Why I Love Facebook

Jun 16, 2009

There are certain things that are “staples” in my daily life. Eating, taking care of my family, going to work (or working from home, whichever may be the case on any particular day), sleeping (on the occasion that my children permit me to do so), and Facebook. Yes, it’s true. Facebook is an integral part of my day and I’m not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I don’t even feel guilty about it and this is why . . .

I am a “people person.” I like to be around people, talking to people, spending time with people. I enjoy being with others. Unfortunately, the only other “others” I get to be around most days are about 3 feet tall and have limited vocabularies. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my kids and I like to believe that they enjoy spending time with me, too. But, my two-year-old does not let me complain to him about how he woke me up 3 times last night. And, my six-year-old does not laugh when I tell her how her father somehow managed to screw up buying cupcake liners when I sent him to the store for them at 10 pm. No. My kids are great, but they hardly enhance my daily verbal interactions.

The thing is, I’m a stay-at-home mom , thus I’m home - a LOT. Even if I have on my “work” hat, I am still usually at home – grading papers or writing articles or submitting reports. There is a great deal of time in my day where I have no adult interaction. In fact, sometimes the only adult I see all day is my husband and, for those of you who know Rob, you know why conversation with him may not “fill me up.” Rob is not a “talker” – in fact, I think he feels that once he comes home from work, he has “used up” all the words he had in him that day while he was at work. Thus, when he walks in the door at night, he only has about 10 or 15 words left in him and those generally revolve around dinner.

So, what’s a girl (who wants to interact with friends) to do? My answer: Facebook.

When I enter the world of Facebook, it’s as if I’m not really the only adult in sight. I can find out what my friends are doing that day, where they are going, what’s making them laugh (or cry), who’s ticked them off in the last 24 hours or made their day better. I know whose kids have misbehaved (making me feel better about my own little munchkins) and whose husbands are being even more forgetful or absent minded than my own. I get to hear about their vacations and see their family photos. I can reminisce about elementary school and laugh about old teachers one minute and then, a moment later, be chatting with a former college professor and wondering how his kids, the ones I used to babysit, are now getting married.

And then, a few minutes after that, I can go and unload the dishwasher or put in a load of laundry or feed my children their lunch and be totally present in that moment with them.

The thing about Facebook is, it fits into my crazy, hectic, unpredictable life. I’d love to sit down for hours with each of my 400 or so Facebook friends and shoot the breeze. But, there’s just no time, at least not in my crazy world, to sit down with even one or two of my friends for very long. There are dinners to be made, laundry to be done, toys to be picked up and kids who keep wanting to be fed, bathed, dressed, played with and taken places. There are work schedules and deadlines to be kept, bills to be paid, and repairs to be made.

And, even if I could find the time to hang out with some friends, there is no way my kids would be quiet enough to let us have a great conversation. And then, of course, there is the issue of location, location, location. I live in Texas but many of my grade school friends still live on the east coast, my college friends are spread out all around the country and our military friends are all over the world.

But on Facebook, they are all right there in my living room. And we’re having a great time.

I have also found that, through Facebook, I have been able to answer some of life’s pressing questions -one of those questions being, “Whatever happened to so-and-so?” For the most part now, I know. It turns out that college roommate I lost touch with now lives in Colorado and has three kids. One guy I went to high school with is a published author. What happened to the roommate I had when I was in the NJ Junior Miss pageant at the age of 17? Oh, she’s now living in England. My first real crush, in 7th grade – where did he end up? Well, though we went to school together in NJ, it turns out he now lives just a few hours away from me in Texas with his wife and 4 daughters.

Does Facebook take the place of real relationships in my life? No. In fact, I think if anything, it enhances them. I know more about my kids’ babysitter than I would if I only saw her when she came to take care of my children. I look forward to my high school and college reunions now with an enthusiasm I never had before. Since I already know what these people have been up to for the past few (or twenty) years, I think we’ll all have a much better time when we finally meet up again. And, although I like to think I keep in pretty good touch with all my local friends, in truth, without Facebook, there is no way I would be able to know about or keep track of each one’s everyday lives and activities.

The funny thing is, I resisted getting on Facebook in the first place. My husband . . . my best friend . . . they kept telling me how much I’d enjoy it, but I stood firm . . . until, of course, I weakened. And now, I’m glad I did.

We all need friends in our everyday life. And, I truly believe, though I may not see many of these people in person, or speak to them regularly on the phone, they are real and true friends. If I post a sorrow I have experienced or a frustration I am feeling, they lift me up with their words of encouragement. They laugh along with me at the crazy antics of my children and sigh loudly when my husband once again loses his keys or wallet or cell phone or sunglasses.

And, I do the same for them – at least, I hope they feel I do.


Anonymous said...

I feel the same way! There should be a "like" option on here like on fb. I would definately hit it.=)

Al said...

I am just horrible about keeping in touch with people that are not in my immediate circle (work and family). This helps make up for that deficiency and is a nice escape.

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