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Older Friends On Facebook

Recently I became a member of Facebook and my kids think it’s strange.

“Mom, it’s really weird that you are on Facebook,” one son said to me the other day.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, because you are like…”

I could tell he was struggling to find the proper word, so I decided to help him out.

“Were you going to say old?” I asked.

He blushed. “No, I was going to say older.”

I replied, “Lots of my friends are on Facebook too. They are my age and they don’t think it’s strange.”

He grunted and left the room.

I decided to ask some of my online buddies if they thought Facebook should be just for teens.

One of the most interesting responses came from one of my former students who lives overseas.

She replied, “I partake in all technology in order to stay in touch with friends and family back home. I am grateful for Internet, phone, e-mail, Facebook, etc. I actually am of the opinion that if your child is on Facebook, you need to be on as well. Our parents controlled our phone time, limiting both our time and selecting which friends and with whom we could converse. Today kids can have multiple conversations at once, with cameras and be stalked by those that would desire to abuse them. I have been begging my mom to join Facebook for the sheer ease of communication and sharing pictures of the grandchildren.”

One mom said, “I have never viewed my older son’s profile and I do not have any plans to ever view it. I am all about respecting my son’s privacy. If he feels comfortable inviting me to be his friend, great; if not, I respect his decision.”

My cousin wrote to say, “The main reason I decided to join Facebook was to keep up with what was happening with my friends, not my children or their friends.”

And finally, one tech-savvy friend wrote, “Facebook (in my opinion) is a wonderful tool for connecting to family, classmates, and friends that you would normally not see for long periods of time. I don’t think that any age group can ‘claim’ Facebook or MySpace because they are social programs on the Internet and we are so dependent on electronic communication.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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