We recently decided to let Vaughn become a Facebook member. He was getting increasingly frustrated with the amount of time Jacob and I spend on the site so rather than change our behavior we decided to let him drink the Kool-aid. Facebook does have a minimum age of 13 for membership so we did have to lie about his age but, as Vaughn astutely pointed out, “Why would a company know what is better for you more than your own parents?” I was proud that he was able to combine an anti-authoritarian attitude toward corporate rules while still demonstrating his blind loyalty to us. Hopefully we’ll still be seeing that attitude when he actually turns 13 but somehow I doubt it.
At any rate, Vaughn took to Facebook immediately and we had to gently coach him in some social etiquette around not overwhelming his new friends with a barrage of comments on every single thing they post (some of our adult users could use the same coaching). In the two days he has been on the site he has demonstrated the same level of obsession that all new Facebook users experience, forcing us to say silly things like, “now let’s not spend TOO much time on Facebook” in a pot-calling-the –kettle-black kinda way.
The real power of Facebook opened up to us a couple nights ago when, after a nuclear sized melt-down, Vaughn found himself with a loss of Facebook privileges for two days. He went around the house wailing and imploring for us to please take anything away but don’t take away Facebook! I went around the house quietly singing, “Facebook’s just another word for something you can lose…” But not too loud because I didn’t want to mock his trauma. Jacob said he was tempted to take it away permanently but I told him he was crazy – we’d just discovered the newest and biggest tool in our arsenal.