28 December 2015

My mother just joined Facebook

The only person who has, to date, consistently told me that I shouldn't have my nails long and painted is my mother.

Not including yesterday, every time she had the opportunity, she'd make it perfectly clear that she didn't approve.

Imagine the response that I was bracing myself for, when my mother (who is older than my Oldsmobile) suddenly appeared on Facebook and sent me a friend request.

It turns out that, on Christmas Eve, she was with one of her neighbours at a street party and the conversation got on to seeing family at Christmas. Somehow, it evolved to the neighbour taking my mother's photo and assisting her in creating a profile using the neighbour's mobile phone.

When they went looking for people to send friend requests to, they found the profile photo of my boy profile... After my test run outing last month, I updated my profile photo from the one that I had used from last year, to the one from last month.

In view of her disapproval of my nails, I anticipated similar disapproval of my profile photo.

Yesterday morning, she rang me to let me know that, while she had joined Facebook, she was having trouble using it. In fact, she couldn't even log in using her computer and the neighbour who had created the account was now overseas visiting relatives. She had rung my brother, and he had logged into her account with his computer to test that it was working, and told her that the problem had to be with her computer.

So yesterday afternoon, I went to visit my parents, and they both stood and watched as I sorted out the problem. Her account indeed failed to log in on her computer. To work out why, I typed her password into a new browser tab (without pressing enter), intending to cut and paste it. I discovered that, due to a keyboard fault, some characters were intermittently appearing as accented versions of the intended character. Once I had the correctly typed password, I cut and pasted it, and Facebook happily logged her in. I also ticked the Keep me logged in box, so hopefully my father will be able to sort out the keyboard problem before she needs to log in again!

I then spent some time adjusting privacy settings, sorting out the waiting friend requests, etc, while explaining all of it, and giving her a bit of a run down on how to use the most important aspects of Facebook. I'm anticipating having to go back again in a few days to go through some of it again, and answer any additional questions that she might have.

At some point, she remarked that she and her neighbour had seen my profile photo when looking for my profile to send a friend request. I don't remember the adjective that she used (I think that I might have been in shock), but she commented that they both thought that I looked [quite] good.

I'll just have to wait and see if this also means that she'll no longer make negative remarks about my nails...


  1. That's really good Alice 😊. Did she aleady know the full implications of your nails - I.e that you were trans too, or did her seeing the photos represent part of your coming out to her?

    Either way that's a good reaction!

    Hope you had a fab Christmas.

    Rhi x

    1. She's known for years, but has never approved.

  2. Wow! what a story. Social media has its up and down sides, lets hope this situation will in the end be positive, good luck.

  3. Perhaps it has been fear that people would judge her harshly if they knew about you and the lack of judgement from her neighbour has helped her take a few steps towards acceptance?

    1. I don't think that she's ever feared that people would judge her because of me. It's more a case that she is in her late 70s (an age group not commonly found on social media in general), and my father actively discouraged her from joining Facebook because he considers it to be a waste of time, based on his pre-conception that it is primarily about playing games.

  4. We'll all have to be careful what we say now!