Today is my son's 31st birthday. As a father, I'm proud of him. He lives in Costa Rica, so we don't see each other very often. Over the weekend he asked me to be his friend on Facebook. Like his sister a few weeks ago, I didn't exactly "ignore" or reject the offer, but I gave him the chance to reconsider and opt-out. Like his sister, he agreed.
Why would I NOT want my children as "friends" on Facebook? Most parents would KILL to have the insights that being a "friend" can give about their kids. It wasn't that I didn't want and wouldn't love the chance to be their "friend," it was simply that Facebook, for me (and, I suspect, for many who are reading this post) isn't really a social tool. It's a business tool. So why should that matter?
I have a tendency to tweet things every so often, usually about great hospitality-related articles that would be of interest to my Twitter followers in the lodging industry. Those show up on Facebook. And I usually comment on hospitality related subjects on Facebook, though not as much as I might or should. Blog posts like this on The Innkeeper's Resource sometimes show up on my pages, too. It's coming along, little by little, as I develop more of a network with innkeepers and become a fan of more inns. The thing is, when I look at my kids' Facebook pages, they really do carry on conversations with friends about cultural things, personal things, politics, and humor. My conversations, such as they are, are business related. And that kind of throws cold water on their youthful musings.
Maybe I should get a separate "personal" Facebook page. Don't get me wrong, I've had some old friends from my past find me on Facebook. And it's a treat to reconnect. But Facebook for me is a networking tool. And, as I get the hang of it and others in the innkeeping industry get the hang of it, it's bringing some of us together. That's fun. I think it will be to our mutual benefit. But somehow, Dad's business just seems out of place on a 30-something's page.
Am I wrong? Have any of you experienced a similar dilemma? Let's hear about it!