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No, Mom. We Can’t Be Facebook Friends.

Featured on BlogHer.comMy mom and I are sort of like friends these days. As I edge nearer to middle age and she edges near to straight up old, we’ve swept some issues under the rug and decided it’s more important to keep walking hand in hand (from 700 miles away) in this thing we call life without so much of the unnecessary quarrels that riddled the first 25 years of my life. That decision was costly, both emotionally and financially, and while I can’t speak for her I bet she’s as exhausted as I am from analyzing my every moment of life that involves her. (But she shouldn’t be. Because she never bothered to show up for family therapy.) So much for sweeping shit under the rug, huh?

That being said, as much as I love her and even like her, and vice versa (I’m sure), she cannot have access to my Facebook timeline. Actually, I don’t  have the timeline yet, but I fully intend on excluding her from that part of my life, too. I know I’m not adding much to the conversation; it’s probably the same reasons you gave your parents. But here’s why I hit REJECT:

Facebook is personal in a very public kind of way. So personal that I excitedly countdown the minutes until the next episode of Downton Abbey airs because I can’t wait to watch the interactions between Lady Mary and Captain Crawley. (Who else is so done with Mrs. Bates? I know it’s a drama and so there must be drama, but Anna deserves this!) Facebook is so personal that it’s public knowledge that — er…well, never mind. It’s actually not that public. I do have some privacy settings.

Do I really care about my privacy? After all, I blog about my life, about my family, about politics and celebrities. If you had to guess, you’d probably say no. But the short answer isn’t very short at all. The long answer is that my mother cares about her privacy (and I’m saddled up in the bulk of all things belonging to her and her privacy being her daughter and all). So I do my best not to upset her. Unless I’m intentionally trying to be mean. Even then, I leak something from my really private blog to my sister so I can pretend what I said was confidential, knowing damn well my sister will report back to mom in T-2 seconds. She’s such a pawn.

Luckily, Facebook has figured out some of these privacy concerns. Like, I don’t care if my public Facebook world pictures of me wasted, double fisted, or dropping it like it’s hot in a manwich on top of the bar. (Oh, to be young). But some things a mother shouldn’t have to know about her daughter. Not if she still likes her daughter. Those kinds of pictures can make their way into the family photo library after they’ve married me off and I’ve given them 2.5 grandkids, when I’ve earned that kind of reckless and embarrassing behavior.

Still, if I added my mom on Facebook and then made her into an acquaintance with the limited restrictions (the ones that everyone except my BFFs have, including their parents, third cousins, former teachers and supervisors), that would just be weird. She’s my mom, for Pete’s sake. Not my middle school chorus teacher. Not my high school theater director. Not some distant third cousin (like Captain Crawley!!!) — who I really don’t know, but was guilted into friending by my first cousins who swore we met at so-an-so’s wedding back in 1987.

So when mom called and asked when I would accept her friendship request, I actually told her the truth. “You might not understand this, but you don’t actually want to be my facebook friend. Not if you want to be my friend IRL.” I said IRL on purpose, too, because I know using internet lingo is the best way to confuse her, change the subject, and make her see that she’s lost in this new world.

And, “I don’t want to read which Progressive soup didn’t agree with you for dinner last night on your status update. You should call me for stuff like that.” Darling, aren’t I?

Similarly, if I drunk text a stupid boy at 4 am (she doesn’t even know that I still do that) and then make fun of myself in a typical self-deprecating fashion on my Facebook status, I don’t want her calling me the next morning to see if I’m okay. Because she would do that. She would call at 9 o’clock in the morning without thinking about the fact that I’m still sleeping, probably still drunk, possibly hungover, and without the faintest memory of sending him that sext* text message.

Mom doesn’t know me like that. And I hope she never does.

*A joke.  A really, bad joke.


About Bella

I’m an (almost) 30-something free-lance writer, blogger, genealogist, and friend. Yep. If you pay me, I’ll be your friend. Initial fees are subject to negotiation. You can also contact me about product reviews and ad space. Everything is for sale around here. I make my home in Boston with my roommate, Jane Doe; my 12 year old dog, Chewy; and Jane’s feral cat, Felix. I’m addicted to reading Mormon mommy blogs, Huffington Post, Jezebel, and Facebook status updates.


5 thoughts on “No, Mom. We Can’t Be Facebook Friends.

  1. My mom is my friend on Facebook but that’s mostly so we can share photos of the grandchildren and keep in touch since we live a few states apart. Also, I have rules about what I’ll talk about on Facebook (no politics, mostly) and she knows if she tries to sneak that stuff in a comment, I’ll delete it. As for her finding out the exciting goings on in my life, well, there aren’t any. Sad, but true. I’m the most boring person on the planet.

    Posted by momfog | April 14, 2012, 2:41 am
    • I’m sure you’re not THE most boring person on the planet! But it helps that there are no racy photos to embarrass your mom.

      Just the other day my mom said she couldn’t remember her FB password so maybe I’ll add her after all!

      Posted by Bella | April 14, 2012, 2:50 am
  2. If anyone was to create my Mom a FB account it would be me. Guess what? It’s not gonna be me.
    My MIL is a personal FB friend (in front of the whole family, I was asked to create her a FB account and to make myself her 1st Friend while sitting right next to her), and that’s enough. I have to edit myself to not seem too insane. Thank goodness she doesn’t read my blog FB updates. 😉

    Posted by LetMeStartBySaying (@LetMeStart) | April 14, 2012, 6:19 am
  3. Funny post. Remind me not to read your blog until I’m caught up on Downton Abbey; I’ve yet to start Season Three.

    I got a friend request from my mom who’d derided FB for years. I’m rarely on the site, I don’t really update, but I still called her and said I wasn’t gonna accept for many of the reasons you rejected your mom (minus the sexting—who does that? LOL)

    Have a fun weekend!

    Posted by Erica M | April 14, 2012, 11:40 am
    • Thanks for visiting, Erica!

      (Teenagers sext. I’m so glad picture messages came AFTER I gained some common sense.)

      Posted by Bella | April 15, 2012, 1:34 am

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