FaceBook FFF( FaceBook Fake Family) connections

While Facebook critics blame the site for diluting the meaning of the term friend and launching an assault on face-to-face interaction, the site has served as a useful tool for parents to stay in touch with their children who are away at college.

Tremont resident and Pekin Hospital nurse Karen DeMarini says the social networking site is the perfect tool for following what is going on with her daughter, Marisa, and her daughter’s friends while Marisa studies photography at Columbia College in Chicago. She has a son who recently returned home from college, as well.

“Nothing replaces being able to hug my kids or snuggle in front of a movie, but it helps me maintain the closeness, DeMarini says. It makes them seem like they’re close, like I can reach out and touch them almost like they’re in the next room.

According to DeMarini, her daughter’s friends are all studying either photography or film, so DeMarini can not only stay informed about Marisa and company’s social statuses, she can also follow along with their school projects  which they post to Facebook.

It is this ability to share experiences more completely that DeMarini says has revolutionized communications between family members and improved the ability of families to stay close beyond the relationship she maintained with her own parents as a college student in the ’70s.

“It’s totally different because you couldn’t sit down with your parents and share clips and book critiques,DeMarini says. Communication is multimedia, now.

Also, Facebook provides a space where many members of the younger generations keep and share so much of their lives. DeMarini says her daughter and friends started a private Facebook group DeMarini could access to share there experiences on their recent trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. According to DeMarini, she could see photos the friends posted as they enjoyed their trip. Adds DeMarini, I could see what they had for breakfast if I wanted!

It gives DeMarini more access to what happens in her daughter’s life, as opposed to pre-Facebook days when a parent only had access to what their child was willing to tell them over the phone.

Facebook actually provides parents unprecedented access to their children’s lives. The weekly call home has been replaced, in DeMarini’s experience, by a daily check-up.

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