Surviving Teenagers Or Why I Have No Friends On Facebook

Surviving Teenagers Or Why I Have No Friends On Facebook


I've just joined Facebook. This is not, of course, revolutionary. My friend Marissa has been nagging me to join for years. But I resisted. I thought, Facebook is for the young.

It's what you do in between bursts of homework. You sit cross-legged on your bed with your laptop, writing on other people's walls.

Also, I thought, I'm not sure I want to add another layer of social communication to my life. I'm already sending emails. I'm tweeting. I'm texting. I'm talking on the phone. Sometimes I even talk to people face to face. What do I want to complicate my life with Facebook for?

'Because if you don't,' said my eldest sternly, 'you'll get left behind.'

So I asked my 16-year-old to help me. She set me up in the blink of an eye.

'Now what?' I said.

'Now you find your friends,' she said.

The problem was that I couldn't. I found some of them. I was happily swapping news with Marissa a few hours later, and quickly said hello to Yvonne and Marnie and Louisa. But most of the people in my address book don't have Facebook accounts. They are resisting its attractions. They are outside the loop.

'Are you on Facebook?' I emailed my friend Stacey.

'God, no,' she emailed back. 'I'm hoping it will go out of fashion before I'm finally forced to use it.'

So here's the humiliating reality. My teenagers have millions of friends on Facebook, while I – after a lifetime of getting to know people – have about 30.

It's all very well having teenagers who tell you to keep up. But I think I missed the bus a long time ago. I can just see its tail lights disappearing in the distance.