You know, just by how many times I mention it, that I'm on facebook. I don't like to admit it, but I'm on there quite a bit. Not like I'm on there commenting and posting and liking things all the live long day, but thanks to technology and smart phones and stuff like that, it's safe to say that I'm a daily user.
I have mixed feelings about it.
There are positives aplenty. I've been reconnected with so many people thanks to facebook, people I know for a fact I wouldn't have any interaction with otherwise. Friends from grade school, friends from high school, friends from weird past-life places. I've even become friends with people I've never met, simply because we both have mutual friends and somehow found each other through random posts.
If you like your favorite stores and movie theaters and brands, you can sometimes get sweet deals through facebook. If you like your favorite bloggers and writers and actors and chefs (I like food so much), you can keep tabs on their latest releases and shows and whatnot.
Speaking of writers..I am a HUUUUUUUGE fan of the author Jennifer Weiner. If you're reading my blog, I'm sure you know her, if not, check out her website here. Girl has talent. If you haven't read her stuff, I highly recommend you do so. In fact, if we're real life friends, let me know...I have several of her books here. I think my favorite book of hers is the first one I read, "Good in Bed". She is a champion of fluffy ladies everywhere, a mom and a wife, and either she's a really good bullshitter (and has one hell of a personal assistant) or else she's remained incredibly real and human even though she's a New York Times bestselling author and probably a bazillionaire.
Anyhoo...so of course I like her on facebook. She seems to be one of the very few "celebrities" who actually post things on their facebook pages themselves (I'll admit right here that I'm a fan of Kendra Wilkinson, too, and I think she actually posts as well. I love Kendra!). Last week, Jennifer mentioned that she was doing a Q&A on Jezebel and encouraged her facebook fans to ask some questions. She said, "Ask me anything". I wasn't going to be home at the time of the Jezebel thing, so I asked her a question on facebook, it went a little something like this: "Do you read blogs? What do you think of them? And will you read mine?" because I am a shameless person. And honestly, I never in a million years thought that a: she'd read it and b: she'd answer it.
But she did. She did BOTH of those things. Imagine how geekily happy I was when I saw that notification: "Jennifer Weiner also commented on Jennifer Weiner's status". And then imagine the weird noises I made when I saw that she had replied directly to my question! Me! Little old me! She replied (and yes I've memorized it because I am desperate like that): "Yes, I read blogs, and if you send me a link, I'll read yours!". If this was a screenplay, it would say: Cut to the hungry lady on the Ikea couch, who is squealing. Loudly. I ran and told all of my kids, I think Henry looked up from his Playstation game and said, "Cool". The others asked me if I was going to make dinner any time soon. Or second dinner, I can't remember. But it was AWESOME. And of course I posted a facebook status about it, because I'm a sharer. And a famous author had acknowledged me, people.
Will she read it? I don't know. In my fantasy world, that same fantasy world where Jennifer Aniston and I dis our ex-husbands over margaritas, Jennifer Weiner reads my blog, cries and laughs and then sends me an email saying, "We should be friends" (can you hear the restraining order papers shuffling?). In the real world? Who knows. She comes across as someone very real. She also has said, in many interviews and such, that she is grateful for the support she received when first starting out and tries to do the same. So, Jennifer (Weiner this time, not Aniston), if you are reading? THANK YOU. And I suggest you start at the beginning of the blog (clicking "newer post" at the bottom) (because I'm the one who will instruct a best selling author how to read a blog)(someone slap me, now) lately I'm all about Weight Watchers and pre-party psychosis.
So there you have the good things about facebook. Friends, authors, coupons. I love that.
What I don't like so much? There are a few things. I can't stand the way you only see a select few of your friends on the newsfeed. I miss so many things that dear friends post. Things that I see a few days late, and only because a mutual friend will comment on it. And then I'm the one, 5 days after they announce that someone has died or that they just got a great new job or that they just came back from eloping, commenting "So sorry" or "Congrats" or "AWWWW!!".
I don't like the political and religious postings.
I really don't like the daily platitude things that everyone (including me, ha) posts. Although some of them are actually pretty good, most are things we've all read before. A few times. Like, several. Lately, the platitudians seem to be getting lazy, too. Like, "Write something simply profound on a dry erase board and take a picture of it" lazy. At least some of them are pretty.
I don't like that I had to block my mom from some of my posts because she'd use that as a form of communication. I'd post something on someone's wall: "Hey, good seeing you last night" and my mom would comment, "WHEn are you coming over?". Or when a good friend of mine, who happens to be male, would post something to me, she'd comment, "WHO is ToNY? Is he SIngle?".
(Re-reading that last paragraph has actually made me tear up a bit. I'm falling behind in the daughter department and reading that stuff makes me feel guilty. Note to self: call your mother.)
I don't like that icky envious feeling I get when friends who have seemingly charmed lives will post things about those charmed lives. And for the record? I'm happy as a clam for my friends, truly. A lot of these people have worked their asses off to get where they are, and I'm proud of them. Some have married really well, and dammit, I'm proud of them, too. I just don't like how I react to these things sometimes. I should stay off of facebook when I'm PMSing. Because that's when the green monster comes out full force. I'll read something like, "We just got back from Paris, so blessed! Life is good!" and I'll be sitting there, all bloated and broke and worried and think, "Oh yes. Life is so good!" and then I'll feel shame for thinking that and then start calculating how many points are in a block of cheese and a box of saltines. It's a sort of downward-spiral thing, folks.
I forgot to mention my addiction to Words with Friends and Scrabble. Which reminds me, please play WWF and Scrabble with me. I need distractions.
There's also the stalkery aspect about facebook. I will confess right here and right now, that I've done it. I have looked up old flames and old nemesis (nemeses?). Just the other day, out of sheer boredom and curiosity (I will do almost anything to avoid cleaning), I looked up one of my old victims...Curiously Cheap George. George is looking good, and I saw that he has a lady in his life. I looked at the pictures (seriously, doesn't everyone know about privacy settings???) and I wondered if he had given her the old "anal bead" treatment yet. She's tiny. My sphincter muscle felt some sympathy pains.
I'm also friends with a couple former lovahs, and that sometimes feels awkward. Particularly when one former beau deleted my Happy Birthday wish on his wall. Like it was Monica Lewinsky wishing Bill Clinton a happy birthday. It was almost 25 years ago, man! We were young and not married and it's all good now. Or maybe it isn't? Who knows. There are a couple of Handsy types that I'm friends with, too....husbands that have been overly friendly, if you catch my drift. There's one in particular, I haven't written about him yet but I'm sure I will, "Fistpump Johnny" is his moniker. I hate that little jump I feel in my chest when he posts something on my wall, or likes something. It makes me feel dirty and icky and brings back some not so super memories.
Facebook has a very creeping-Charlie-like aspect to it...I'm horrified at how many times I've actually looked for a "like" button on my phone while reading a text. And yesterday, when I was walking Walter, and he was stopping at every other blade of grass to sniff it like it was the most interesting thing in the world, I said to myself, "That's the dog version of liking something on facebook. Peeing on it." I said that out loud. To myself. On a deserted walking trail.
And there you have it. The good, the bad, the facebook. I'll see you on there soon, right?