Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Parental Facebook Crashers

I often wonder what my parents would have posted if Facebook would have been around when I was growing up.  If there is a prayer of thanks I should say every night, it should include gratitude for the fact that it wasn't.
My mom was a stay home mom, which meant I was a stay at home kid. Which very well could have meant that I was very annoying to her at times. In fact I know I was. I often heard my mom make excuses for me like, "my daughter is hyper active." Or say things like "that isn't her real voice, she just likes making up voices to throw people off "
I blame it on being the youngest. My brother and sister were off doing their things, my sister was working her way up the corporate ladder at Taco Bell and my brother was rehearsing and singing.  So not exactly your typical upbringing. I never did complain about the pintos "n" cheese she brought home  or to the candy my mom would give me to be quiet during my brother's performance.  But being the only child at home most of the time,  I was given more freedom. Freedom without limitations to our  refrigerator which back then was stocked with Tab. Hyperactivity explained, and actually, that would explain the voices too.
So thankfully all my childhood oddities weren't captured in cyberspace like my kids are.
However, my parents, now in their seventies, are on Facebook.  My dad has two accounts because he forgot his password on his first one.  Yes, I suggested just creating a new password but he said he couldn't because he couldn't log in.  My mom has only one account thank goodness, but that is because they have a piece of paper (longer than my CVS receipt) of account passwords next to their computer.   I have often been to their home for dinner when my dad slips away during the salad so he can fire up his computer to use after dessert.
Recently however they have begun to do something that I find utterly confusing.  My mom is the sweetest mother a daughter could ask for. Always offering words of encouragement.  My dad is equally encouraging but on a much quieter scale. I have never heard my dad comment on my hair or my shape.
But lately he has been posting some pretty thoughtful, yet un-Dadlike things on my photos or status updates.  Like "You are a sweetheart xoxox" or "what a great shot!"
My dad recently turned 77 so I thought maybe he was getting a little sensitive. I know that when my grandpa got older he became more sensitive too, like sensitive to my financial situation in college and would slip me 20 dollar bills across the table.  Yet, he also had dementia and would quickly instruct me to put the money in my shoe. I would have put it in my ear if he would have told me to.
I chalked my Dad's recent openness was just one of the many perks of getting older, until his comments which are next to his picture also said "xoxo Mom"
Apparently my mom has been logging on to Facebook after my dad hasn't logged off and writing comments. It may sound cute, when talking to their daughter. However, when my dad wrote on my friends wall and wished her a happy birthday and suggested they go to lunch, that is when it got weird.
Of course my dad wasn't publicly hitting on my beautiful single friend, it was my mom.
So I have to wonder if having my parents on Facebook as an adult with children is worse than if they would have had it in the 80's.  Now for example, if I post a picture of my son doing something funny I can bet each of my phones will be called, and if not reached the same message will be left on every single one. "Hi Sweatheart, is that picture of Jack hanging upside down real or was that trick photography? I'm at home. Call me" You can also bet that if I don't immediately respond to the messages there will be an email to every email account with the subject title " IS JACK OK?" Followed by a similar text, all in caps.
By the time I do receive all the messages I start to question if his safety actually was in jeopardy and now its in cyberspace to be judged by all.  I will spare you her reaction when she saw a picture of a wine bottle my friend brought.... to share. She did call the next morning around 7 to make sure I didn't have a headache.
Despite my encouragement, my parents are not big drinkers.
If anything, I should be thankful that my parents still show an interest in my life... and maybe even thankful that it can be done through a computer screen and not with a knock on the door.
And just in case they lose their passwords again I "jotted them down" in the notes section of my iphone.  That way, if my "dad"  makes another lunch date with my friend I can quickly intervene. Or perhaps life has come full circle and since they didn't have the opportunity to boast about me as a kid, they are certainly doing it now.

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