One of the two members of my in-house focus group of longtime Facebook users has discovered my “research-purposes” account. I figured it would never be discovered as long as I only discussed it on this weblog, the one place on the Internet my children would never visit. However, a certain nameless co-parental unit of mine let slip that she saw a “cute” photo of the off-spring on Facebook and within a nanosecond, my goose was cooked. Fortunately, I was discovered by the mature and loving first child who does nothing wrong and whose reflex response to discovering I have a Facebook account was to “friend” me. I responded by reassuring her of my boundless and eternal love for her — but sorry, I was rejecting her as a friend. “You don’t want me showing up as a friend on Facebook,” I said. I think she knew I would respond that way when she invited me, so she scored double points by communicating to me that she didn’t mind me seeing anything on her Facebook page, nor did she mind having me identified as a friend — knowing all the while that I would not be “that dad.”

Note to the 16-year-old. Don’t try this ploy. It won’t work. I will accept your request and start posting on your wall embarrassing stories from your childhood. I am saving this for future leverage.

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