Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social NOTworking

I just wrote a post about my 88-year-old step-father getting a cellphone. Now my mother is on Facebook.


OK, truth be told, I have been urging my mother to get on Facebook for a long time. I know everyone says they're not doing it, they hate it, they have no need (like me) but then once you're on there, it seems to open up a whole new world of connections. Or past connections, in some cases.

With my mother, it's like the same thing that happened with American Idol. I'd been telling her from the very beginning to watch American Idol, that she'd really like it and that it's super-entertaining. She refused. I don't know if she thought there wouldn't be any talent or if it was too "tween" for her, but she finally got on the boat. And now if I call when American Idol is on, she's abrupt and distracted and tells me she'll have to get back to me. She also votes like she's the one person their future career is hinging on and has even learned how to use re-dial on the phone to get through in a more speedy fashion.

But back to the Facebook thing. First, because she's a scaredy cat, she has joined with a fake name. I did that too intially but realized that no one was going to "friend" someone they didn't know and it was impossible for anyone to find me if they were looking. So I caved in and put my real name. As it is, my name seems to be all over the web. My brother called me one day to tell me he Googled me and he said, "Do you know the first five pages of Google are about you??" Yeah, I know. There's nowhere to hide now.

OK...so she's on there and she's made connections, fake name and all. And I have been inundated with questions from her, most of which I cannot seem to sufficiently answer.

"So what do I put in the "status update" box?" she asks.

"Whatever your status is. Like, "Washing dishes again - my life would be easier with paper plates!" or "Just got back from the pool. Loving water aerobics." or "Best Law & Order ever. I heart Chris Meloni."

"Why does someone need to know I love Chris Meloni?" she said.

"Well, they don't need to know. It's just what you do on Facebook." I said.


"I don't know. Maybe there's someone in your friend list who also loves Chris Meloni and then you can talk about it." I said.

"Why do I care if someone else likes Chris Meloni?" she asks.

"I don't know, Ma. People want to know. Sometimes, people will just "like" it...then you don't have to talk about anything. You'll see on your comment that they chose "like" with a thumbs up." I said.

"So these people talk to me? But without talking to me? They just "like" things?

"Uh, sort of. And they like to look at pictures of people." I said.

"But I don't have any pictures." she said.

"Yet. We'll get a nice one of you and set you up with a profile picture."

"OK, so what else do you do on this Facebook thing?" she asked.

"Well, some people play games..."

"I do Pogo. Why would I play games on Facebook?"

"Some people post political stuff..."

"I don't talk about politics. My father always said never to talk about politics or religion."

"Okaaay. Well, some people just like to be able to pop on and see what everyone is up to. Who just got back from the mall, who just had a baby, who is tired of their boss and wants to scream at them..." I said.

"But if I wanted to talk to all these people, wouldn't I just email them? And I don't know why people want to tell me about their day at the mall or how work was. I just don't get it."

Oh. My. God. I'm starting to think I don't get it either. I can't even explain why the hell I'M on Facebook. I have no good reasons. I'm doing a really shitty job of selling this social networking thing here.

"Just try it and then let me know what you think." I said.

"Fine. But I don't even know what I'm trying. And how is it some people have over 300 friends? You have 300 friends. You know 300 people??" she said.

"Well...yeah...kind of...no, not really...well, some of them I know-know and other people I just like, know. You know?" She does not know.

This has been going on for the past week and I've made some headway and now she's actually kinda liking it. I think. She's been found, even with the fake name (because of the real email address) and friends are adding her left and right. And each time someone does, she calls or texts, "I have another friend!" It's like she just crawled out from under a rock.

I plan on watching her very closely and monitoring her usage. I don't need her to make a Joe Bidenesque gaffe on her wall in front of everyone. She doesn't quite know all the ins and outs yet and she's not aware that the mic on her wall is always "on".

I just pray she doesn't discover Farmville.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Time Isn’t The Only Thing That Flies When You’re Having Fun
Anything I Want
Burglar And Idiot Proof
Virginia Is For Lovers


Don Olney said...

Your Mom would have lots of friends fast!

Gil said...

Does your Mom have more friends than you yet???