Before I move into this, let me make it abundantly clear that this applies ONLY to non-minor or to those who are minors but are legally independent from their parents (don’t laugh, I’ve seen 16 year-olds like this before). Dependent children are not allowed to even think that privacy is implied until they’re putting in on the bills in the house.
Anyway… Some of us adults do have a well-enough working relationship with our parent(s) that there is literally NO harm in having a parent as a friend on facebook. Same can apply to aunts/uncles, old-ass cousins and grandparents who don’t think computers are evil…
Some of us (“us” meaning people who are on Facebook, not myself) are in for nothing but trouble the moment that the “[your mother] wants to be your friend on Facebook, click the link below to respond” email.
“aww SHEEIT!!!” is usually the first thing that pops into mind, followed by “okay, how can I get around this?”
Next, one thinks of what they could say if they decline or ignore the friend request, but the fact remains that with some parents, it WILL be a topic of conversation to be faced at some point and not simply left aside…
“Okay, I’ll bite for now,” and the request is accepted, and the next thing you know “[your mother] left a comment on your wall, click the link below to view the comment thread” comes the email.
You click the link with a bite of your lip and it is some egregiously embarrassing picture from the mid-to-late 80’s with you in a pair of same-vintage NBA length shorts (note: most employers would send an employee home – male or female – for shorts this short) and a message “you’ll always be the same little angel you were in this picture to me”
[Phlip note – mama and Regina, if you're reading this and that picture EVER leaves that box, I will kill you, and I don't mean that as a euphemism]
A day later… “your 2 year-old nephew has a rash on his bottom like that one you had at that time… we’re having a Dickens of a time clearing this thing up… Reminds me of how sweet you were at that age”
Next week… she comments on EVERY picture you’ve posted with something similarly embarrassing.
Then… your baby picture pops up. Now, there is nothing terribly wrong with this, I mean I personally posted my baby picture and my twin tagged himself in it. But when it comes with the long and embarrassing story (see a pattern here?), possibly fabricated story that NO ONE outside of the family needed to know, there is a problem.
Ongoing… NO status you post goes unresponded to, ones that were more than safe in the company of your ‘regular’ friends and all the poor taste and toilet humor are met with “I did not raise you like this” or something of the sort.
At the end of it all, you are left with but one choice…
You must UNFRIEND your mom…
Sure, it will be met with (perhaps) genuine indignation, but if you’re lucky then she might not even notice.
If she does, you have the option of…
“mama, remember when we were little and you used to tell us ‘don’t embarrass me in front of my friends and I won’t embarrass you in front of yours’? well…”
“the contents of my diaper 25 years ago is our business, not everyone else”
“yeah, I am sure that the language between my friends and I would tend to get a bit too abrasive for you, I did it for your own comfort…”
If those fail and she still won’t get it, then you’ll be forced with having to tell the truth and letting the chips fall as they may.
Or you could do as I do when people you don’t want in your business friend request you and you can’t get rid of them. Step-by-step…
Create a friend group in your account settings.
Place whomever you need in that group, into that group.
Go to your privacy settings where you can control who sees what, and customize the settings for THAT group only, make it so they can see NOTHING – which will limit them to see your name and profile picture, nothing more… No wall posts, pictures, links or anything.
Make sure that the rest of your friends can still see what you want them too...
… and that’s it!
This group will come in handy for pesky family members that you might not be able to unfriend, as “out of sight out of mind” usually applies on Facebook, people whose profiles don’t make a lot of noise in my timeline barely exist to me… It also keeps people from seeing things that you don’t want them to, and you can manually select to allow “friends only” to allow them to see things that they should (like when you’ve chosen to take to passive aggressively insulting them).
To anyone’s mom who may be reading this, don't take it personally, but you SHOULD use that as a reason why you should stop for a moment and think “will she think this is cute and because I love her, or will it embarrass the SHIT out of her in front of her friends?”
Be realistic when answering that question, and do not surprised if you answer with the “because it is cute…” answer and then the next day her profile is no longer visible to you.