I thought we could tackle this topic on Facebook, but I also worried some of you wouldn’t want to respond over there because your not-totally-my-real-friends might see your comments. So rest assured what you type into the comments field below is not showing up anywhere and if you like, use a funny pseudonym and a fake email address so no one will recognize your name.
Here’s the question I’d like to discuss, inspired by an email we received from a new mom, whom I’ll call Beth:
Since I’m over the age of 30 and didn’t grow up with social media as part of my “lifestyle” or friendship making, I find myself confused about social media etiquette particularly when it comes to the universe of parenting. I’m really confused about who/when/how to “friend” folks on social media. For instance, do you “friend” your kid’s playgroup teacher on FB or what about the other mom you met at baby class? How many times do you have to hang out before “requesting” her friendship? Are there different rules for different site; FB, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.
Beth, you have surfaced a great topic, and I’m sure folks will be all over the map with their responses. I know the world would feel more comfortable if we all followed the same rules, but I don’t think that’s how it’s going to work.
Have you guys friended parents you’ve met at preschool? Do you follow people on Instagram you don’t know? People you sort of know? Do you have any rules you’ve invented for yourself? Have you changed your rules and unfriended or unfollowed folks?
Do you worry, as I do, that you can’t be your authentic, frank, and funny selves when you accept a new acquaintance — perhaps your cousin’s stepmother’s sister — as a friend?
Is inviting another woman to be your Friend-with-a-capital-F anxiety producing? Do you wish she asked you first?