Teens and their friends, or I mean their ‘lovers’

I finally did it.  I agreed to let my son have a Facebook Page.  Ugh, I know.  But let me just say I came to the conclusion I would rather he have a legitimate page, me be his friend, me have his password, me set his privacy settings, and me go over and over the rules of being online rather than run the risk of him going behind my back and setting up a page with a fake name.  Now, I know there are those who will say ‘well, make sure he doesn’t go and do that’. Easier said than done.  I am all for parent involvement and teaching our kids, but kids WILL be kids.  And, let me tell you teens WILL be teens.  Remember when you were a teen! Enough said.

So now that I am all set up as my son’s ‘friend’ I am learning more about the Teen Facebook World.  Interesting.  Very interesting.  The comments, the pictures, the hoopla!  Wowie. One of the first things I have to say I find a little peculiar is the way girls refer to other girls.  These are their friends.  What is this with teens now?  They all refer to each other as their ‘lovers’ or their ‘wife’ or have them all listed as their siblings.  Lovers? What is that about?  And, the pictures!  Yikes!  What has made our teen girls all kissy-kissy with each other now?  I honestly do NOT remember anything like this when I was a kid.  Unless I was just oblivious?

This brings me to the whole thing now with girls experimenting with girls more in colleges these days.  Huh?  Another mom that I was talking to recently came to the conclusion that this is all about impressing the boys and getting the boys attention.  They think that if they kiss a girl and basically are all over her, the boys will want them.  Okay, what is going on here?

What do you think is up with all this girly-kissy-lover kind of thing going on? Is it for attention?


Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds July 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

It’s very popular in the media these days. I think Madonna & Brittney Spears started it in the mainstream. A lot of teenagers dedicate their lives to complex mimicry of what they see on the TV.
.-= Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds´s last blog ..Hemorrhaging money in the Hilton =-.

Sarah July 9, 2010 at 8:37 am

It’s a huge thing these days, and absolutely for attention.

Being “bisexual” is super-trendy, and for some reason, the boys love it. The girls get attention from boys plus they get to “experiment.”

I knew a lot of girls in college who did this, and it’s. . .well, honestly? Just super-annoying.

As far as the being “married” on facebook. . .I did that with a gay male friend of mine in college, but mainly because I was tired of people asking when I was going to find myself someone. And he wasn’t looking for anyone, so it worked out nicely.

Calling people “siblings” wasn’t an option when I was in college, so I have no idea what that’s about. My future brother-in-law listed my fiance’s ex as one of his “siblings,” but not his actual brother. I feel like that just makes for hurt feelings.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..The One Where We Go to the Beach Part 2 =-.

liz July 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

well, i wanted to say that i think you are wise to have allowed him on FB but with you still being in the know. kind of a middle road, and totally reasonable and workable.

i think you are right that the kissy stuff is to garner attention from the boys.

Noel July 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I think this is an alarming trend, setting the sexuality issue aside, I am deeply concerned over the fact that many of today’s young girls do not respect themselves enough to be themselves regardless of what boys think and that are young men are more media sexed than ever.
I feel feel compelled to pray for this generation and reach out to them. These young girls not only engage in desperate activity to get attention but they also treat each other terribly. There is a lot of manipulation, jealousy and selfishness. It starts very young. This is one reason I created PinkDivaCafe.Co, using pop culture to reach out to women and encourage them to focus more on intentional parenting and what we call “taking sexy back!” and restoring sex to it’s original and beautiful design.
I think it is good you let him have a facebook, it allow you the opportunity to teach him to navigate the pros and cons of social behavior.

J. Is a Bird July 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

I just think it’s more acceptable these days to be affectionate with your friends. Yes, maybe some of it is to show off, but also they don’t have to operate under the same social constraints that past generations have had to. I don’t really have a problem with it as long as no one is being PRESSURED into the behavior.

As for FB. It’s hard for me to speak to that yet because my kids are so young. If I had a dollar for every thing I said I would “never” do but ended up doing anyway, well I could buy an iPad! So while I want to say that I believe in letting kids have their privacy as long as they follow the rules, I may feel differently when the time comes to set up their first online account.

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) July 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I think the media plays a huge part, it seems to be all the rage these days. With actresses, singers and the like kissing on various teen award shows and it being highlighted in teen movies, I think girls today think it’s the cool thing to do and to get attention from the boys. I sure hope this trend goes away soon. Good luck navigating your way through FB with your teenager, it’s smart to be his “friend” and in the know.
.-= Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom)´s last blog ..Lessons From The Yogurt Lady =-.

Bree Anderson July 9, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I like your approach to handling facebook & I think it’s a great way to gain perspective into what your son has to deal with. I wonder if broken homes or maybe not ‘tight’ parenting causes a lure and longer to be closer, which the girls can do & get attention. Either way, I think that because of the pull for ‘equality’ it does blur the lines a little on public displays….gosh, I think I am going to build a BIG box and live in it with my kids, I know…that would make US the weird ones :)

JoJo July 10, 2010 at 12:02 am

Well I personally never experimented with a girl, but my teen years weren’t too long ago and I can definitely say I’ve been part of the whole screaming to my girl friends how much I love them and posing for pictures making the stupid duck kissy face. Heck, I still do that to this day sometimes. It’s part of the teen culture I was raised in. I don’t think it’s for attention. I guess it’s just what’s normal for us. Sort of the way saying things like groovy and rad and being a hippie was cool in the 60′s.
I remember when I was younger, my mom asked me “why do you say love you every time you hang up the phone with your friends?”
I could only respond with “It’s just what we do. ”
As far as facebook is concerned, I only got it once I reached college. At that time only college students were accepted on facebook, but that changed drastically. I know there are a lot of sketchy things that kids who join have to look out for, but there are also a ton of positives and you just have to train your kids to be careful and smart.
I made my sister get a facebook profile when she was thirteen because she lived half way across the world and it was the easiest way to keep in touch, send videos, pictures albums etc. At first my mom was skeptical about it, but when she realized a lot of good can come from it between, keeping in touch with friends and family, learning about events, identifying yourself with certain groups or causes and learning about what’s going on in the world through the articles people post.
Just make sure to never accept a friend you never met and to set your settings on private.
.-= JoJo´s last blog ..STDs Of The Blogosphere =-.

MsBabyPlan July 10, 2010 at 1:01 am

I believe that the new generation of teens and young adults are open in their gender liking (esample LiLohan). I mean the media as reinforced on them that they can love whom they want without discriminations. Now they want to experience both relationship. This is how I have thought about it.
.-= MsBabyPlan´s last blog ..Writers Workshop- A Memory in a Photo =-.

Shell July 10, 2010 at 9:21 am

Definitely for attention. I remember my senior year in college, my two roommated and I told our guy friends that we put all of our mattresses together on the floor so that we could sleep all snuggled up together and….(we didn’t actually say what the and was, just let them imagine) and they all drooled. We never actually did anything, though. We knew we could just say we did and it would get their attention.

So stupid, I know.

Motpg July 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

At first my husband said no way about face/space as I call them because of safety. I wasn’t so sure and a couple of years ago I noticed that the girls were spending a whole lot of time at the library. Sure enough when I searched their email on myspace they had set up accounts. They were grounded of course but it opened the door to point out to my husband that it would be “safer” with us in control.
My girls aren’t the gushy type with their friends but my 16 year old has friends that pulled her in to the “family thing”. it is a pet peeve of mine and she knows it. She has a family. It’s just one of the things I should let go but for some reason it highly annoys me. Bree is right about where it usually begins. Most of the kids involved in it don’t have a good support system.
According to my girls, the girls they know who say they are gay or bi are ones that have not had a lot of success with boys or felt too much pressure from boys and turned to a more companion like relationship.
Mine are accustomed to it because my sister in law is a lesbian but they do say they feel awkward when these friends hang on them.
.-= Motpg´s last blog ..This Makes Me Smile =-.

Carrie July 10, 2010 at 11:50 am

they must think boys like it. and i must warn you that i’m often shocked by what some of my younger cousins post while they know that their parents, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents are their facebook friends.
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..The Harry Potter -amp Star Wars Books Box with no Harry Potter Books in it =-.

Alison@StretchMyCheck July 10, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I have been out of college for nearly a decade and can distinctly remember similar behavior. Sadly, it’s been going on for a while, and it is ALL about male attention. Attention is so important to the teenage girl…ugh..so desparetly important.

I am visiting from The Lady Bloggers Tea Party. Thanks for having me.

AmyBlam July 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Everything is much more out there then it used to be-The L Word, The Real L Word, movies, books, Gossip Girl.
I don’t believe in censorship in any form but with the growing reach of the media-I think parents need to step it up and talk more to their kids.
I always tell bratchild that Miley Cyrus gets paid to be obnoxious, she does not.

Kathy English July 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Wow. This, more than ever, makes me want to insist my daughter stay off facebook until she’s at least 15. She’s going on 13, the minimum required age for a facebook account – though there are people who ignore that recommendation. I know of 9 year olds who have pages.

Anyway – Still thinking about the FB thing on the homefront, here.

I think girl/girl kissing, touching, etc. is something that some girls do because they think that for the guys, it’s a big turn-on. How many guys do you know who talk about threesomes? They want to be the center of that, but they want to watch the girls, too.

Some kids know right away what their preferences are, sexually, and others don’t – but to be publicly mauling each other in public (and I don’t care if you’re heterosexual couples or gay/lesbian couples) – please. Can we have some self-respect, as well as respect for other people? I don’t want to see sloppy tongue kisses between two people of any sex, thank you.

When I was in school, hugs were the big thing. You always had to be hugging someone when you greeted them. Now that I’m an old fogey, I just cringe when I see someone from high school and they want to give me a big hug. I’m not that touchy-huggy person anymore. Back off.

If a person knows early on what their sexual preference is, ok – I don’t have an issue with that person embracing his/her sexuality. But if you’re just kissing on someone to make the boys crazy for you, knock it off already. Think about yourself ten years from now. You’re on a job interview. The employer will check for you on facebook and myspace. Once it’s on the ‘net, it’s there for good – and there are techie people good enough to find it even years later. Your potential employer might think twice about hiring you if he/she doesn’t like what they find on the social network sites.
.-= Kathy English´s last blog ..Sweltering Summertime =-.

ZippyChix4 July 11, 2010 at 8:50 am

It appears that teens are just shifting with the times and following the media. Their ability to paricipate in the social media circle seems to give them a boost in confidence when in cyberspace, but ask them to go face to face and many times they are unable to muster up the courage. I find that if they can’t text, email or twitter that they are at a loss. What happened to just picking up the phone? Luckily my offspring are mediocre when it comes to fb, they have an account, but use it somewhat sparingly.

ZippyChix4 July 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

By the way, I found your blog on the Lady Bloggers Society Tea Party and absolutely love it!!! I subscribed and am looking forward to your updates. Thanks!

mommymommymommy July 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

Hmmm, never heard of ths girl experimenting thing…and I have a fifteen year old daughter!

My daughter is “marrried” to a friend of hers and has about twenty “children”. She is the “parent” of others. All in fun.

I “inbox” my daughter if I find something offensive, or if I see her online or in her room, I will tell her to delete it NOW (big mom voice). It is rare, but I tell her something I heard on TV- “Say it, forget it. Write it, regret it!”
.-= mommymommymommy´s last blog ..Inexpensive Crafts for Kids at Home are Simple =-.

AngieB July 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I found your blog through Lady Blogger Tea Party, and I feel like I’ve hit the lottery! I’m pouring myself a big glass of sweet tea and reading through your archives this afternoon! My boys are 18 and 11 and all computers are in public areas of the house, FB page for the 18 year-old only, with both Mom and Dad as friends. Interestingly enough, many of his friends have friended me, and many of my friends’ children have friended me, as well as nieces and nephews. They all know I’m the FB police, I’m the one who will spot a bong in the background of a party pic they’re tagged in or pick up on a drug/alcohol/sex reference in a post or comment. I suppose they really do like having someone who will alert them when they’ve “crossed the line”. The kissy girl stuff I find a little worrisome, just because our society is so over-sexualized already I just don’t think girls or boys need any relationships to be MORE sexualized.
.-= AngieB´s last blog ..Philippians 4-8 Saints and Scripture Sunday =-.

parentingadabsurdum July 11, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Oh, oy. I don’t know what’s up with the exhibitionism of teen girls, but it does bother me. I think it says a lot about their self-esteem, or lack of it, and I hope that we as parents are working as hard as we can to instil self respect in our boys and girls… it makes me so sad, honestly!
.-= parentingadabsurdum´s last blog ..Thank You Mamapedia- =-.

Swati July 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm

ACK – what!!??!! I am so not ready for this – my daughter is almost nine…my boyfriend’s daughter is 16 and she did let me “in” on her page…was shocked to see how scantily clad some girls are online!!

Thanks so much for coming by my blog during Naomi’s guest post – hope to see you again!


Kelly July 13, 2010 at 1:14 am

I can personally attest that my sister (age 12) has only 3 siblings, not the 25 listed on her Facebook page. I’ve also had to make my father take risque/revealing photos of her down (that he hadn’t even noticed). I definitely think it’s about attention and being “loved” more than the next person. It all comes back to popularity and attention!

Alexandra July 13, 2010 at 1:33 am

You are seriously freaking me out.

Everytime I come over here, bam, just what we were talking about. Our son just turned 15, and wants to be on FB. We googled “what parents need to know about FB” and got some TREMENDOUS hints tips salvations!

Now, we feel confident.

The girl thingy thing? It’s to get the boys hot…they’ve heard how much it turns guys on to see girls do this.

I wish their parents would tell them it will come back to haunt them when they apply for that the 5K teacher position.

Jessi July 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Ya know, I was thinking about this not too long ago. Luckily, my boys are still little, so I don’t have an immediate need to freak, but my friends’ kids are starting to get old enough to delve into the social media world and a couple have made friend requests. When I see my niece and one of my gal pal’s boys getting “lover of the day” messages, I cringe. Am I getting prudish in my old age? I would have done it if these things were available when I was their age. I just don’t know. My plan is to invent a “nevergrowupinator” so that I won’t have to deal with this business. I’ll let you know when it hits the market!
.-= Jessi´s last blog ..My Favorite Son =-.

Aimee July 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I teach 7th and 8th graders. I know most of them have facebook pages. A few of their parents are friends with them and know what is going on, but many do not. When my daughter gets to that I age I will definitely be her friend on fb if it’s still around…. So I think that was a great choice on your part. I see a lot of their “strange” behaviors at school on a daily basis in real life. They aren’t as open about it at school as they are online, but I’ve seen some of it. The are all desperate for attention….we were at their age too, but we just had different ways of trying to get the attention. I love this blog by the way.

missy July 21, 2010 at 7:29 am

I think it’s a way to get attention – make yourself stand out. Make people notice you. Girls want a way to position themselves as the (insert an adjective) One, so that they are noticed. I’m seeing it at the pool this summer. Searching for identity – so not fun at this age. I feel badly for them and my own girls – even though they have a ways to go.
.-= missy´s last blog ..My Happiness – The Good Side of Blogging =-.

vanita July 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

i can’t tell you how the “wifey” reference tics me off. My 12 year old was talking about a girl one day and I asked “who’s that?” Without thinking, her answer was my “wifey”. I asked her if she liked girls now. She said no and I told her we’d have to talk about this one day soon, not now, cause I’m speechless. That was a week ago. I’m just not sure what I have to say to her. I’m still shocked. I’m not even sure how to put my feeling on the matter into words.
.-= vanita´s last blog ..No-Tell Motel to the Rescue =-.

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