I recently rejoined Facebook after about a three-year hiatus. I had suspended my account after realizing a) how much time I was spending perusing posts from people, some of whom I hardly even know and b) how annoyed I was that everyone else’s life appeared to be so picture perfect in all those postings. But I have been lured back to Facebook for several reasons.
Not being on Facebook these days is like not having a telephone, at least for a mom with school-age kids. I realized today that I am in jeopardy of missing play dates, PTO meetings, special discounts at my favorite retailers and restaurants, and more. I was winning back some “me” time, and probably some privacy, by not being on Facebook, but I was losing touch by not being able to be “messaged” on Facebook. It’s like everyone at work getting the memo but you. And no one bothers to send you an email or a text (and forget about snail-mail – does that even exist any more?). You just get left out. And as a SAHM of three, I already feel pretty left out of the universe. The middle-schooler in me just can’t stand it. But by not being on Facebook, my kids are also being left out. And the mama in me can’t stand that even more.
Now, I’m not about to go “Friending” people all over the place. And I’m not going to get sucked into “Liking” everyone’s posts and pictures. But I am going to “Like” my children’s preschool, elementary school, the YMCA, a slew of retailers (Target, of course), and certain not-for-profit organizations. I am going to monitor my privacy settings diligently, to make sure they are not reset by some mysterious “computer glitch.” I am going to welcome invitations parents of my girls’ friends, teachers, actual people I have met, and, of course, friends and family.
I also realized that the day is coming soon when I will need to “Friend” my daughters, and hope to God that they will accept. For this reason, also, I need to understand the politics of Facebook.
I should note here that I did not have to completely rejoin Facebook, for anyone out there contemplating staying or leaving. I went back thinking I would need to create a whole new account and discovered that all my information was still there in storage – my contacts, my pictures, my likes. Somehow they knew I’d be back. Kind of scary. Wonder if all that stuff would still have been there if I had waited 10 years?
Maybe some of you out there will be disappointed in me for giving in and “joining” up again. I totally understand. Just know I’m still the same person I used to be, no matter how my life looks, or doesn’t look, on Facebook.