The Collegian
Saturday, June 03, 2023

Invasion of privacy: "And then, Grandma added me on Facebook"

So, you're on Facebook and you check your News Feed: Your best friend "had the BEST night everrrr & hearts," your roommate "is now friends with Barack Obama," and your lab partner "just became a fan of Macaroni and Cheese" - you know, nothing out of the ordinary.

Then, you check your friend requests, and you are stunned to see your grandma's beautiful face on the computer screen. How lovely. Get ready, because from that moment on, your personal life will no longer be so personal.

You've accepted the request, but you can't log off too quickly - you've got some work to do if you want to save face. First of all, those pictures from last year's spring break have GOT to go. You know, the ones with the not-so-lady-like poses with the Jack Daniels bottle? Let's not forget the pictures from senior year of high school, when you and the guys TP-ed that old house down the street.

Make sure you get all of those off your page. Your grandma would cry if she saw some of those pictures, and more importantly, she would stop sending you Christmas sweaters.

You log back on to Facebook two hours later, and you have a friend request - and no, it's not from your middle-school boo. Uncle Bill would like to be your friend on Facebook!

This particular friend request is accompanied with a message - "Hey kiddo, I see you have been skipping class lately. Maybe your dad should reconsider that monthly allowance, since you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. - Uncle Bill." This message is referring to your Facebook statuses from last week, which read: "Class? Mmm not today ..." and "English can kiss my ass ... back to bed."

Don't get me wrong, family is a wonderful thing. I come from a pretty tight-knit family myself. In fact, I'm friends with most of my cousins and both of my sisters on Facebook.

But none of my family members on Facebook are looking to invade my personal life. They don't go through every single one of my pictures looking to criticize me, and they don't overanalyze each and every status or comment I have ever written.

I know what you may be thinking: Why put yourself out there on the Internet if you don't want people to see it? Yes, we should be aware that people will see what we put on Facebook, but should we also expect family members to obsess about our pages?

To all the Facebook users: It's your page, you should be able to do whatever the hell you want with it. Maybe next time you see Uncle Bill, tell him that a phone call will suffice for Facebook stalking. After all, the line between interest and intrusion is getting thinner and thinner.

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