Monday, June 4, 2012
Why I don't hate Facebook anymore
I have been resistant to the idea of joining Facebook for a long time. For one, I was busy with two little kids. For two, I wasn't particularly interested in reconnecting with high school classmates I hadn't seen in fifteen years. I also didn't like the idea of random people poking through photos of my kids or snippets of my daily life. It seemed a little creepy. I didn't really understand why some people are so persistent about staying connected with people from the past with whom they no longer have anything in common, save having gone to the same high school. It seemed, well, lame. However, as time goes on and more of my friends and family plan events or share pictures and information via Facebook, I have increasingly been left out of the loop. So about a month ago, I caved and set up an account. I cautiously friended a few close friends and family and was instantly rewarded with posts from them on my wall, most to the effect of, "Yea, you're finally on Facebook!" "Okay," I thought,"this isn't so bad," as I discovered privacy controls and set everything so only my approved friends could see my stuff. I discovered Facebook as a really easy way to share photos and funny stories about the kids, and I began to enjoy keeping up with others better than I had in years. I found out about my aunt's new boat the day she got it, and I knew when my cousin's kids got strep throat. I felt more connected to people than I had in a long time. Jason made fun of me, but I knew about the heinous turf burn his sister got on her leg for sliding into second base wearing shorts before he did, so there (envision me sticking my tongue out here). I was happily hooked on the world's most prolific social media site.... Until I tagged my sister in a photo of my mom's birthday party. I tagged her, innocently wanting to be sure she saw the picture. I did not, however, anticipate that HER friends would see the photo on her wall, realize then that I was on Facebook, and then friend me, send me messages, and post old high school photos of me on their own pages. You see, my sister, it turns out, is Facebook friends with a number of people we grew up with, including my high school boyfriend. I must admit, the onslaught of communication from past friends and acquaintances somewhat freaked me out. After mulling it over for a day or two, though, I decided to accept most of those friend requests. While it may initially have been a little unsettling to realize people I haven't laid eyes on in fifteen years were looking at pictures of my mom's birthday party at my house last weekend, what's the real harm? I know, I know - stalkers. But I put the risk of being stalked as a non-celebrity up there with being struck by lightning or winning the lottery. Besides, isn't it sort of narcissistic of me to think there are people out there chomping at the bit to be my stalker? But I digress... I feel I'm at a point in my life when everything has come together and is working harmoniously. It started with Jason. Being with him, observing how he handles himself, has given me the strength and insight to be my whole, real self and to love that self, even with its flaws. We have two wonderful little boys - something I've wanted for a long time. We live in a peaceful neighborhood near parks and trails and the lake. I have discovered yoga, which has improved my fitness, both mind and body, tremendously. My dad and I own a business together which gives me a sense of purpose and allows me to set my own hours. I feel like I've achieved a good degree of balance in life. So maybe I needed to be here, at this point in my life, before I was ready to reconnect with my past. Now that I feel more secure in who I am than ever before, whomever I was or whatever I did in the past is no longer a threat to undermine my self- confidence. After thinking it over, I decided I might actually enjoy a few virtual chats with old pals. Now that I'm feeling such satisfaction in my life, I've been thinking about my life's lack of continuity - how it seems much of what happened when I was young happened to someone else. I've changed so much over the years, I don't at all feel like the naive girl with long blond hair and braces that I was in high school. I examine old photos of her and feel very little connection. Even though the messages I've now exchanged with a few long-lost high school buddies have been brief and superficial, they've given me a line to my past reminding me it was real. That innocent girl (who does not know what the hell she is doing, though she thinks she does, by the way) is still a part of me. It's given me a feeling of continuity from then to now. So, in summary, my life is now complete....because of Facebook??