter loose so I could move my head to a point where I might read the screen.

Finally, I saw what Younger Daughter was so frantically indicating: A little red heart followed by a single line of text. Oldest Son disclosed he is "in a relationship with" someone.

Naturally, I saw only a name -- but Younger Daughter, having had an hour or more head start, had determined an entire biography. The young lady in question is someone Oldest Son met in undergraduate. Younger Daughter knew her major, her graduate school plans, that she's living with her parents (not in Chicago, interestingly enough), and the extracurricular activities in which this young lady had participated in during college. Younger Daughter had already debated with Older Daughter -- who apparently knew about this relationship some time ago -- about whether Younger Daughter should try and "friend" this poor girl.

(Translators' note: In Facebook terms, "to friend" is a verb.)

My reaction cruelly disappointed Younger Daughter. "That's nice," I said. "Now I would like to go eat dinner, please."

Oldest Son filled us in on the details over the weekend. As I suspected, he'd been dating this girl for some time -- mind you, my suspicions were entirely general, not specific -- I just figured that, if he was capable of falling, Senior year is a most vulnerable time. Older Daughter had even met the girl during graduation weekend, when we all came down for the ceremony; Oldest Son, however, had sworn her to secrecy.

Oldest Son and his girlfriend have apparently visited each other during the Summer -- and the girlfriend (I'll come up with a name later) was beginning to get increasingly put out by Oldest Son's nondisclosure of their continuing relationship.

He tried to warn her of Younger Daughter's reaction.

And, then, when Oldest Son finally bent under the pressure and posted it on Facebook (among the young people, apparently, things just aren't so unless they are posted on the Internet) and Younger Daughter failed to discover the disclosure for two whole weeks, the girlfriend began to give Oldest Son some guff: "See, it wasn't so bad," she told him, "nothing happened."

She no doubt is reconsidering that at this moment. But Younger Daughter has at least stopped shrieking....


Liquid said...

I am dying out laughing at this post! Don't cha' just love the dynamics of family at times? lol

Jean-Luc Picard said...

You'll find me on Facebook under my real name.

Lahdeedah said...

I am so not ready for the teen years.

My daughter is a tween and about to hit 11, not at all interested in anything beyond the insane doll maker page because, and I am serious...


it takes too long to type.

As soon as she figures out there's a way to text using a language that eschews full words, I'll have lost her.

I am not actually sure I used eschew correctly there...

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

huh? could you please repost this in "english"?? it is official, i am too old...

sigh, bee

LAC said...

Siblings are great! Better than friends because no matter what, they are always there.

Its wonderful how they seem to watch out for each other in your family as well.