Last night I came into the room to find my dad checking what most people his age do on the computer: Facebook. Well, at least that’s what I thought most people did until Ashton Kutcher started posting bedroom photos of Demi Moore on Twitter. Anyways, the thought of having my dad on Facebook was both horrifying and no I won’t flinch while admitting this, embarrassing. For one, I knew if I helped him make his account I would undoubtedly be given the responsibility of “maintaining” his profile and that would include typing out the entire contents of his C.V onto the social networking website.
However, due to the pure goodness of my heart and the thought of keeping my dad away from midnight snacking on the 390g bar of Dairy Milk in the fridge, I for that unpardonable moment decided to help him make a Facebook profile and lo and behold, it was almost as if a new born baby just arrived in our household.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those who stand in the way of parents trying to get all tech-savvy in order to connect with their kids, friends, colleagues, relatives – and well, kids. I think, it’s really admirable and cool of them – at least, as long as they know what they are doing, or where they are going with it. However, when you know your mom just joined Facebook just so that she can keep a tab on where you are going with your friends and actually asking for YOUR help to accomplish her “mission impossible”, you know it’s time for somebody to take a back seat. And you know, it’s not going to be you.
When my mom decided to “poke” my dad on Facebook, it started a flurry of panic attacks almost as if the baby had just peed himself and both the parents were unaware what to do about it.
“She just poked me” My dad said pointing towards my mom.
“So…” I replied, while my brother died laughing in the corner. Almost.
“So, what am I supposed to do?!”
“DAD, just let it go. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“What! But she just poked me!” and no matter, what I did or said could convince him that it was just a poke. And nothing but a poke.
A friend of mine had the same kind of story to share. Her mom would spend hours typing out a long message on Facebook chat and would then complain that her friends weren’t replying. It took them a week to figure out that was because she forgot to press “Enter” after she was finished writing. Meanwhile, another of my friend’s mom would spend hours posting videos of old Indian songs on her profile probably because she thought her daughter’s information on the subject was severely lacking and a matter that required an urgent remedy.
So this, coming really honestly from a daughter, if you think you have your daughter added on Facebook: Think again. That’s her secondary profile. On her real profile, she checks in almost every 5 minutes at different locations while sitting in her room, posts a status update about combing her hair, combs her hair and then updates “Phew, that was tough!” to all her friends who wait with bated breaths at her incessant endeavors to do the said task. Not really.
I know what with all the Google, Google plus, Twitter, StumbleUpon, YouTube, HTCs and the Blackberries, connecting with people has been really tough. That’s ironic but it’s the truth. You know you are talking to someone but you can never be sure they are not thinking about the vibration of their phone in their back pocket or about the video they left to stream in their bedroom. The point is, like with any other thing Facebook is only the answer when you know how to use it.
For what took the cake in all the Facebook fiasco in my household was when my mom came into my room and asked whether I knew anything about “putting people on limited”. Of course, I did.
“Mom, you barely have 4 friends on Facebook and that includes all of us. Who do you want to put on limit!?
“Just tell me what to do!”
“Okay fine, put Dad on the limit but HE MUSTNT KNOW!”
And that’s how I came to fully appreciate the gravity of the abbreviation – FML.
Disclaimer: I love my parents.
Published in The News on 6th January, 2012.