At some point last year, I created a Facebook account and figured out how to link my website to it. It worked, but not the way I had expected it to work. The link just became lost at the bottom of the pile of other postings. How to use this social networking site has eluded me.
I have been chastised by friends and family for not being on Facebook more often. So this last week, I decided it was time to tame the angry beast – it only made me angry. I raged about it on my blog. It made me feel isolated and alone and I was convinced no one really knew how to use Facebook; it was just dumb luck they had stuff on their sites.
I settled down a little later and learned a few things, but much of it didn’t make sense and it still doesn’t. I found a high school friend, but not directly through Facebook. Facebook came up with no match for her name. Then I Googled her and Google found her Facebook account and I went in through a “back door,” but have no idea how I did it.
After I requested permission to be her “friend,” I had to sit back and wait for her to accept my request, which is also an isolating feeling. You wonder if they will accept and if they don’t, will it affect your self-esteem. So I waited by reading my friends’ and family’s pages and pages of comments, thoughts, moods, news events, videos and on and on.
When I was done, my head was spinning, I was still raging on a bit and I had wasted the entire morning and early afternoon. Let’s just say my husband and kids were lucky I finally looked at the clock or I would’ve forgotten to make dinner and pick up my kids. As I got dinner ready, I kept running back into the computer room to see if my friend had accepted my request. Total insanity!
Saturday I was out of the house all day and I resisted checking my Facebook account when I got home to see if my friend request had been accepted. I had a long day and I couldn’t stand the thought of being rejected at the end of it. So I didn’t look.
Here it is Sunday morning and I finally sat down and looked. First, though, I fixed our Netflix streaming to our TV in our family room and fixed our TV as our 2nd screen in our Computer room. (It was all very complicated, so I won’t go into detail, except to say that I do not know what my family does to make these devices’ settings change when I’m not looking). Sadly, fixing these things before I looked to see if I had been accepted as a friend gave me the confidence boost I needed in case I was rejected.
I was accepted as a friend! So then I spent the morning looking at my “new” friend’s Facebook pages and looking to see all the old high school classmates she was “friends” with. The whole morning!
Many feelings went through my head as I looked at pictures of people I knew in high school. My confidence rose and crashed several times over the hours I spent perusing Facebook; comparing my life to theirs.
When I finally came up for air, I realized I had wasted yet several more hours on this social networking site and I hadn’t talked to a single person, my life hadn’t changed, and I had lost several hours I would never get back.
I do think it’s a great tool for getting in touch with people, but for me it is also a creativity smasher. I couldn’t think of anything to write, I couldn’t feel anything, and I couldn’t even get my head wrapped around something creative. So I did the only thing I could do, I attacked the kitchen that was ignored while I was busy “networking” with nobody.
I loaded the dishwasher, filled the sink up with hot, soapy water, washed the pots and pans, scrubbed the counters and sinks and came back down to reality and got back in touch with my creativity (okay, I had a Michael Jackson cd playing, too).
Really, all I need is a sink full of hot, soapy water; forget Facebook – I should check to see if my friend responded to me.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com.