First World Problems: To Friend, Or Not To Friend?


Aug 20, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at contact@theswaddle.com (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: I’m worried about my son (14) and daughter (13) being online. So much happens on Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media now that I feel I need to keep track. After pleading, I recently relaxed the rules though and allowed them to make Facebook profiles, but I’m not happy about it. I’m thinking of requiring them to make me a Facebook friend. Is this a good idea?

I feel you, you delightful control freak of a parent. I really do. I mean, we’re talking about access to Miley Cyrus here. This is serious stuff. But the way I see it, asking someone else how much social networking is okay for your kids is like asking someone else how much sugar you need in your coffee. The truth is, nobody knows. We’re all in over our heads with this one and pretending like we have it all under control while silently dreading the day our little ones find out what twerking means. So, I’d find anyone who gives you a straight answer to this question highly suspect. But with that said, the only thing I’m more afraid of than the day I remove all parental controls and let the offspring run free, is being her friend on Facebook. Because — God forbid — there comes a day when she posts a duck face selfie, and some idiot boy says “Hottiieeee” (so much dirtier with the multiple i’s and e’s). I’d just have to go off on a Liam Neeson-type rampage. To find him. And kill him. So if you’re anything like me, I’d suggest you block your kids on Facebook and tell yourself they’re just there to play Candy Crush.

PROBLEM: My father-in-law is turning 80 and the whole family are fighting over where to have the celebration. He recently shifted to stay with my husband’s brother and his wife, and so they are saying they should host the gathering. But the rest of my husband’s siblings want it closer to the rest of the family, where they all grew up. How can we make peace? I’m going to go mad if we can’t all decide and soon.

I don’t get it. It’s your husband’s father’s birthday and your husband’s siblings are fighting. Why are you going mad? This is family drama over nothing and it happens in every family. Sit back, get popcorn and amuse yourself. If you’re a writer, put them all in a book. Or, add to the fun by insisting on having the celebration at your place. Or, just don’t go, stay home and binge watch your favourite TV show. When you get enough drama on television, you’ll develop a low tolerance for real-life drama and learn to tell these people exactly where to shove their problems. Alternatively (if you’re really lucky) you might develop Resting Bitch Face™ from all the TV-bingeing and you might not need to say anything at all.


Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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