Finally, Something From Facebook Worth Posting

My kid is awesome. I’m not afraid to say it.

(Yes, my kid has a Facebook account. No, please don’t try to friend her. The account’s for family and friends she knows in real life, not random Internet people. Thanks.)

60 Comments on “Finally, Something From Facebook Worth Posting”

  1. GO ATHENA! Do NOT let the Patriarchal/Matriarchal Status of the Home keep you from your Philisophical musings.

    P.s. Hint: sneakily clean your room when neither of the parental units are barking you your tree. That way you leech power from them and have more time to formulate your inspirational musing. ;-)

  2. Go Athena!

    And it’s really sad that you have to say that last bit; people should respect boundaries. But I know they don’t.

  3. Andrew Hackard:

    I think it’s less about people not respecting boundaries and more like people just being enthusiastic. Once they know the ground rules most people are perfectly happy to follow them.

  4. That’s a fair point. Should not have put such a negative spin on it when the real message is that Athena is awesome.

  5. What would be awesome, AND SHOULD ONLY BE DONE WITH HER PARENT’S EXPLICIT PERMISSION, is for someone to create an Athena Scalzi Fan Page on Facebook.

    Then folks could express their appreciation/admiration without intruding on her and her family’s privacy.

    Please note that this suggestion comes from someone who is largely a social media hermit.

  6. I’d really rather not have an Athena Scalzi Facebook fan page, actually. It’s not a good idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that a page about my 13-year-old daughter not under her or her parents’ direct control is extraordinarily problematic. I would in fact be deeply displeased if anyone attempted it.

    In a general sense, you may assume that I have my daughter’s integration with the online world well in hand and may therefore relieve yourself of the burden of suggesting how I or anyone else might otherwise do it.

    I think I’ve said this about as politely as I can.

  7. Um, I think you know this, but ATHENA IS AWESOME! I feel like she’s going to grow up to be AWESOME. Even though SHE ALREADY IS!

  8. I logged in to say this. ^^^ I’m pretty sure this is a fake John. A kid? On facebook? With impeccable grammar and spelling?


  9. Athena’s post used the word think six times. That near to five times more often than many kids her age actually do that activity. You’re doing a great job with her John, (with equal kudos to Mrs. S) she’s going to scare the hell out of the young boys here pretty soon.

  10. That near to five times more often than many kids her age actually do that activity.

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t know many kids Athena’s age. The ones I know tend to think a heck of a lot, about a heck of a lot of things.

    Facebook exchange was funny, though.

  11. John, I apologize for the thoughtless and inappropriate of my suggestion, and appreciate the grace and restraint of your reply. It is hard being a parent. I didn’t mean to make that harder for you.

  12. Having a clean room is mostly overrated. And 500 years from now, no one will remember or care if your room was clean or not. 500 years from now, they’ll all be living post-singularity, in the matrix, providing power for the robot world. So get out and enjoy that clean atmosphere before humans nuke the sky in an effort to rob the machines of solar power.

  13. The thing is, Athena can delete your comment if she wants to. This was her bantering with you, which just shows the awesome awesomeness that is Athena Scalzi.

  14. Though in truth, she almost lost me with “Think about humans.” Tryin’ ta bum me out, girl?!?!!?

  15. John, it’s safe to say that every parent hopes her/his own child will someday be that awesome.

    I shared Athena’s status with my own 5yo daughter. Here was her reply: “I love Dinosaur Train. Do you think a million years from now they will have a ‘people like us’ train?”

    Yes, we can only hope.

  16. I love those moments. How did you learn to be that funny? I’m not that funny, and I *taught* you all the funny.

    My daughter is 11. She writes Facebook comments that berate her friends’ inability to use grammatically correct sentences or proper spelling on Facebook. This makes my parental heart all warm and fuzzy.

    A toast! To awesome daughters using social media to publicly proclaim their awesomeness.

  17. This post lured me out of lurkerdom.

    The Facebook stuff is awesome.

    But what I really want to say is: I had a disaster of a room until I left for college. My college dorm room was so tiny that I had to keep it clean. And I just now, right this instant, realized that the tiny dorm room was the beginning of the change. I couldn’t escape the mess so I cleaned it up. Now we keep a moderately clean house. And somehow, I turned into someone who organizes information for a living. (But my desk is still a mess.)

    So, you know, don’t worry about the room thing.

    Go ahead and try to make her clean it, though. My parents always did, to some extent. I’m trying to find the right balance with my kids (much younger than Athena). Our rule is working out to be that the room must be cleaned up every two weeks, so that it can be vacuumed and dusted. We’ll see if that persists when they are old enough to do the vacuuming and dusting themselves.

  18. Just wait until she defriends you. Then friends you back. Then defriends you again because of some slight you don’t even know you did. Kids. Gotta love ’em.

  19. John, as a parent of two young kids who both like to play games on websites (age- and maturity-appropriate ones, of course), I tend to watch other parents’ social media policies/tactics with an eye to my own kids’ futures. I wonder if you’d consider making a post about your kid/computer management strategy for those of us who are lagging behind you by a few years so we can plan ahead.

  20. I can hardly contain my glee at what sort of entertaining online ways there will be to torment my child by the time s/he is Athena’s age.

  21. Awesome exchange. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    It’s good that you can ask people not to try to friend Athena on Facebook and that just asking works.
    I’m wary of even following famous people’s family members on Twitter, even though it’s a much more public forum, designed for people to post things that they want to be out in public. It just seems a little weird. It took me a while to overcome that in order to follow Anne Wheaton, but I’m sure glad I did. She may be even funnier than Wil.

  22. Save for, currently, Athena and myself, my generation is a complete and utter waste of human life. My peers are ignorant, corrupt (a terrible thing to have alongside ignorance), lazy, self-absorbed, and don’t have the least bit care for self-control.

    Did I mention that they’re all stupid and don’t even care?

  23. That’s a very impressive level of expression for someone that age.
    I also have to chuckle about the room cleaning topic. I had a large number of discussions with my son in his tweens and teen years on the same issue. Various degrees of resolution were reached…
    Now, he has children of his own and finally begins to understand my side of the debate… Karma, dude!

  24. theoldline, adolescents are more prone than adults to all-or-nothing thinking. We probably all wen through that stage of development at one time or another. But it’s not a stage to embrace and try to stay in. Maybe you could spend some more time thinking about your thesis, widening your circle of acquaintance, and testing your preliminary conclusions against a broader population, leaving a lot more room for shades of gray. I know several members of your generation who don’t have the characteristics you are ascribing to them without even knowing them. And I suspect quite a few of John’s other readers could say the same.

  25. To Athena: In a mere 40,000 years, people will look on us as we look on cavemen.

    Or, we’ll only be looked at by alien archeologists.

  26. Eric RoM:

    After the alien archeologists have disturbed our graves, the alien film industry will make a movie about some wacky alien scientist-billionaire that clones humans from DNA remnants and opens a theme park zoo on an island where alien tourists can see how humans lived way back during ancient Earth times. It shall be called HOMO SAPIEN PARK, and will be directed by E.T. Xenoberg.

    Then maybe after that, the alien military will clone us by the trillions so they can use humanity as grunts and slaves on other Earth-like worlds the aliens wish to colonize and protect from rival alien races, since we will be more or equally suited to live and work in those environments.

    So look on the bright side, humanity still might have some swing in its step after we blow ourselves up into little Chicken McNuggety bits.

  27. See. Now, that’s the stuff I was thinking about at that age. I just hope Athena doesn’t get the crap for it from her peers that I got from my peers for thinking about something besides boys and music and what I was going to wear to the next school dance. Not that I didn’t think about boys and music sometimes, too, although fashion was not my thing, even then. But, it was incredible, the amount of hositility I ran into for even hinting that I might think about anything else but those things.

    Adolescence. There isn’t enough money in the world to make me want to go through that again.

  28. Not that it isn’t a worthy topic of discussion, but as a parent of a middle-schooler myself, I find that technology use, internet, and social media policies are harder than just about any other parenting practice to generalize. It REALLY depends on your child. My son (going on 13) has not been interested in Facebook, and I haven’t encouraged him, because it can be a deadly drama-factory for kids that age. He does, however, spend a lot of time in some multiplayer gaming environments, so we have a lot of discussions and house rules that revolve around that activity. My son is extremely good about policing his own privacy and avoiding strangers/creeps online, so we haven’t needed to worry about that much. Most other kids need a lot more supervision than that. So it’s really about watching your kid(s) and recognizing where they need help and where they need limits.

    Athena does sound like a nifty person. I caught another one of her comments over on FB and had a laugh-out-loud moment, as it seemed she got the better of her old man, there.

  29. BW: Universal statements are more likely to get feedback. I know, of course, that there are many kids my age who are thinking about the universals and not just the fleshy particulars, but they are, like Elaine in Fresno, constantly put down. The culture at large also promotes ignorance and corruption amongst the adolescents, so many of them are going to go down that route.

    That being said, I actually don’t know a single kid my age in my circles that is ignorant and corrupt. I see it everywhere else, except for where I am (thank God for that). For the purposes of talking to strangers, I audited my circle entirely from what I said.

  30. iholdtheline: Yeah, well, I can say the same about a good many of my peers, and we’re supposed to be experienced, wise, yadda yadda… and some are, but not enough to plan on. There are always jerks and turkeys, it doesn’t seem to be age-specific.

  31. Problem is, iholdtheline, universal statements like that make you look ignorant (by which I do not mean stupid but the actual meaning of the word) and perhaps bigoted. When talking to strangers, don’t shy away from saying what you know (what you know is that none of the kids in your circle are ignorant and corrupt, for instance) in favor of something dramatic but untrue just to get feedback. Making a strong impression isn’t always a good thing, if the impression you make is of someone not as thoughtful as you consider yourself–and probably are.

    Many kids who think like Athena and Elaine get put down. Others don’t. Others get put down by some individuals but not by others. I was lucky, at that age, to go to a school where there was good support for being brainy. Still, like Elaine, I wouldn’t go through adolescence again for anything, and I’ve said that many times. It’s not the best time of life for most people–probably not even those in the the top cliques. Good thing, too. Who would want to peak that early?

  32. On a less profound note, imagine if people 500-2000 years from now were to make TV shows about the 20th century with the same attention to historical accuracy that the producers of the TV shows Hercules: the Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess showed toward ancient Greece. Steve Jackson Games makes books exploring that concept:

    For example, Elvis’s book (a preview of which is available through that page) talks about how he’s on a constant quest to regain his homeland, the Land of Grace, from the clutches of his evil half-brother, Costello. He’s aided by his sidekicks like John Lenin and Bob “The Builder” Marley.

    Diana’s ‘series’ has as a recurring ‘guest star’ “Wild” Bill Gates, computer software mogul and riverboat gambler. Yes, it’s as silly as it sounds, but it’s also hilarious.

  33. Steve: We don’t actually MAKE those books; we just distribute them electronically. The actual author is Marcus Rowland, and the publisher of record is Heliograph Incorporated. Credit where it’s due.

  34. I’m trying to imagine someone random from here trying to friend your daughter, and all I’m getting is “eeeewwwwwww…”

    That said, hilarious x3

  35. KaT Adams: Agreed, that is just wrong on so many levels. And the guy who suggested creating a fan page for her…dude. Just…dude.

    I will be glad to wait until she’s of legal age (or whenever she’s declared competent to manage her own online affairs–age 35, right, John? :-) ) before even thinking about pressing the “Friend Request” button. Presumably both Facebook and I will still be around by then.

  36. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing that John. I found it particularly amusing that she reached out for her mother via a facebook comment. If she’s like my kids, I’m sure it was in jest… but still. Had that been a conversation with one of mine, my follow-up comment would have been… “well played!”


  37. OMG. Like. She just like accepted my friend request. I mean, how winningly epic. NOW. I. HAVE. DIRECT. ACCESS. TO. CHARLES. STROSS.
    Athena Stross just unfriended me.
    Well, now I’m confused . . .

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