Apparently my post this weekend on What the Web Strategist should know about Facebook went all over the web. There are over 45 comments, 35 trackbacks, I’ve received emails, tweets, messages in Facebook how it helped folks get a stronger understanding of the opportunities. It was printed out, emailed, and sent to VPs and executives at many companies. As a result, I received dozens of requests to be people’s friends, and the Web Strategy Group hsa increased by way over 100 people. That’s all fine, but there’s a few drawbacks…
I was told by a handful of middle aged folks that they added their son or daughter to their network as a friend after signing up. All of them told me their son or daughter was absolutely shocked, horrified, invaded, repulsed, disgusted that their parent connected. Some felt it was immoral, invasive, or unethical, almost as if their parents were sneaking through their drawers when they were gone to school.
PR and Corporate Communications professionals are preparing responses for that exploding battery, picked lock, or stuck-on-the-tarmac airplane all day, the same priority one focus should be put on child relations in social networks.
As a Web Strategist, I’ve composed the following letter as part of my CRI (Child Relations Initiative) to help smooth over this difficult time in the home life. I’ve made the following letter customizable, kindly use the appropriate salutation for your offspring.
Crises Management Template: Child Relations for Facebook
During an emergency, Copy and Paste the following into an email and send to son or daughter, or better yet, post on their ‘wall’ in Facebook.
I know you’ve felt exposed, embarrassed, and just downright creeped out that I sent you that invite to be my ‘friend’ on Facebook. I know it’s hard for you as you’ve always though the internet was your entire playground but not for us adults.
Just as you’ve grown taller the last few years, things are and will always change. Facebook, isn’t just for college students, they’re allowing the whole world in. It’s now for office workers, presidential candidates, neighborhood watch, retirees and all those ‘other people’ on the internet.
We’re not that different, ya know, I’m adding friends to my business network to grow my professional reach (which will help you get those new sneakers), and I know that your generation uses Facebook to show who you’re you’re interested or documenting who you’ve ‘hooked up with’ in your profile. I don’t hold it against you, in our time we had “notches on the bedpost” –I’ll tell you in a few years.
Frankly, when I sent you that invite to be my ‘friend’ on Facebook, it was just a courtesy, I really didn’t want you to connect to me. Quite honestly I don’t want you to know about all that professional stuff I do during the day, because if you found out how much work I’m doing you may never want to grow up, and then you’ll never leave the house, and I prefer my car in the garage rather than you.
Someday, when you grow up and get a professional network of your own you can feel free to add me as a ‘friend’, I’ve enclosed my Facebook profile URL below, but don’t be surprised if I don’t add you back –I may be too cool.
Mom or Dad
Facebook Profile: (insert hyperlink to Facebook Profile here)
It always pays to be prepared, I recommend bookmarking this post for when the time comes.
Ironic Update: This is all in contrary that Facebook users are adding strangers, but not their flesh and blood!