It's official, I'm a loser. My daughter refuses to friend me on Facebook.
Yes, I am one of the grown-ups who's making Facebook uncool. Once the purvey
of hip teens, Facebook is now mainstream and middle-aged.
Obama is on Facebook, as is Oprah, and they're both older than I am, so you'd
think I'd fit right in.
But alas, it would appear that the leader of the free world and the queen of
talk and philanthropy possess more panache than me. Because not only does my
daughter refuse to friend me, but none of her friends will accept my Internet
overtures either. Teenagers I have lovingly welcomed into my home for over
a decade have now turned their electronic backs on me.
Apparently having a picture of your mom, or your friend's mom, on your
Facebook page is social suicide (even if it is an airbrushed publicity shot in
which she has been assured that she looks almost un-mom like).
Not that they'll come right out and tell you they're rejecting you. Oh no,
they hide behind a firewall of technology and just simply ignore your request.
So you send it again, and you keep wondering, did they get it? Are they
mulling it over? Do I not understand how this thing works? Will I know if they
It's Junior High all over again, and I'm still hoping that the cool kids will
let me sit at the popular table during lunch.
But the kids aren't doing anything different than many adults. You send in a
proposal or a request for a meeting, and if people aren't interested they
don't even send you back "no thanks." The Internet has put shunning on turbo
At least in junior high nobody knew how many people signed your yearbook. But
now, if you allow someone access to your Facebook page, they can see exactly
how many friends you have, and how many people wrote on your wall.
Welcome to the new world, where the popularity contest called life is judged
electronically and you can be shunned with the click of a mouse.
Blogs with hit counters tell the world which head cheerleaders we should pay
attention to, and which bores to ignore, while Web site rankings feel like the
electronic equivalent of voting for Mr. or Miss Freshman.
I send out a weekly E-zine, and if one person unsubscribes, I'm
scouring my commentaries with all the insecurity of 13-year-old scanning the
mirror for potential zits.
However, while I may have been shunned by my daughter, and some of the cool
crowd, at least I have more Facebook friends than my poor husband. I looked at
his page and all his friends are geeky guys from work and middle-aged people
OMG. That's it! How can I achieve cyberspace popularity when my Facebook page
has me linked with a man who is a former Math League nerd?
It's a cold cruel cyber world out there, and if a girl wants to be popular she
has to be careful about who her friends are.
So sorry honey, unless you can jazz up your profile or post a picture where
you, don't look quite so middle-aged, I'm going to have to un-friend you.
But don't worry sweetie, you can still Twitter me, and no one will know.
Lisa Earle McLeod is a keynote speaker, author and nationally syndicated
columnist. Her books include "Forget Perfect" and "Finding Grace When You
Can't Even Find Clean Underwear." Contact her at www.ForgetPerfect.com.