This Halloween, want to put a scare into your college-aged children? Skip the creepy masks and grape eyeballs and tell them you are registering on Facebook and want them to be your friend.
You won’t have had this much fun since you put a can of snakes in with the creamed corn. Facebook, that humongous repository for the social lives of our young people, is now open to anyone. Yep, anyone, and that includes us -- Baby Boomers.
There are some down sides, of course, to being active on a website where you can connect with your friends, upload photos and create your own profile. Who really wants to post notes on other people’s walls? (Especially after you have only just gotten used to reaching your children through Instant or Text Messaging and sometimes even through the good old-fashioned cell phone). And do you really want to look at hundreds of photos of young people having fun -- more fun than we remember ever having?
Another thing to keep in mind is that employers now surf sites like Facebook to see if they can catch potential employees in some type of unsuitable behavior. For some Boomers that could mean photos of us looking tired OR our actual ages OR asleep on the couch before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. No fun? No job!
I actually thought seriously about registering on Facebook, just for the sake of research, of course, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The reasons were many including “be careful what you look for, you just might find it.”
I did manage to locate one brave soul who has entered the fray on our behalf. One of the creators of Aginghipsters.com, a popular Baby Boomer site, did register on Facebook at the request of his son, and lived to tell the tale. Click here to read his comments.
If you are interested in joining the “social utility” that is Facebook, visit www.facebook.com. To register you will need to supply your full name and your email address and password. You will also be asked to check off a box to identify yourself:
- In college/graduate school
- At a company
- In high school
- None of the above
“None of the above” should about cover it, but that's kind of a lukewarm welcome for Baby Boomers everywhere, don't you think?. The folks at Facebook are going to have to work on that. The Me Generation definitely needs its own special category -- STAT.
By Teresa K. Flatley