Don't be too welcoming
Picture courtesy of Flickr user; YoHandy
Of course, all of these cautionary tales involve people who are being mean. Is the solution to be nice, instead? To be welcoming to others? To make your home theirs?
Perhaps not. In the UK, at least, there have been a rash of stories of parties advertised on Facebook that got completely out of hand. One party resulted in cigarette burns, stolen cash, and egg fights; another urine-soaked beds and vandalized samurai swords. Both were classic examples of teens holding a surreptitious party while their parents were out of town -- a long and honorable tradition, but one whose potential for destruction is magnified by the ease of forwarding invites on line. Another Facebook-advertised party, this one in two unoccupied houses in a posh London neighborhood, ended with the riot police being called in to restore order and London's busiest road being temporarily shut down.
But don't think that this is a Brit-only phenomenon. A group of Nebraska teens planned to throw what they called on Facebook a "History Making House Party" while their parents were away, and assured potential guests that they shouldn't "worry about the cops because I have a police scanner so I will have the heads up if they come." Of course, the cops also have access to Facebook and shut the party down about a half hour after it started. But hey, now we're getting back to Facebook crime and punishment again, aren't we?