Wednesday, March 9, 2011
When is it time to drop your Mother on Facebook?
This week something happens that causes a departure from my usual blog subject of being a sometimes lost, sometimes found, Welsh Alien in New York.
My mother changes her Facebook profile picture to one of her drinking a pint.
I show it to The Teenager (who I always defer to on booze related matters) and she tells me it's actually Sangria.
"But in a pint glass?" I say.
"Now you know how I feel." she says.
Hardly. My daughter refuses to be my friend on Facebook on the basis that she wants to be able to slag me off to her 565 friends. She briefly changed this rule in the summer when she went home for 6 weeks, after much begging from me. Her only communication for the entire time was to post "Your a massive Twat" on a Black and white 'arty' photo of me pissed in a L.E.S. bar. I posted back about her grammatical error and that she should remember her apostrophe 're. She dropped me soon after.
She will however, be friends with my Mother. Her 66 year old Grandmother. And she is unapologetic about her rejection of me. Whereas I personally felt it's a bit rude not to accept my Mum's FB friendship-what with the small matter of her baring me life.
Now I wonder if my own Mother is 'doing a me' and embarrassing her offspring on Facebook. Is it time for me to cut the virtual apron strings? But before I click 'remove from friends' I ponder that my Mother's very existence on a social networking site is miraculous to the point of being an evolutionary shift. 18 months ago she couldn't even write an email. Now she can post pictures online, send attachments and nag me via several new mediums. There is likely a whole new section of her brain that has developed to process this new technology and her fingertips have grown little webbed pads to protect from RSI.
She has now taken to writing me emails that quote my Twitter/Facebook/Blog. In them, she will complain about information she is hearing second hand from any given social media platform:
Subject: Rubbish daughter
Hello Darling, I see from your Twitter that you have recently *insert small, insignificant piece of news* this is nice to hear at the same time as the rest of the world. You also Facebooked that there was *insert small, insignificant piece of news*. Your Mother would like to know these things. And I read your blog, it was funny, except you didn't tell me that *insert small, insignificant piece of news*. As The Teenager would say- WTF?
Love Mum xxx
This roughly translates as:
Hello Darling. You are a bad daughter and I will make sure to spend all of your only-child inheritance on a series of luxury cruises and overpriced M&S food.
Facebook has become a communicative shorthand for us all. This is what my Mother's generation might fail to get. If I emailed everyone individually to tell that what was going on in my oft' bad soap opera of a life I would never leave my computer, or sleep, or eat.
I ask The Teenager's advice. I say that getting ticked off by my Mother on Facebook in front of my 200 'friends' is a bit irritating.
"It could be a lot worse", she says "At least she's not blogging or tweeting every detail of your life for everyone to see. Hmmm? MOTHER?"
And she fixes me with that cold stare she does so well.
"You really are such a twat Mother."
"Now get out of my room."
"Yeah whatever, shut the door behind you."