Oh the awkwardness!
By Holly Carrington
Technology is a wonderful thing, as long as you don't fall into the virtual abyss and lose all sight of reality.
I'm teetering dangerously close to a Facebook/Pinterest overload, and I made a little list of things that have changed in my own life since the introduction of these popular social media hubs.
1. I experience many things with a Facebook post in mind. From my wedding day to the birth of our child, I was thinking of witticisms that I would sprinkle throughout my photo album- my online photo album. I've truly lost my mind on this one, right?
2. My mom has turned into a Facebook aficionado. Remember when none of our parents knew what Facebook was? It was like an exclusive inside joke. We could post hilarious college photos and movie quotes. Now, when I try to branch out and say something vaguely political, I see the red message alert and know that my mom has been reading what I posted and wants to weigh in on it. Love you, mom.
3. KIDS! I can make fun of this only because I'm so guilty of it. I post a picture of my daughter at least once a week and besides getting comments from close friends and, ahem, my mom, I'm starting to wonder if anyone else cares. Does the casual acquaintance whom I met on a recent trip really care if my daughter really enjoyed her ice cream outing this week? Definitely not! But guess what? I'm too proud of her to care. I can't help it that she's so brilliant, beautiful and creative...like everyone else's kid.
4. Politically Incorrect. I've had about enough of the the mudslinging, the name calling, the threats and that's just within my relatively small news feed. The political pictures and impassioned pleas from both parties is starting to get a little tired. I don't need to see endless quotes from candidates and everyone's opinion, the inevitable backlash and vicious wall postings. Has it really come to this? I think they are much better and appropriate forums in which to rationally and respectfully express your political points of view.
5. Words like "tagging," "Facebooking" and "defriending" seem to be coarsening our society. When these words are used in our everyday vernacular, what has become of real human interaction? Remember when you could snap a picture and six to eight weeks later wait patiently at the drugstore to receive your prints? Remember when you didn't want to be friends with someone and you had to have a huge, public fight and everyone on the bus knew you weren't friends anymore? Oh, sometimes I yearn for the good old days of mandatory social interaction with people, you know, when you met up with someone and had a really conversation? No login name was required.
6. Now, there are the "others." My husband has become a conscientious Facebook objector. Sure, he had his fun, but he found that he was using his valuable down time to peruse Facebook and made a decision to stop the madness. Remember in Groundhog Day when Bill Murray's character says there are two types of people: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't. Well, now it's those who are logged on and those who aren't. I have another friend who refuses to have a Facebook account, but she's constantly missing event invites, major life announcements and opportunities to tell people about her fundraisers. It's a delicate balancing act to be on Facebook but not live for Facebook.
7. It makes me awkward! Something strange is happening when you see what people are doing every day and you don't actually see people every day. It messes with your mind. Sometimes I feel like a certifiable stalker when a person mentions what they did the other day, and I nod enthusiastically and say, "I know, how was your trip to Oceans of Fun? It looks like you guys had the best time!" Or even worse, when I know where they were, but I feel too awkward to say anything and they proceed to tell me every detail. Oh, such self-inflicted awkwardness.
8. The rise of "slacktivism." This one goes hand in hand with the political posts. Remember the trend on changing your profile picture to your favorite cartoon character to raise awareness about child abuse? There was no set cause, no money raised, just a bunch of adults who now had Rainbow Brite and Snoopy as their picture. Grassroots activism starts with a concrete cause, a legitimate plan and usually a 501(c)(3) status.
I know that Facebook is like anything other activity, it's completely fine in moderation. Just make sure people get to see your beautiful face in person more often!
OK, I'm stepping off my "wall." Feel free to post this on your Facebook, I know I will.