Top 5 Ways that Facebook Has Changed How You Talk To Your Mom
I found myself in Kenya this past Summer witnessing the largest wildebeest migration in 20 years across the Maasai Mara. My tour group watched in awed silence as wildebeests in the thousands traversed the plains on their annual pilgrimage all the while majestic elephants made wake through their dense herds with zebras, gazelles and hartebeest crisscrossing paths. I turned to Joshua, our Maasai guide, to voice my appreciation of sharing his beautiful land only to see him engrossed at his hand. “I find you on Facebook!” he beamed.
Standing out on the African plains in his traditional red Shúkà he was already friending me and posting our travel pictures. It surprised me to learn that even out here on the African plains, the local tribes now keep in touch via Facebook. “Your mom just Liked our photo,” he proudly shared. That part did not surprise me.
Facebook was launched a mere 12 years ago whereas human language itself probably started to develop around 100,000 years ago. The words lead to languages which created conversations that became the primary way that we as human beings choose to communicate our thoughts, desires, emotions, needs, feelings and the vast complexity of the human condition. We have had milleniums to hone our conversations and express our personal thoughts but still during this time have struggled to maintain the feeling of true connection. The rise of social media and applications like Facebook are changing all of that at such a quick rate we don’t have time to analyze the change, we just accept them as truth. You know that big changes are happening when Facebook has completely changed how you talk to your mom and you didn’t even notice.
The Top 5 Ways that Facebook Has Changed How You Talk To Your Mom
1. Mom Still Doesn’t Understand You But She Likes Your Post
We like to share, the good, the bad, the ugly, the embarrassing. Social media and the proliferation of oversharing has been a huge win on the mom side. Do you remember the days when you would hear a mom lament that their kid especially the teenagers never told them anything? Well that is over and you didn’t even realize it because now in hopes of Likes and social approval even a click from your mom is seen as a welcome addition. Tweens will fight me on this one, but don’t worry those days are numbered because I have news for you your mom is still your biggest fan. And winning her approval that you can now see in clear blue and white is a good feeling that you love. We all want to be heard and we crave to be understood. It is a basic human need. We post and share the things that matter to us and the things that connect with our own internal thoughts and feelings. We crave the feeling of connection. And in those times where maybe our one to one conversations are not able to convey our meaning then that photo post of a lone duck on a morning lake can say it all. The world is now listening and more importantly so is your mom and the people closest to you. So maybe mom still doesn’t understand you but she saw your Facebook post and clicked Like. Although she wonders why you are getting duck anyway. And maybe deep down that was all the connection you needed at the time.
2. You Don’t have To Tell Mom About Your Day — Your Friend Just Did
You were probably one of the first people on Facebook that your mom Friended and the second person was your best friend. Now along with your siblings, immediate family and distant relations your mom has a huge plethora of connections to keep her busy. But she is still going to take time to check in on what your friends and co workers are up to. Here is why this is a good thing- now you don’t have to explain to her why your are in a good, bad or otherwise unexplainable mood. Your mom is getting more of a backstory to your day and is now able to relate better to what is going in your world. Now if and when you decide to talk about it, you can have a conversation that cultivates rather than infuriates. You may already be with me on this one but many of my texts to my mom these days start with Did You Read Facebook? This can be the beginning or end to many a conversation. But at least when share information we have a better chance to communicate more clearly.
3. No More Secrets From Your Mom But Way More Lies
Remember what we said about the oversharing? Well in that comes more lying, albeit unintentional. Well the fact is we are sharing more then ever on social media but for the most part whether or not you are aware of it you are heavily editing your post in your mind before you type a single letter. Our own internal conversations are helping to craft edited versions of our life. Hence why some people get angry at the perfect life portrayed on some Timelines. While our Posts and Shares may be a more edited version of the full dialogue in our heads no matter what it is there will be someone out there that has a difference of opinion. So whether this is your mom or someone else reading your Facebook you have already created a ready to post response to whatever the Comments. In some cases you may agree with the Comment but in others your own internal dialogue that lead you to that post was way different to the perception on the other end. So we do what people have down for those 100,00 years, we create new versions of the story to explain or clarify our initial position. And in these instances we may end up flat out lying to mom. But that is ok, she just wants to feel like she is a part of your world, she doesn’t want to have to click the last red square of your Rubik’s cube every day.
4. More Showing Less Telling Your Mom What You Mean
When a picture can say a thousand words then why bother adding a thousand words? You went skiing so you posed a photo, You demo’d your bathroom, so you posted a photo. You helped your neighbor find their cat, so you posted a photo. What better way to get a glimpse into someone’s else’s life then to get a real window into their day. The more photos you post, the more your mom feels like she understands your world. And then of course she Liked your photo so you knew she saw it. Photo sharing has become one of the number one ways we can communicate with the world and our Moms because it allows us to instantly connect and can create a level of deeper understanding. Now instead of trying to explain to your mom why the hundred year old fig tree was worth you chaining yourself to it and subsequently getting arrested you can feel confident that she already understands. She even Liked the photo of you chained to the tree as the police arrived on Facebook.
5. Mom Was Right, Life Moves Fast
The older we get the more we understand that life really does move fast. We measure our lives on a human created concept of time with words like days and years attaining meaning in our minds. But when you ask any 90 year old person about their life they will say it has gone by so fast. If your mom is later in age ask her now if she feels like the years have moved fast or slow. One of Facebook more popular features is the On This Date reminder that shows you what you posted on that date last year. Sometimes it can be a happy experience and sometimes it can be quite sad but chances are your first reaction will be one of feeling like that event just happened. Day by day with each of your Facebook posts you are creating a digital history to share with the world. So if you are one of those people that spends a lot of time trying to be perfect or trying to do the exact right thing at the right time for fear of criticism know that in the grand scheme those moments are fleeting and your life is moving much faster then then realize. One of the great gifts you can gift to another person is sharing of your time and if in sharing your experiences and life in posts and photos somehow is able to help them make their way through their own life then this is a gift of time as well. So whether or not you ever received a note in your lunchbox from your mom you can be sure that each time she reads one of your Facebook posts she feels like she got a little note from you to her her understand you a better today.
Want to learn about how to use Facebook For Your Business by increasing your Likes, Shares and Audience Engagement? Download now my free guide for The Top 7 Ways To Increase Your Facebook Likes and Shares. Get your business page working for your business now. Cheers! Stefanie
Stefanie LaHart is president of BoomTown Marketing where as a professional conversationalist she spends her mornings breaking a sweat at the gym and the rest of the day building bottom lines for fitness studios, sports brands and and health & wellness facilities. She uses proven online marketing strategies with a creative edge and crafts social media stories to help her clients engage their customers and get results.
Julius, a Thuzio solution, is a SaaS influencer marketing platform that provides marketers with rich social data, advanced search capabilities, and the campaign management tools required to organize a successful influencer marketing strategy.
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