My Facebook Status Update (If I Had One)

My Facebook status update (if I had one) would probably read something like this:

“Mike is really digging ‘Straight No Chaser’ right now.”

Not the drink (although my father-in-law, bless his heart, did slip me a little shot of whiskey last night after I threw out my back pulling down the stairs to the attic), but the a cappella music group which is all the rage after their Youtube video spoof of “Twelve Days of Christmas” recorded 10 years ago when they were all in college at Indiana University (Hoosiers do music?) went hog-viral last year about this time.

That led to a group reunion, a recording contract with Atlantic Records and a new Christmas album “Holiday Spirits” which I downloaded from Amazon Saturday and, as my hypothetical Facebook status says, am “really digging.”

Speaking of the “Twelve Days” Youtube video, it was yanked from that site yesterday by Warner Music Group (apparently they removed all their artists’ videos yesterday–Merry Christmas!), but thankfully it can still be seen here.

Back to the Facebook thing for a second. I’m just curious: among my adult readers (that would be the large majority) are any of you on Facebook and of those how many have kids who are also on and who looked at you with an expression of abject horror when you told them you were going to join?

Did you “friend” your kids?

Did they “friend” you back?

Is the word “friend” a verb?

Are mine the only ones who have threatened to “disown” me if I join?

If they “disown” me can I “disown” them right back, thereby shutting off all forms of life support including high speed internet access?

Can I still use the word “dig” without being booted off Facebook?

I need help here, people.

  1. Brady

    This is the first time I have read the word “dig” in any written form since I wrecked my ’66 ‘stang on the lake road.

    Wife is on Facebook. She befriended her kids. They keep very much in touch this way.

    Most kids, and adults, have something to hide. So why do they put it on facebook?

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    Thanks for the “help.”

    So I take it you haven’t personally taken the plunge yet. What could a minister possible have to hide?

    Wait, don’t answer that.

    Yeah, I have some reservations about getting that connected with my family and “friends.” Brings back too many images of “The Borg” on STNG.

  3. kristiS

    I don’t know if I count as an adult, but at 24 I became friends with my mother on facebook a few months ago. Granted, I see my mom several times a week, so I’m fairly certain she knows what’s going on anyway.

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    The key there is that you’re 24 and qualify at the very least as a “young adult” and are probably far past the “OMG, I can’t believe she, like, actually said that” stage with regard to your mother.

    My youngest is 15. To him, I’m a cross between Pee Wee Herman and Andy Rooney.

  5. greg

    my brother’s youngest daughter here in LR is in high school and has forbade him and my sister-in-law from joining facebook. my brother probably has no interest anyway, but I can see my SIL getting into it.

    however, both of my sisters, also with kids in high school & college, are on and friends with their kids. I know a number of others who are on with their children as well.

    And, who doesn’t love Pee Wee Herman?

  6. cg

    Hello Mr. Eyeguy! This is cg’s wife and a facebook addict! I love it and yes, one of my children and one of my stepkids is my “friend” on facebook. Yes, I can kinda sorta keep an eye (pardon the pun) on them. But honestly, that’s not why I am addicted to FB. I personally have reconnected with college classmates from back-in-the-day and have a blast with them! We’ve been able to reconnect and have a mini class reunion of sorts. Also, I have found it a great way to keep connected with family and other friends that are scattered to and fro. One step kid has me blocked as well as my own son. My son thinks I’m too old for FB. That’s ok, his fiance is my “friend”. I have a few “friends” that are actually friends of my parents! My folks are Sojourners and travel all over and they appreciate me keeping their friends up to date on their travels. It’s getting old though, I’m trying to get my mother to get her own FB page so she’ll stop bugging me about “how so and so is doing” and “did so and so put any new pictures up lately of their kids/grand kids?” Oh…and by the way, I’m gonna hafta get cg his own facebook page…I’ve caught him sneaking peeks at mine. (so much for privacy!) And yes, you can use the word “dig” on facebook. I’ve been known to use a few “groovys” and “far outs” from time to time!

  7. Mike the Eyeguy

    “And, who doesn’t love Pee Wee Herman?”

    Exactly. And moreover, who doesn’t he love? Anybody?

    Mrs. cg–Thank you for these words of encouragement. I think your comment illustrates an important truth that we should all bear in mind as we gather from far and wide to spend time with our relatives this holiday season: Family relationships, both real and virtual, are complicated.

    If cg joins, then I will of course have to as well. Can’t have the Big 12 outdoing the SEC.

    Have a groovy Christmas.

  8. kdeats

    I am too on facebook but my parents are not. Granted at 28 I have no kids on FB but my cousin of 15 is and I am sure she thinks the same of me as your youngest does to you. But I am her friend and just occasionally check in on her to make sure all is ok. I believe IF my rents were on FB I would be friends with them. However I would spend more time explaining how to use it than she could figure out what I have on my page. AND anyways, if your kids don’t want anyone to know what’s going on…they KNOW not to put anything on the WALL you wouldn’t want the friends of friends network to read. You can regulate what people read too. So really shouldn’t be a big deal UNLESS he just doesn’t want his friends to know he is friends with his dad.

    Besides the obvious it is a awesome way to keep in touch with cousin, collegemates, friends you might not hear from but every once in a while. Share pictures, ect. It is fun. And as CG’s wife said ADDICTING

  9. That Girl

    I have only recently opened a facebook account and have re-connected with several old friends from high school and college. I have had several people give me “that look” when I admit to the facebook thing. I don’t change my status every hour or even everyday but I do enjoy keeping up with friends and family.

  10. cg

    I, Mrs. cg, represent the Big 10. We won’t talk about Michigan football today, k? It’s still to raw and too painful.

    By the way, I even have a Myspace page. Since Facebook, I don’t use it anymore. All kidding aside, one of the main reasons why I joined both sites is to see what it was all about. As a parent, I have a responsibility to know what my kid is involved in (as much as I can know!). With all the negative talk about Myspace, I had to find out for myself. Then Facebook emerged and today, most kids prefer it to Myspace.

  11. TerriT

    You should definitely join Facebook. Many of your classmates are already there. I am friends with my 20-yr old son. In fact, it was his idea that I join. I am not friends with my 17-yr old daughter which has become kind of a joke between us. I’ve always felt if I were her age I wouldn’t want to be friends w/ my mom either. She’s entitled to her space and if she’s into something she shouldn’t be, I shouldn’t have to be on FB to figure it out. I have found it to be a great way to connect with friends and family scattered all over the world. It’s also been a great way to encourage and stay in touch with those who live nearby.

  12. Mike the Eyeguy

    This is going better than I expected. Far out.

    kdeats–I’m betting that 15yo cuz thinks her 28yo eye doctor older cuz is pretty cool even if she would never say so.

    I think Number 3 is concerned that I might humiliate him in public. I don’t know where in the world he ever got that idea. Maybe it’s the Starsky and Hutch plaid pants I’m wearing today.

    Someday, when I’m rich and famous, he’ll be begging to roll with my entourage. Just you wait.

    Not sure if I need another addiction after that little whiskey thing. I caught myself thinking about going out and injuring myself again today.

    TG–“That Look.” I know it well. Maybe you get it, too, because you’re “That Girl.” Remember Marlow Thomas?

    Mrs CG–My condolences on a rough year for the Maize and Blue. We in Bama have been watching all that and wondering what it would have been like had we got Rich Rod and The Spread instead of St. Nick. Not a pretty thought.

    TT–Welcome back, great to hear from you! Yeah, it’s kind of cool to see our college age kids making peace with us after all these years, ain’t it? 10-4 on not needing Facebook to find out what’s going on. Ours have discovered over the years that Huntsville is not that big a town, and that ‘rents have their own little networks that predate Facebook.

    So, the Classes of ’83 and ’84 at dear ol’ HU are well represented on Facebook, eh? Now, I’m really tempted…

  13. cg

    As my wife and others have said, FB is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, and even rekindle old friendships. Haven’t decided about my own page yet though. I just use the wife’s page to see what our girls are doing – they’re both at Harding.

  14. Mike the Eyeguy

    cg, you know if I start a Facebook page that I’ll post all kinds of Bama and Duke smack on there.

    You’ll have no choice but to respond in kind. Remember nuclear proliferation and “mutually assured destruction?” It’ll be like that.

  15. TerriT

    Yes, there’s a lot of us there. I’m sure you’d have a lot of friends in no time. Tell Eyegal she needs to get on too. There’s alot of stl people from neotez back in the day on fb too

  16. Mike the Eyeguy

    I’ll pass that along to Eyegal. That’ll make Number 3 Son’s day fer sure!

  17. cg

    Yes, I know…mutually assured destruction… It definitely WOULD become an addiction. Your blog here is one of my top internet addictions, all I need is another one and my life would become totally consumed…

  18. Mike the Eyeguy

    Maybe Ocular Fusion needs an FDA warning label… πŸ™‚

    What did we all do before the internet? Oh yeah, productive work

  19. JRB

    Get on Facebook. It has transcended youth, and is a staple form of communication.

    Here is what you do, though: Get on, set your privacy settings very high, then never “friend” your sons. They’ll have no idea you’re on, unless you tell them, but even then you’d drive them extra crazy by knowing you’re on without knowing what you’re up to.

    By the by, I go on Facebook last year after one of my students suggesting “poking” one of our elder law clients when she wouldn’t return our calls. If it involved poking, I couldn’t resist. Then I discovered superpoking, and all is well.

    Also, by the way, last month FB announced it has 100,000,000 users, so you can be sure that you’ll have plenty of friends without 1 -3.

  20. Mike the Eyeguy

    Sneaky, JRB, very sneaky.

    I like it.

    I even found an article on forty-somethings and Facebook here.

    Money quote:

    We don’t take Facebook for granted the way our children do, with their unthinking postings on each others’ walls, their casual use of the F-word on what is effectively a quasi-public forum, their postings of their own photographs in varying states of sobriety and decency. Facebook is a forum that we wish we’d had when we were much younger; so now that we have it in our 40s, we treat it with a certain self-conscious formality, a calibrated theatricality. When we update our status, we don’t just toss off the update with a casual hack-hack-hack of the keyboard; we think before we type, pondering the effect of the status update on its potential readers, and pondering, also, its impact on our image. This is solipsistic, yes; but it is also consciously gregarious–or, better, consciously non-misanthropic.

    Yup, that’s so me–“calibrated theatricality” and “consciously gregarious.”

  21. Hal

    I may be repeating something said above, because I haven’t taken the time to read all the responses. Nevertheless, I too have taken the plunge. I gave my kids the option of either allowing me to look over their shoulder while they are on facebook, or giving me their log in info, or setting up my own account and requiring them to be my friend. I’m not really interested in viewing their inboxes or chatting on-line with them. But, I want to see what they are posting for the entire planet to view.

    What I have discovered is a new way of finding and communicating with friends from high school and college that I haven’t seen in many years. Granted, most of my friends from that era are not on facebook, but some are. It has been more fun than I expected. I’ve also found friends from church that have moved to other parts of the planet and we’ve reconnected.

    I like the quote above. I might have to put a new status as “consciously non-misanthropic.”

  22. Mike the Eyeguy

    et tu, Hal?

    And you’re much, much older than me… πŸ™‚

    That’s it!

  23. mmlace

    I guess I’m in the same boat as KristiS–at 25, I qualify as an “adult” but am “friends” with my mom, who recently joined Facebook! I live two hours away from my mom and DON’T see her several times a week…so I think it’s an EXCELLENT way to keep in touch!

    Go for it, Dr. Eyeguy!!!

    Of course, do please let us know if you decide to take the plunge…I wanna be your “friend”!!!

    I will, however, warn you to be careful…as others have already pointed out, it really can be addictive!

  24. doublevision

    Come on in-the water is fine! Besides, your boys can choose not to “friend” you. You can post a link to your blog and pick up more readers as well.

  25. Mike the Eyeguy

    Okay, so let me get this straight: Basically, all of you are on Facebook.

    I’m so embarrassed.

  26. JRB

    100,000,000 users. It’s not even a fad anymore.

  27. Mike the Eyeguy

    Pardon me while I go bandage my knuckles and put on a fresh lion loin cloth.

    When I come back, I’ll start working on my FB profile.

  28. mmlace

    I’m so PROUD!!!

    BTW, I forgot to mention earlier…Straight No Chaser is AWESOME!!!

  29. Mike the Eyeguy

    Okay, here goes…

  30. Mike the Eyeguy

    Fortunately, FB is filtered at work. Otherwise, there would be a lot of people going blind around here…

  31. bibliophilist

    Well, I’m a little late to the conversation, but wanted to say that I’m also a Facebook user at age 45. My kids range in age from 16 to 24 and are all my friends on FB. My husband is on FB, as are both my mother and mother-in-law (at 72 and 79 respectively). Many of my extended family are on as well: uncles, cousins, etc. Not to mention many classmates. Since we move around a lot it’s been a great way to keep in touch with friends we’ve left behind.

    Of my children, only one of them has been unwilling to be my “friend” but that was on MySpace and not FB. I’m betting that if your son looked, he’d notice that many of his friends parents are already on FB. I decided that I’d not ask teenagers to be my friend but rather let them ask me, that way they could avoid adults if they want to do so. Considering I’ve got 219 friends, I’d say the majority of the teens are okay with friending older people on FB. A good portion of my FB friends are people who are not kids anymore by any stretch of imagination.

    Since it looks like you’ve taken the plunge: Enjoy!

  32. Mike the Eyeguy

    I’m expecting they’re going to start picking up on the digital trail soon and figure out that I’m on. I think it’s going to hit the fan by the time I get home.

    Heh. This is going to be fun.

  33. Bryan Jackson

    I haven’t read all the comments, I’ll have to save that for after work. But my precondition to my older son getting on facebook was that I would join and I would be his friend. It has worked well and my younger son is now on it. I do keep up with what they and their friends are saying, but I’m not intrusive. In the meantime, I have reconnected with college and high school friends internationally.

  34. Mike the Eyeguy

    Thanks, Bryan. I think I’ll have enough to do without hanging around reading their “walls” all the time, but like you, I would like to stop in every now and then to see “wassup.” (Oh my, I’m dating myself again).

    I’ve already found a lot of college and HS friends as well, and I’m looking forward to some virtual renunions.

    Roll Tide, BTW!

  35. sbaugh

    I joined FB a few months ago at my 21 year old daughter’s suggestion. Most of my family and extended family have joined. I admit to scanning my daughter’s page more often than she might expect, but I’ve had a great time reconnecting with a lot of people I’d forgotten about. Even my preacher has a FB account.

  36. Mike the Eyeguy

    “Even my preacher has a FB account.”

    Well then, it’s got to be okay, right? πŸ˜‰

    So does mine. Or one of them at least. And I’ve been on less than 48 hrs and I’m already finding what you said about reconnecting with long lost friends to be very true.

    Hey, thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

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