Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Teens on Facebook

This last week I've done a lot of reflecting on my last year's battle with cancer and my journey of recovery, writing for the Elephant Journal and the Spoiled Yogi.  Although it was a very healing week for me personally, it also left  me feeling a little dark and heavy.  That combined with the gray skies of a January Wisconsin winter gave me a major case of the blahs. I began to mentally scan for a lighter topic to write about and fortunately my very hilarious teenagers handed me a great new blog post on a silver platter last night.

Kiki, Facebook account holder and
 Grace, not yet.

Before I tell the story I feel compelled to state that as a parent I understand the concern of other moms and dads who do not allow their teens to create a Facebook account.  My husband and I carefully considered all of the arguments against it, primarily too much screen time and therefore less time for academics and play, and also the threat of cyberbullying.  We eventually decided that as busy as we keep them in extra-curricular activities we would allow them to create an account on one condition, that they accept both Ted's and mine friend request.  And do we snoop?  Yes.

Which brings me to my funny story.  Kathryn (Kiki) is 14.  I realized about a year ago that as far as she was concerned I wasn't cool anymore.  It was a combination of eye rolls and heavy sighs when I talked to her that led me to that conclusion.  And God forbid if I ever walk next to her when her friends are around. Jeesh.

So last night she posts as her status,  "Like my status and I promise I'll write something nice about you on your wall.  Cute eh? And what a great opportunity for this mom....she promised to write something nice about me.  So....... I gave her status a BIG  thumbs up.  Fifteen minutes elapsed and my wall was still blank. Now, understand that my daughter has the fastest texting fingers in the state of Wisconsin.
I was pretty sure I was being intentionally ignored.  Perhaps she just needed a little help.

My post on her wall:  "Kiki, what about my great sense of humor?"
Her immediate response on mine:  "Mom, stop."
My next post:  "I'm a good singer."
Hers: " are not."
Me:  "But, what about my yoga skills?" 
She:  No response
Me:  "My fashion sense? Hey wait, Kiki?  Are you deleting my posts?"

By this time my 15 year old son had returned home from basketball practice and had gotten wind of our online banter.  I was giggling like a fiend in the kitchen and she was clearly mad upstairs.  He seems to still think I'm a little cool; or at least he likes the fact that I was chiding his sister, so he jumped in.  He liked her status and then posted his statement in what our family calls, Kiki -speak,  a phrase overly peppered with the word "like."

He wrote: "Like, Hey Kiki, like, what do you like, like about me?"
She: No response.
He:  "Do you think I'm like, like the best brother eva?" (editor's note: this is how they write....not a misspelled word.)

He didn't stop there.  He then posted his new status.  "Like my status and I will do absolutely nothing."  (and received many likes :)  She finally responded.  "That is not funny, Teddy".

I eventually let up and she didn't stay mad for long.  I noticed later that one of her friends had commented that I was funny........maybe underneath she realizes that I could be just a little cool..... still......maybe?

Irregardless, my children continue to bring me joy in so many different ways.  And I'm grateful for the spirit lifting that occurred in my home last night.

One extra note:

Parents who are worried about what is going on with their kids can find more information on Facebook's Safety Center, where the company has resources for parents, teens, educators and law enforcement. On Facebook, anyone over 13 is considered an "authorized account holder," so the company is forbidden to give access to others, including parents. The site encourages open communication in the family, and gives suggestions on passwords, blocking users, removing friends, reporting harassment and attacks, as well as exercising prudence on information posted on the site.

Would love to hear your thoughts on teens and facebook!

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