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Well, the picture is perfect anyway…

December 7, 2011

Overheard at church:  “Hey!  I haven’t seen you since high school!  I mean, I know we comment on facebook and stuff, but we haven’t actually been in the same room since high school!  Isn’t it so funny that I know your kids?  I even know that you went to the grocery store yesterday!”

Ok, it wasn’t exactly like that.  You know what I mean, though.  Facebook has changed things.

Small talk is becoming a lost art.  I don’t always mind this.  Facebook gets all of the little stuff out of the way, so close friends and family can talk about what’s important.  Unfortunately, removing such mundane questions about your marital status and employment status, gives the mere acquaintances little to discuss.  If I run into you out and about and avoid you, it’s because I already know what you made for dinner last night, that you take the paper, and that you would like to lose ten pounds.

Why bother even being facebook friends with the person you met once at a baby shower?

I see a couple of reasons for this.  Sometimes, asking someone to look you up on facebook is safer than giving out a cell phone number.  It helps with the noncommittal “We should totally get together for lunch!” that never happens anyway.

Plus, if they get to see your facebook page, these practical strangers can see your perfect children and husband. Oh, admit it.  You aren’t completely honest with the way you represent yourself.  Statuses (Statui? Statuae?) reading “I have the best husband ever!  He makes me breakfast and wears whatever I tell him, all while giving me daily pedicures and serenading me constantly with his rock star voice,” are the norm on facebook.  You rarely see “my man and I just had the biggest fight ever and I hate my children right now.”  I can promise you that if someone did post that, I’d be sure to keep them as a friend.  What?  It’s entertainment.

You do it, too.  How exciting is it when you stumble upon an ex-boyfriend who has lax privacy settings?  You can snoop into their little world without as much as a friend request.  Jackpot!  You know I love people watching.  Although most of you won’t own up to it, you do, too.  I tend to believe that the people out there who say, “Well I’m never on facebook” are actually the ones on facebook the most.

The thing is, facebook can lead to weird situations as well.  I was at a funeral last fall, and only knew a handful of people.  Because I was close to the family of the woman who passed away, I was being introduced to many of their good friends and the rest of the family.

“Hey, Jenny!  This is Marcia!”  I said, “Nice to meet you Marcia!” but immediately thought, “Oh, she is Marcia Gaye Proctor!”  How weird.  I knew her entire name, simply because I’d seen her comment on facebook photos.  My friend Walton and I laughed about it.  He was being introduced to the same people and was saying, with cadence, their first, middle, and last names.

At a party the other night, some ladies were standing around discussing birthday party ideas for their children.  One suggested a circus theme, complete with a mini big-top and carnival games.  Two of us stood there trying to recall the party we’d attended recently with the same theme.  We hadn’t been to any party with such a theme.  We have a mutual friend on facebook who’d hosted a party with such a theme.  She posted pictures.

Although sometimes creepy, often overly emotional, and mostly annoying, facebook has been very handy for keeping up with friends I might not have otherwise found.

Can’t we just use facebook for its intended (rather, most useful) purpose?  Instead of freaking out because all of your friends must’ve gone to dinner without you, make your own dinner plans (and brag about them).   Look at everyone’s photos, but take them with a grain of salt.  Be happy for everyone, but remember that everyone has imperfect days.  No one works out all the time, loves their husband perfectly, maintains constant patience with their kids, or channels Martha Stewart every day.  Well, I do, but only so I can be super popular on the internet.  OMG! LOLZ! Tag me!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mandi permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:25 am

    Laugh out loud funny! Everyone is guity of sugar coating the aspects of their lives!
    Another great piece of writing Jenny!

  2. Sharron (no middle or last provided) permalink
    December 7, 2011 5:27 pm

    One of your best!

  3. Colleen permalink
    December 7, 2011 8:50 pm

    Lol Z!? What’s the Z? 🙂 xoxo

  4. joy permalink
    December 15, 2011 1:15 pm

    so true, jenny. love the first, middle, last name in the head when you’re meeting people in “real” life, i do that all the time! (and it feels a little stalker-ish…)

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