Why you should be Facebook friends with your parents.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Or: Advice from Steph, the amazingly awesome advice-giver, on subjects she is not qualified to give advice on, part one.

I don't like magazines, on the whole.

Actually, wait, I've never read any of those fishing magazines. They're probably fantastic. I quite like frankie and Yen and some of those other ones with waifish indie girls on the cover. I'm not morally opposed to glossy paper and snappy articles. Glossy paper's quite nice, though probably terrible for the environment.

But I don't really like those magazines that have 'why you should love your body!' on one page and 'lose a bajillion kilos in a week on our magical diet!' on the next. I don't really like those magazines with advice pages that offer really terrible advice. I am referring to magazines that cater to that horrendous demographic that is - gasp! - teenage girls. Easily influenced teenage girls are reading this really terrible advice, folks.

So terrible, in fact, that I can give you advice that's better. I've recently read a few articles in magazines (and on a couple of those websites that are very magazine-esque in that they use cutesy words like 'totes'* and 'so this season'**) regarding the very hot issue of whether you should be friends with your parents on Facebook.

And the general consensus seems to be No.
And in this blog post, I will, with my amazing persuasive language abilities!!!*** convince you why you absolutely should one-hundred-percent be Facebook friends with your parents.****

Oh gosh, that was a long intro. Let's cut to the chase, kids. Bullet points!

Reasons suggested for not being Facebook friends with your parents + Why that reason is rubbish and you definitely should be Facebook friends with your parents:
  1. Your parents will see all the terrible stuff you say/do! You'll have to censor everything you say and never upload pics of drunken parties! I hate to be the teenager who's already an elderly person on the inside, but honestly? If you don't want your parents knowing that you're saying/doing something, don't say/do it to begin with. You're not really setting yourself up for an honest lifelong friendship with them by having this secret double Facebook life now. The rule I have for myself is: If I wouldn't feel comfortable with my nan reading/seeing it (which she definitely will. Hi Nan!) I won't post it. Find your own boundaries.
  2. Parents are, like, so old and daggy. Okay, now, to be fair, I've never experienced the exquisite pain of having daggy parents. My mother is in fact far cooler than I am, and probably always will be*****. And that's an exquisite pain within itself. The magazines would say that you're from two different generations and they were cool when they were young and blah blah blah. HERE IS THE TRUTH: No one is actually cool. Coolness is subjective. Dagginess is subjective. There are people who think you're a dag, and your parents are cool. You just have the wrong perspective. You need to find a way to magically swap bodies with a parent for the weekend and see how cool they really are.
  3. Well, if you're not actually friends with your parents, why be Facebook friends with them? This is really the biggest load of rubbish. Everyone I know is friends with plenty of people on Facebook who they're lucky to have spoken two words to in the physical world, where writing on other people's walls is not a way to communicate but a way to get arrested. Or just in a bit of trouble. I'm going to say something really crazy now, so brace yourself: your parents are not the enemy. This obviously depends on you and your family, but odds are, they're not as embarrassing as you think they are. And they don't have to be totally excluded from your life outside home. And okay, I will concede that we are not all gifted with amazingly awesome families. But nobody's perfect. And you can be friends with your parents, on Facebook and off, despite what magazines say about them being so daggy despite those magazines not actually knowing your parents personally. You're kind of stuck with them. Might as well get to know them. Possibly via fb chat. Though that would be weird.
I sincerely hope you all now go and add your parents as friends on Facebook. Unless they post photos of themselves drunk at parties. In which case you probably shouldn't. You might be setting yourself up for a lot of psychiatric help later on.
*Though to be fair, I use the word 'totes' in everyday conversation. Ironically, though. But I don't think other people know that.
**Oh my god, who updates their clothes every three months? No one I know. I only buy new clothes when my old ones no longer fulfill their duties of a) keeping me warm and b) not offending people in public. Then, and only then, do I venture out of the batcave towards the bright lights and cool air-conditioning of suburban shopping centres.
***Those additional exclamation marks were absolutely necessary.
****Unless they're crazy.
*****Correction: She'll definitely always be cooler than me. I'm going to go cry now, while wearing an unfashionable ensemble. Not even ironically unfashionable.

Are you Facebook friends with your parents? If not, why not?
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