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Facebook attracts older generations, parents

February 5, 2009

Your mom has requested to add you as a friend on Facebook. Yes, it is a reality. Have you noticed it as well?

I, like most college students and teens, check my Facebook routinely throughout the day. A few weeks ago I was looking over my account, nothing seeming out of the ordinary. My awesome bumper stickers were all in place, a few more posts appeared on my wall and one new notification had popped up in my window.

I browsed through my home page, noticing that I indeed had one new friend request. Impatiently I opened it as my mind rapidly began filing through the possibilities of who this new friend could be.

With shock and dismay I read the request to myself. Suzie Brusoe has requested to add you as a friend on Facebook. Confirm or Ignore? What do I do? Never in my life did I imagine this “horrifying” moment happening to me!

Now I’m not an overly troublesome person, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with my mother perusing through my Facebook page. Am I alone in this? Is it just me or does it seem like the older generation(s) are starting to catch on to this popular fad called Facebook? And it’s not only your parents!

A few months ago, my boss joined and added me as a friend. The other day I received a request from a friend’s mom. When these occurrences first started happening, it was a bit unsettling. But now, it seems like everyone’s doing it and seeing adults is much more common. ‘

The days of Facebook being a teen/college student’s application seem to be over. But the question still remains, at least in my mind. Why are they joining Facebook? Do they want to check up on their kids? Communicate with co-workers? Find long-lost friends or lovers?

I’m working my way towards being comfortable with it. It can be rather interesting to see the pictures of your boss or the information on your parents. Is this new trend bringing the generations closer together?

I’ve heard friends tell me it’s easier to communicate with their aunts, uncles, co-workers and parents. I’ve heard parents tell me it’s a way to better understand their kids and keep in touch with old friends. According to my mom, “It’s just fun.”

I know we all do it. We all add people we don’t really know, people we call our “Facebook friends”. I’ve done it. I didn’t think about it; It wasn’t hard. I simply added them. Befriending a complete stranger, then why is it so hard to add your mom? I can’t give an answer that won’t make me look bad.

I’ll continue to add my elders, but adding my mom… that might take a bit longer.

Cristy Brusoe is a student at UW-River Falls.