Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Facebook and Me--The Untold Story

Kids have it easy these days.  When I was younger, we had to rifle through people's garbage to find out what they were up to.  Now, there is Facebook.  There are only a few reasons why I like this social networking tool.  It allows me to interact with people without actually having to see, hear or smell them.

We post our hopes, dreams and photos on Facebook.  There are people who post photos of their baby with the umbilical cord still attached.  There is some sort of an infinite hypersonic race to get photos on their "wall" with the breakneck agility and speed of a two-time Kentucky Derby winning racehorse as quickly as it is humanly achievable without actually being a horse.

There are times, though, that I feel like Facebook is like the evil pirate of life and I want to kick his peg leg from under him.
I have learned through battered experience that there are 3 things in life you NEVER do:

Pirates make me nervous and so does Facebook.  I resisted Facebook for a very long time.  I finally worked up the nerve to make a page and after very little thought or effort I put up a profile picture that looked like my eyeballs were hanging out.  I then sat back to see what I had.
Zero friends.  Can they make that zero a bit bigger so the aliens living in the next solar system can make it out? I felt like it was laughing at me, taunting me, pushing me further and further onto the plank of rejection only to fall into an ocean of seclusion and self-doubt.  It was actually a bit depressing.  I had to fill out the profile information next. My only skills are sleeping and eating. Now, the entire world knows. And to top it off, I was supposed to come up with a status on the fly, just like that.

I didn't want a ham-fisted potpourri of words to redeem itself as my status.  My status had to completely dominate the online world.  I became consumed by anxiety and started to wonder what the big deal was with Facebook anyway.

Apparently, people either text or Facebook now.  Do people actually talk anymore?  What about countries? Does Rwanda or Zimbabwe have a Facebook page? Would the world's problems be solved simply by not speaking and merely having statuses? After all, we need to know what is going on.

Sometimes, I believe that there is a bigger picture here that we do not see. Does Mark Zuckerberg actually work for the CIA? The CIA's work has been cut by two-thirds since the onset of Facebook (OK, I am just making stuff up now).  But, think about it.  Our entire lives (interests, friends, thoughts and what we had for breakfast) are consolidated onto one platform...Facebook.    What about "Operation Farmville?"  That pacifies the unemployed and retired so they are distracted from the bigger picture of not having any money to pay their bills because of the economy.  Everything is right there on one platform for the CIA to utilize.

At times, though, I have trouble keeping up with my newfound Facebook life.  I reached the point of having three friends and they started sucking the life out of me.  They posted pictures of their happy families and get togethers and I only have a picture of my blog.

As my Facebook page had grown to the three friends and other people had blocked me permanently, I realized that people stopped calling because it was easier just to "update."  My only outside contact with the world seemed to fade away into an abyss of loneliness and despair.  At times, I tried to convince myself in an argument not to get discouraged.  Sometimes, I was on the winning end of the argument, but then...

My initial thirst for Facebook imploded on itself, leaving behind this huge dark hole inside of me full of self-doubt and insecurity.  As though a special award was created for them doing so, the evil minions inside of my stomach started to pounce and jump in the hole the implosion had created.  As a result of the confluence of the many disappointments of Facebook, I started to feel defeated.  I pathetically started to expect failure from myself.  I began to think that the minions were rabid.

And then one day I get a message and a friend request from this kid I had never met.  
As I read this, the dark hole inside of me began to fill with this gooey sense of pride and joy and the evil minions became trapped in the goo and I think they died, which is a good thing because that is what I wanted them to do.  Not live.

I quickly accepted the request, but not too quickly (play it cool, Tracie, play it cool) and updated my status.

Ok, I have one more thing to say:

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  1. haha... I still haven't joined FB... I get the greatest sense of satisfaction when people ask me if I'm on FB - and I get to say no.... Feels oh so good!

  2. You are doing good, then! I have to keep my fan page open or I would close mine...

  3. Your welcome! Always ready for an entertaining trip down a lane of your choosing. This profile echos my dislike of fb. I made a page long ago on there and put some of my art on it. I took it down when the TOS claimed ownership of said art. Since then, I just make profiles to talk to people who are exclusive to fb on the net.

  4. I knew the evil minions were luchadores! Facebook only serves to fill me with rage at people I once liked. But you're right, I feel held hostage because there are people who presumptuously only tell people about events through there. Oh the irritation.

  5. Hahah that last picture would make a great valentine's day card for elementary school kids to give each other!

  6. I have a facebook account, but I only check on it about four times a year, or when someone sends me something that can only be viewed on FB.

    I'm convinced there are two types of people in the world, Twitter People and Facebook People. I'm a Twitter Person. It's much more interactive and current. Miss something on Facebook, and it's still around days later, but miss it on twitter, and the moment's gone forever; but the next moment's just as interesting.

    Poor Zimbabwe! We should send it a Farmville cow. Maybe that would cheer it up?

  7. I like facebook...I like faces, and I like books, so it stands to reason! Also, considering I'm not a supercool awesome childrens book author, the people I'm friends with on FB are actually people I know in real life and have met and have decided are not annoying enough to never see again. So I use FB as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family living in other states (because they have not learned of the awesome that is living in NY).

    Love the blog!

  8. I like facebook but I don't. It really is like a drug.

    And a recent study shows it's harder to quit FB than it is to quit smoking...

    I'm glad you were able to find your place in the internet-sun. My facebook fan page is, well, not as successful.

  9. Im addicted to facebook, Im scared of the new timeline, which i added today, EEEEP! But Im going to win the fight and figure it all out, right? ahhhhh! I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my social outlets. Have real conversations with real people in real life? pffft! Thats crazy ;)

  10. Yeah, that is crazy! I wouldn't know what to say if I had to have an actual conversation with someone!

  11. The issue, I think, is that social networking can easily push aside social living. Especially for people like me, who are kind of lazy and antisocial a lot of the time. I'm honestly not very good at having a personal facebook site. My husband is super paranoid about having his picture online. And besides, I always feel like I look chubby in pictures. Ha! I've recently started using it for my blog, and I actually like it a lot more when it's less personal.

    And also, I laughed out loud at Zimbabwe's status updates.

  12. I have had Facebook for a few years a love it. Just started doing the Twitter thing. They take up too much of my time, but I can't imagine giving them up.

  13. "How many pictures of a BBQ can one person have?"

    So true!

    I was invited to be on Facebook in early 2008 when a British girl I was traveling in Cambodia with asked me of I was on it. I got my page and then I had 0 friends for a year because it had not reached my peer group (deep in the suburbs of Canada) yet.

    I just thought you put a page up and that was it. *face palm*

    I still only have 30 friends.

    Joke's totally on me.

  14. I just love Zimbabwe's status! Amazing spin you put on this. Your creativity is out of this world:)

  15. This is essentially the story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

    First, there was cynicism and scoff. Then, there was alienation and rejection. This lead to paranoia and disillusionment with the larger scheme of things and general despondence. But then, just when everything seemed on the brink of apocalypse, a small act of random human kindness and friendship redeemed all the world.

    And now... you are on Facebook and all the Whos in Whoville can sing Wahoo Wahoo...

    Also, damn Zimbabwe is always having a bad week. Maybe someone should tag them in some funny photos or poke them.

    You're so clever, I love it!

  16. You hit a homerun as always! I hope whoever is in your life appreciates you because you are incredibly creative, funny, talented and the list goes on. You certainly don't need Facebook for that. There are people who hide behind Facebook and texting...remember that.

    I hope you never stop drawing and writing because I am getting completely addicted to your blog!

  17. If I hadn't deactivated my FB page I'd TOTALLY FRIEND U!!!!!

    Well, unless you declined and then blocked me. Then I'd have to suicide myself.

    Now you know why I deactivated by FB page.

  18. Lovely post, Tracie! You had me cracking up after the "How many pictures could you possibly have of one barbeque?" picture...

    I'm not a huge Facebook fan, but I know what you felt when that boy sent you the request. Something like that happenned to me with a student of mine and I felt so good afterwards...

    You're awesome! I love your blog!

  19. I am officially in the awesome people bunch!

  20. I'm heading over to Facebook now with a friend request!

  21. Best of luck on making it to double digits.

  22. I become less in love with Facebook everyday but yet I am compelled to keep my account because I am a nosy so-and-so. It's like the online version of neighbourhood watch!

  23. I appreciate being able to stalk on Facebook, but Twitter is much better for putting yourself completely out into the public!

  24. oh, where have you been all my life? this is hysterical. I would totally friend you if I was on facebook. but I'm not, so I will have to cyber-stalk your blog instead.

    status: today was a good for me. I found a new funny blog.

    MOV (yeah-- that mothersofbrothersblog kooky lady)

  25. Hi. My name is Missy and I have a Facebook problem. Sigh, I need an intervention. I have to admit that I'm one of those suckers who gets on FB often. I use it to keep in touch with some friends/family who don't live near me (I'm one of those anti-phone people). I love your blog, especially the pictures.

  26. Tracie, love your Blog.
    This post was so funny as I too am a chocolate lover although I have managed to restrain myself a little over the last couple of years.

    I only like Milk chocolate, not too keen on dark chocolate, but will 'force' myself to eat it if it is the last one in the box.

    Thanks for popping into The Faith Lounge and being my latest follower.

    Have a great week.

  27. This is a great post. I have a love/hate facebook. Love it then hate it when I lose people on my page. :)

  28. There are a lot of good things and a lot of bad things about facebook... not sure which one outweighs which one! Good post! :)