Technology is a blessing that connects this complicated world and its citizens, from the ‘burbs of Melbourne to the mud huts of Somalia (I am still amazed at that friend request, the profile picture was so impressive but so weird given that the guy was holding a machete – obviously a farmer, but still).
Yet the one friend request I wasn’t prepared for, was from my Nan. Yes, my Grandmother.Â
Instantly the weight of this dilemma pulled on me like gravity does when you’re drunk and wearing 5 inch heels. Do I or don’t I accept? Hang on, more to the point, who the bloody hell told her about Facebook??!!
I have always encouraged my Grandparents to use technology, especially as I’ve travelled lots and love to stay in touch; we have bought them iPads, laptops, got them on to smartphones and have shown them how to purchase on Amazon. They’re not stupid, just a little slow and very untrusting – which is a good thing, I can’t bear the thought of them being sucked into helping Sir Arthur Von-Trap from Nigeria recover large sums of money stored in a British bank.
Yet social media is something I never thought they’d be interested in. It turns out my 75 years young Grandmother has a friend 20 years her junior, that is addicted to Facebook, candy crush and all, and convinced her to sign up.
So, that friend request….. I had to accept, I mean it’s my Nan! What valid excuse could I possibly come up with for not accepting her? I’m not that horrible. But I wasn’t prepared for what followed.
5 Reasons my Nan Should Not be on Facebook:
1. Emotional Posts on my Wall
‘Hi it’s Nan here hope you’re well is it nice there bet it’s hot we miss you loads and love you. Say hi to Jack when are you coming home xxx’
The unnecessary introduction, the lack of grammar, the gushing sentiment: cringe! Yes it’s sweet, but the text messages before Facebook were working just fine! The first couple of messages were funny, not mega embarrassing and somewhat bearable, but after a while, and an increase in frequency and emotion, it was all a bit much.
2. Replying to Private Messages Publicly
Once she mastered the wall post she tried the inbox message, but somehow along the way got confused with the mechanics of replying and managed to post her reply to my private message directly on my wall:
‘Yeah mum said you hadn’t been well, diarrhoea she said. Maybe you’re run down. So when are you and Jack having kids I can’t wait much longer love Nan xxx’
Yes I’ve had the shits everyone. Thanks Nan.
I think it’s kinda funny my Nan knows what a selfie is and likes taking them, but let’s just say she hasn’t quite mastered the art of a flattering angle. It was a bit of a shock to see a rather close selfie of her beautiful face from a not-so-beautiful angle, plastered over my wall and in my inbox. Now everyone knows my Nans nostrils as well as they know me.
4. Anti-Swearing Brigade
I am a self-professed potty mouth, though I only use expletives when necessary i.e. when it adds the desired amount of weight to a statement. In the past, on occasion, I’ve angrily littered a Facebook rant with a couple of F-bombs, of course completely forgetting my Nan would see them.
I don’t swear around my Grandparents, well the occasional ‘shit’ or ‘pissed off’ expressions but certainly not the F-bomb. But not being used to this new connection I was rather surprised to hear from several relatives, not on Facebook, that my rant had indeed put me in the bad books with my Grandmother! Not that she told me herself. She even grassed me up to my Grandfather, who isn’t interested in Social Media and detests swearing. I was very worried, but fortunately the wise man that he is reasoned that I must feel very passionate about the situation if the need arose for expletives. Phew! Crisis averted, no thanks to my Nan.
5. Spam Posts
The most horrific moment of all, whilst casually scrolling through my feed, I came across a link shared by my Nan, with a main image of a gymnast swinging on the bars, legs akimbo, in a leotard with a whopping great hole in the crutch. Yes, my Nan had shared an image of a woman’s vagina in all its glory.
I could feel the awkward shuffle of my fellow commuters who had seen the post over my shoulder, where they’d been unlucky in the seat stakes and now hovered over the top of me as I sat comfortably beneath them. What is this girl looking at?!
Later I realised the post had a familiar pattern of a jumbled web address, dubious source and bad English in the article excerpt – my Nan’s account had been hacked! Cue a long lesson on spam, hackers, scam posts and password security.
You might call me mean but I do think there should be some boundaries as to who can join Facebook – there is a lower age limit, why not an upper one? Next we will see event pages flooded with people’s funerals and review for dentures flooding our feeds.
Haha just kidding! I would never support an upper limit, I think on the whole it’s all very sweet but I thought it my duty to warn you all of what you might be letting yourself in for should you one day receive *that* friend request. Of course I’m not really that mean, I’m going to treasure the posts and funny moments I’m sure. Just after a very long time!
Ps. If you’re reading this I love you Nan!