When Granny gets too friendly on Face­book

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - INSIDE - Con­tact Barry Courter at bcourter@times­freep­ress.com or 423-757-6354.

I badly sprained my an­kle slid­ing into the catcher at home plate as an 11- yearold. While I was writhing in pain, flop­ping around on the ground, I looked up to see my mother about to step onto the field. Sud­denly, the pain in my an­kle went away be­cause I was so hor­ri­fied that she was about to break one of the car­di­nal rules of sports. At least it was at the time: Par­ents, es­pe­cially moms, are not sup­posed to come onto the field un­less ac­com­pa­nied by the EMTs and a stretcher.

I don’t even re­mem­ber who cre­ated this rule or how or when I even heard of it, but I knew, the same way a child knows that snakes and spi­ders are to be avoided, that sav­ing face meant that I had to cry and scream on the field alone … like a man.

My mother, ob­vi­ously con­cerned for her baby, as she should have been, ac­tu­ally had one foot in the air and was about to walk through the gate when I saw her. Things slowed down like in the movies and I saw her foot and then her face as she saw my face and likely heard my screams of protest.

I re­ally don’t know what I thought would hap­pen if she came on that field, but I knew it would be bad. Funny thing is, once I got off of the field, and es­pe­cially when I got home, all I wanted was some TLC from my mother. Like I said, I was 11.

Any­way, I thought of that mo­ment ear­lier this week after read­ing the re­sults of a sur­vey of mil­len­ni­als who shared their deep­est, dark­est se­crets about hav­ing grandma and grandpa as friends on Face­book. In short , t hey are so over it. The sur­vey was done by Vis­it­ing An­gels, an i n- home s enior- care Barry Courter com­pany. It found that young peo­ple are ba­si­cally em­bar­rassed by their grand­par­ents and their so­cial-me­dia in­ter­ac­tions.

It re­vealed five spe­cific acts that make young peo­ple want to un­friend Mam­maw and Pap­paw. They don’t like it when their grands post per­sonal stuff, post strong opin­ions about pol­i­tics or re­li­gion, get too friendly with their friends, lay on the guilt trip or talk about be­ing ill, and they don’t like it when Gramps or Granny tries to be cool with their com­ments.

Though it didn’t make the top five no-nos in the sur­vey, post­ing in all caps is enough to make a mil­len­nial want to put his phone down … for a minute or two. They also don’t like read­ing com­ments about their hair­style or cloth­ing.

Cell phones and so­cial me­dia have made keep­ing up with our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren much eas­ier, and many read­ing this will likely be think­ing, “Well, these kids need to get over it.” But where is the line? Read­ing a post from a grand­par­ent that he is lonely, or sick or wish­ing that you would call on Face­book would be kind of hor­ri­fy­ing.

Save the com­ments for the next fam­ily gath­er­ing.

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