Page 2 of 3   <       >

When Mom or Dad Asks To Be a Facebook 'Friend'

Matt, 17, and Bob Florian both use Facebook, and Bob Florian knew that his son might have doubts about becoming his Facebook friend.
Matt, 17, and Bob Florian both use Facebook, and Bob Florian knew that his son might have doubts about becoming his Facebook friend. (By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)
Buy Photo

One Facebook group even started a petition, online of course, to Facebook's founder, begging him to reverse his decision.

"Don't get me wrong," said Yeamans, who is a computer information systems major. "I love my parents, but there are some parts of my college experience that I want to keep to myself. I chose to go away to school so I could experience a little freedom."

But he said his dad is persistent.

"I ignored him, but he keeps trying and trying to friend me," Yeamans said.

Lily Goldberg, 17, a junior at Gaithersburg High School in Montgomery County, said having parents on Facebook just seems weird.

"It's like having them walk into my room," she said.

At Sherwood High in Sandy Spring, students shared tales of parents let loose on Facebook. There was the mother who now spent more time talking to her daughter's friends than her daughter. And then there was the parent who went on a "friending frenzy" -- much to the dismay of her daughter. Asked if they'd accept a parent's plea to friend them, the majority of students recoiled.

Except for Matt.

Matt's dad, Bob Florian, swears he didn't have anything nefarious in mind when he asked to friend Matt. (He's also friends with his daughter Katie, 15, but don't tell anyone.)

"I even told them it would be okay if they didn't want to friend me," he said.

But the elder Florian had a legitimate work excuse. He and his colleagues at Grassroots Enterprise, a D.C.-based community political action network, use Facebook to get their clients' messages out. For the several months prior to his "friend" request, he'd peppered his son and daughter with questions about how the Web site worked.

"In the invite, I said, if it's not really cool to be friends, that's okay," Bob Florian said. Now, "I'm getting poked and getting invited to join games," he said, referring to different ways in which people interact on the site. But unlike his offspring, who are hooked, Florian said he'd rather be out riding his bike.


<       2        >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company