The Changing Faces of My Facebook Friends

The Changing Faces of My Facebook Friends

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It’s happening again. I am getting Facebook friend requests. OK this in itself isn’t all that unusual. After all, I may be a certain age, but I’m not a social pariah. What is unusual is the people who are requesting to be my friends: my daughter’s friends!Facebook friend request notice

I noticed it a bit over the summer, right after their high school graduation. A few trickled in here and there. And they were her very close friends, who have spent countless hours in our house. Many times their parents were also our good friends, so I chalked it up to wanting to stay in touch some way now that we wouldn’t be seeing each other on a near daily basis.

But ever since their first break home from freshman year, which was Thanksgiving, I’ve gotten quite a few more. I’m not sure what happened to them over their first three months. Maybe they feel all grown up now that they’ve been doing their own laundry for an entire semester. Or have a fear of missing out on something that is happening in the hometown, so they’re friending everyone who still lives here.

But I’d like to think it’s because they have finally realized that I am not just the mom of a friend. I am a real person who posts witty, insightful updates and shares important information and words of wisdom….

Yeah, well. That might be a bit much to hope for. Even I can see that.

Facebook Friend iconThis isn’t the first time this has happened. Four years ago, when my son graduated from high school, I got friended by his closest buddies. It really came in handy too. When we planned a surprise homecoming party for the then brand new Cadet, it was easy to rally them all with some private messages. And then again this past summer, when he and most of them (his engineering major pals all have another year to go) graduated from college. Another slew of high school friend requests…and a ton of college friend requests. The college friend requests are a godsend, since all of his classmates have been scattered to the West Point winds of service in the Army throughout the country.  I can check up on them and make sure they are all OK.  As for the friends who are with him on his first assignment, OK, it’s totally a creeping thing. And I’m fine with that, so don’t get all judgy on me.

But it does give me a little chuckle every time a new request comes in from one of their friends. It’s as if suddenly, now that they are not classmates with my children, it’s totally fine to be Facebook friends with me. Am I not the spymaster and/or enemy anymore? Did I suddenly become cool?

Mostly likely, not. I’m still the same Mom I was (and always will be). I worry and I fret over my children. I ache when they ache and I am over the moon when they are happy. But, I was like that with their friends too. Some of them still call me Momma D. My kids have great friends who are all growing up to be wonderful adults.

 So I’m going to go with this explanation for the recent friending phenomenon: They aren’t asking to friend me because suddenly the playing field is level and we’re all adults. They are friending me because they are growing up and coming to realize that friends come in all shapes and sizes and ages and roles. And that it’s fine to stay connected to your friends via their parents, who aren’t really that dorky after all.

No matter what the reason really may be, I’m accepting all those requests.

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