I haven’t seen the movie but I feel like I am living the life. At every turn lately, I feel those butterflies of uncertainty that cause so much angst in a young girl’s life. I thought I had moved on. I thought I had overcome the anguish of letting others define my self worth with superficial measurements. I thought I was immune to peer pressure and cliquish behavior. I thought I was strong and secure in my womanhood. That was until two weeks ago. That was until I realized that the teenager in me is still alive and well. That was until I joined FaceBook.
I always thought that FaceBook was for a younger generation, the MySpace/ I-Pod generation, the generation that hangs at StarBucks. Then I started to realize that everyone I knew was on FaceBook—even my mother-in-law. On a whim, while watching American Idol, I decided to register. Within minutes I was surrounded by friends. It was truly the most amazing thing I have seen. I was in contact with friends from high school, from college, from down the street. I had a window into my children’s lives, into the lives of neighbors that I only had said “Hello” to in the grocery story, into relatives that I hadn’t seen in years. Wasn’t this the greatest innovation since the cell phone? Could any form of communication be so wonderful? Then the butterflies began. What if I requested someone to be my friend and they refused? What if I requested someone to be my friend and they didn’t respond? What if I said something stupid on the comment section? What if I responded to my niece’s comments and they thought I was eavesdropping? Before I knew it I was right back in the lunchroom of Boyd County High. I found myself checking my FaceBook an inordinate number of times looking for rolling eyeballs and rejection notices. From there I would go to my hotmail, my blog, my checking account—looking for validation that I was still o.k., still part of the “in” group.
Blogging isn’t much better than FaceBook when it comes to a healthy sense of self-worth. I noticed recently that the BIG mommy bloggers do not allow comments on their blogs. Is it because they are so secure that they don’t need people raving about how creatively they write (like Adam Lambert thinking he is so cool he doesn’t care what the judges say)? Or, is it because deep down they have the same insecurities as the rest of us and are afraid to know what others think? And what about the private bloggers—is that the same as saying, “I am sorry you can’t sit at “our” lunch table?” Oh my, this Internet world we live in is so complicated. I guess that is why it is the tool of the new, younger generation who live in a much more “who cares what anyone thinks” world.
Maybe, there is something Freudian about getting a dog and FaceBook all in the same week. I know when I walk outside he will wag his tail, jump up and down and remind me that I am o.k. even though he was never formally invited to be man’s best friend.
Note to readers: With that said, I love, love, love FaceBook, Blogspot and Hotmail, and UNCG’s online classes! If you haven’t already done so please invite me to be your friend, there is always plenty of room at our lunch table. (Besides I want to catch up with Nick Redd and his 358 friends—who has 358 friends?)
Friday, April 3, 2009
It has been a long winters nap around here but, Spring has arrived and I am coming back. I guess that throughout all time us "mother bear" types just have to hibernate. Sometime last fall, after my last official post, I just crawled in my cave and that was that. But last week, despite all the snow still on the ground, I got that feeling that I get every year at this time, that rumbling in my stomach, that urge to stretch, that whiff of green grass, that told me it is time to get back to life. Hibernating is wonderful. I did it in a winged back chair in my bedroom with a stack of books, a cup of tea and a very soft blanket. Through the winter, I plowed through the Great Awakening, the Stamp Act, the Revolutionary War, and the Federalist Papers. I got to know Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. And somewhere along the way I consumed the 1200 page Religious History of the American People. I also spent a great deal of time getting to know myself. I rarely came out of my room except for the obligatory mother bear carpooling. But all things must come to an end. I am moving on to my last two biographies--Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren. They were women. They were mothers. I think they will understand if I have to read them between spring cleaning and weeding my strawberries and blogging occasionally. After all that's what us mother bear types do.