Am I the Only one Who Can’t Handle Facebook?
I just can’t be.
And yet…I look at the cool, interesting, happy, or maybe tortured, but in any case somehow styled, or, rather, curated, pictures strewn across my computer screen—people I once knew, people I wished I had never met, people I long (ed?) to be more like….oh, the heartache of Facebook. And part of the weirdness is that the whole thing of it makes everyone else seem so invulnerable. Their witty quips, their adorable everything. It’s total Marsha, Marsha, Marsha in my head.
Please don’t misunderstand. I love my blue house, my beautiful kid, my Big T, this crazy hot day and the smell of my own sweet sweaty armpit. Aaaah….big sniff. And after all these years of Zen practice, I know a hell-realm when I see it. Facebook transforms me into a voracious hungry ghost, unable to be nourished by the food at my own table, and in a state of envy and psychic disarray, trying to stuff more of whatever it is they have into my little cake-hole, but alas, nothing satisfies. Am I alone?
Plus, facebook hurts my feelings. I have had so many bizarre experiences with old friends, people I really truly loved, wherein we “connected” and then just when I was all ready for more, nothing. Dumped on Facebook. Yuk. Trying to navigate the terrain of those “friends” and “likes” I feel like one of those characters from kid’s book like Morris the Moose, the big dumb animal, or Amelia Bedelia, the ditzy maid, total concrete thinkers who get themselves into all kinds of trouble, like the time the band teacher told Amelia to, “Go into that closet and get the wind instrument,” and she came out with a fan. As my six year old would say, that’s just an expression!
(Duh, they don’t really “like” you.)
[I know this may be painful to read, like you might feel embarrassed for me. It’s ok.]
And then there’s the Time-suck problem. Not to be underestimated in the life of a freelance writer on the computer, at home, alone all day.
Clearly, I am constitutionally lacking the social engagement filters or ego-strength or whatever it takes to maintain one’s equilibrium on Facebook. And what makes it worse (and truly confounding), is that is really does seem like everyone else is coasting along in their little thumbnails.
So, why even concern myself with it? Because my friends and husband are encouraging me to get back on the FB bandwagon in order to promote this very thing, my…..”blog.” (Another problem: I am STRUGGLING with the word “blog” because it makes me feel so….silly. Like, come on, another…”blog?” As in, another thing the world does not need? I admit, I have a hard time doing what everyone is doing. I come by it honestly. My Grandma Beryl, after all, refused to go socialize at her adult-living situation because everyone there was A: old B: female and C: Jewish. More on this later) And when I refused, reminding them how how crazed with melancholy and longing I became on FB, they suggested just making a Is this My Chair.com page. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with anyone personally. Well, they’re right, you know, I thought, everyone is on facebook. Don’t you want readers? Are you a man or are you a mouse? Give me a break. You can do this.
So onto Facebook I went.
And wouldn’t you know it, those FB smarty-pants kept my whole profile, my friends, the whole shebang right in the thing, so as soon as I activated my account as myself, just in order to figure out how to give myself a new account as not myself, I was accosted by all my “friends” telling me what was new, what they ate last night, how much their kids had grown, what was going on in Egypt (according to them), how NPR is lame, how much they were not mentioning their wives (divorce?). The great news is that I clicked and scrolled with sweaty palms for a good 20 minutes, then when T called to ask how it was going, I told him the truth: there is no way I can do this. And de-activated myself again. For good.
Sure, I would love to have some readers. But not like this. The thing is, not only does Facebook make me feel bad, I also think the whole thing is really weird. I mean, I get it, it’s kind of fun to see what everyone’s doing, and I know it’s totally 80’s mom-ish of me to say this, but it also kind of kills the fun of wondering what people are up to. Somehow or other Zuckerman and his posse have figured out the secret for editing a life just so, with just the right grit and glamor to make everything look kind of good, or at least palatable, and view-able. Objectified, as we used to say. As much as I have always craved to be included in that subject/object loop, on one end or the other, ultimately, I guess I would rather be a reader-less writer living an ordinary life (with lots of real friends who post my stuff on FB).