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Facebook nightmares

Worst Case Scenario

Ryan Shoup

Issue date: 9/3/10 Section: Focus
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My online life flashed before my eyes last week.

No, not in the sense that I actually saw the end, but I'd say it was dangerously close.

My mother friended me on Facebook.

Sigh. My mother made it to the 21st century 10 years after the rest of us.

What is the protocol for this situation? What should you do when your mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandmother receives the gift of social networking?

There should be a written plan of action about how to approach these delicate situations. I feel it is my duty to provide you with tips and tricks to this end.

(Note: If you are a mother, father, or other relative, stopping at this point would not hurt my feelings. Continue at your own risk.)

First, stay calm. There is no need to hyperventilate. Back in the day, you used to share the same information with mom via other means. For example, instead of writing your status, you would call your closest friends on the cordless phone. Invited to an event? Oh yeah, there used to be paper invitations. Birthday? Send a hokey card. Remember pictures? We used to have to develop them and put them in physical albums.

Without the aid of Facebook, your mother managed to stay up-to-date on almost every aspect of your life. Now she wants to know about your secret college experiences.

Step two: Decide if your profile is appropriate.

Do you have more than three pictures of yourself enjoying questionable beverages - even a Diet Coke? Are you implicated in any photo albums involving debauchery? Do the pictures contain questionable people, stray middle fingers, or downright ugly faces - your own or others'?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you should rethink accepting your mother as a friend.

If you've survived steps one and two, you absolutely need to review one more item: all status updates, from the inception of your Facebook until reading this column.

You can either delete the lines about drinking for three weeks straight, or decline the request. Drinking on Monday is only socially acceptable during certain holiday weekends. You have to remember who's footing the bill for you to go to class.

Now, if you deem any information too potent for your mother, then you need to decline the request - or as they politely say it: ignore. It's not that your mom isn't your friend. She's a special friend with a special name: mother. If there were a "mother" button on Facebook, we would place her there. However, I've been unable to sleep at night thinking about how bad a son I am. Because of this, I've left my mother in an alternate and relatively unknown area where you neither accept nor decline: Facebook purgatory.
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Issue Summary


  • Current SEC board coping with unfinished business
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  • Leutner Dining Café opens to pleasant reviews
  • RAM founder Stan Brock receives 2010 Inamori Prize
  • Student injured crossing Adelbert
  • Tense SEC open forum addresses internal SEC issues and upcoming Greek Life referendum
  • USG Brief


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  • Lady Spartans to face tough competition in Labor Day Tournament
  • NFL Preview: Division breakdowns
  • Spartans soundly defeat Hiram Terriers
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  • Bush who? What the 2003 tax cuts mean for your 2011 job outlook
  • Editorial: Permanent solutions necessary to protect student safety
  • Letter to the Editor: Proud to be Greek
  • Letter to the Editor: Stronger SEC commitment to accountability, their constitution needed before they take away Greek Life's money
  • Rough and tumble: the spirit of Cleveland
  • What's your favorite part of Leutner?


  • Distractions
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  • Facebook nightmares
  • Friends and strangers combine forces to help Paul Paterson graduate
  • Going back to Those Gold Soundz: The Church of Andrew W.K.
  • Jesty Beatz brings fame to Zeta Psi house
  • MOCA makes big plans for move to University Circle
  • Modern music dominates new season for Cleveland Orchestra
  • Sex and Dating
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