When my children first went on Facebook, I set certain rules for myself. I would not tag them in photos unless they asked, I would not send friend requests to their friends (though I accepted requests when their friends friended me). And I would not leave cutesy but embarrassing messages on their pages.
I have mostly adhered to these rules, but somehow I managed to embarrass my children on social media anyway. In fact I did it twice in two days last week, and several other times recently as well, according to the highest authorities on this topic, namely the kids themselves.
Here are examples of ways I have managed to mortify the children lately, including their responses.
Recently I was experimenting with taking self portraits with my cell phone. When I had one the that seemed to have turned out well, and had the added benefit of showing off the new necklace and sweater I had received as Christmas gifts, I posted it to Facebook.
The immediate reaction from my daughter was "Oh dear god, my mother took a selfie. Help me." Observing this, her older brother decided to join in with the fun:
"I agree. This is scary. Please find ANY other picture that does not involved you being the one who directly took the picture (this includes but is not limited to: turning aa camera around and being in the picture ("selfie"), using a rear facing camera to take a selfie or setting a timer on a picture in order to photograph yourself or having another person taking a selfie with you in the view of the camera.) These measures must be taken for the safety of all your Facebook Friends, and the facebook community as a whole. Thank you for your co-operation."
(If the whole environmental science/history thing does work out for him he has a great future in contract law.)
The very next day I managed to embarrass them again. This time I was posting a throwback thursday picture on Facebook, and one that was in fact in direct response to another college photo posted by one of my friends. Naturally I labelled my photo the same as he had his namely #throwbackthursday. Again the daughter reacted with dismay and again her brother took up her cause:
"MOM! See previous comment on your profile picture. Now replace it with the numerical sign ("hashtag"). You are not able to use a hashtag as it scares your daughter. The cease of use of the proverbial hashtag is requested."
I know, everyone's a comedian. It is flattering they pay that much attention to what I'm posting, except of course when they don't want to pay attention, which brings me to another way I annoy at least one of the offspring on line.
Turn up in social media when they don't expect you
I use Twitter. The Boy uses Twitter. We do not follow each others' accounts, but there are accounts we both follow (mostly sports related), as well as some mutual friends. Since I use twitter to promote the blog, and since others are kind enough to promote it as well, he occasionally discovers my tweets being passed along by others. He has informed me more than once that he is annoyed when a mutual friend retweets me "if I wanted to see your Twitter feed I'd subscribe to it."
One thing that doesn't seem to embarrass or annoy them is this blog.
Both read and are usually complimentary about what I write. In fact when I spent so much time this past month getting my posts established at Lefty Pop, I was informed by The Boy that I wasn't posting enough blog entries.
I suppose its sweet of them to even care what their mother is doing out there, so I will take their suggestions under consideration, and attempt to avoid further embarrassing and annoying them on the internet.
Till something new comes along