I love to surprise my kids.
This especially rings true when it comes to social networking on the Internet; or what most folks might call “getting Facebook.”
I signed up on the site a couple weeks ago just to spite my 16- and 19-year-old daughters because they wouldn’t leave me alone.
“Mom, you really need to get Facebook,” my 16-year-old said.
“So you can talk with family and friends on the Internet.”
“I can talk with my family and friends in person.”
“Yeah, but you can share pictures with us,” she nagged.
“I can do that in person.”
So far, she wasn’t winning and her case didn’t seem too convincing. Until she said the magic words.
“All the old people are getting it.”
That did it.
I may be old, but I’m only 48, for crying out loud. And if I’m on the computer a lot at work, why in the heck do I want to be on it at home and talk with people I can talk with in person, anyway?
But she won. So while she was out talking with friends in person whom she could easily have chosen to chat back and forth with on Facebook – or otherwise known as FB – I was home, registering on FB and sending messages back and forth to friends and neighbors who I could speak with in person.
A few hours later I was out running errands when my cell phone rang.
“Mom!” the 16-year-old exlaimed. “You got FB!”
“Uh-huh,” I said.
A few minutes later another call came in, this time from my 19-year-old over at Central Washington University.
“Mom!” she said. “You got FB!”
“Uh-huh,” I said. “All the old people are getting it, you know.” I felt pretty smart about the whole social networking thing. Maybe I wasn’t that old, after all, I reasoned.
“I’m really proud of you, Mom,” she continued. “There are so many old people on FB. And now, you’re one of them!”
A few hours later, I overheard the younger calling her big sister.
“You won’t believe it,” she said. “Mom’s got 25 FB friends already!”
But even with all their joking I really am glad I joined it because I’ve connected with other Hudson’s Bay High alumni I hadn’t spoken with since graduating in 1978. One of them, now living in Memphis, started the re-connection with a fond memory.
“I remember your dad running around the track at Lewis Junior High,” he said.
That memory meant more to me than he probably realized; Dad used to run around the track – and often backward – just to encourage me before I started track practice with my teammates. Amazing how a gesture like that touches others decades later.
So while my teens may have initially nagged me to get FB, I’m really glad I did. Because not only can I connect with both old and new friends, I can do something even more incredible: I can send a message to my 16-year-old that reads, “Don’t forget to empty the dishwasher before you go out tonight.” Not bad for an old person.
I love to surprise my kids.