At a recent family gathering I heard my 16 year old cousin say something surprising: “Facebook is not cool anymore.” As I looked around the room at my other cousins, eyes transfixed on their smart phones and fingers texting away, I was stunned at his revelation. I asked why, and he explained that he can’t post the messages he wants to knowing that his aunts, mom, grandmother and who-knows-who-else would be reading them. Grown-ups have taken over a site that used to be their’s and he doesn’t even bother signing in anymore. He and his friends don’t want to censor their conversations because let’s face it, if Uncle Bob asks to be your friend, you can’t say no.
What’s ironic is that as his older-cousin, and having even younger Facebook friends, I’ve been editing my posts all along as well! I’m always cautious to not use curse words, I’m not uploading certain pictures and I stay away from topics and jokes I don’t want my younger family members to hear. I’ve been censoring myself for their benefit and now it turns out they’re probably not paying attention to me anyway!
Facebook is all about connecting but it seems to me no one is getting to connect the way they want to. We’re all being careful not to post a message that will get us into trouble and sadly, we’re not having the Facebook fun we could be.