How Facebook Made Me A Better

Mom.  Seriously.  Like, before Facebook, I was a thoroughly, unapologetically, underachieving mom.  Like when my kids were in preschool and these other moms would send in holiday-themed goody bags with candy and pencils and erasers and plastic whistles and other mini, made-in-China, destined-for-the-landfill tinker toys – and I didn’t bother.  Not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t have that over-achieving gene that keeps me up late at night cutting out special handmade cards and creating cute little taglines for each piece of candy I tied with color-coordinated ribbon.  Since Facebook, and its sister Pinterest, I am proud to report that I am diligently working hard on some very special Easter eggs, hand-painted with a toothpick and monogrammed with each dinner guest’s name in calligraphy!!  And – in lieu of the traditional Easter basket – I plan to sew Easter pillows for each of the kids with a felt silhouette bunny with a pouch (I realize bunnies don’t have pouches, but just go with me on this) for holding the candy.  A lot less room for candy, but less is more, right??  I’m sure they will LOVE them!

And, since all the other moms are so proudly reporting their kids’ crowning achievements, such as bike-riding, soccer goals, lost teeth, honor roll report cards, and …potty-trained at 18 months! … I feel right at home announcing that my 12-year-old actually set the table TWICE this week! (Uploading a photo as we speak!) And, while we’re at it,  I just know that my 7-year-old daughter is destined to be a tv reporter… she questions me mercilessly about my activities during the day while she is in school, whether I’ve seen my husband in his underwear, and if I think Santa is a real person… and next year I’m enrolling her in the high school debate team, since she argues exhaustively over the right to choose her own diet and declares nearly every obvious truth I speak to be invalid.  I’m SO PROUD!!!

Daughter.  I regularly repost those, “Share if you love your Father/Mother/Stepparent more than homemade apple pie!” posts.  I wouldn’t want my parents – any of them – to feel as if they aren’t loved by me, so I skip the phone call and just declare it publically every day! 

Family member.  And, while we’re on the subject of family… trolling my extended family’s personal pages, I can always be up-to-date on their whereabouts and activities.  Since my brother never calls or texts, how else would I have known he broke his back snowboarding  in Colorado?  Facebook IM gave me instant (inescapable) access to him, since I can see that he’s “online.”  And what kind of cousin would I be if I didn’t know Sheila was swilling at the All-Male revue last weekend?  

Wife.  There are so many Facebook pages with heartfelt cartoons, and photographs with meaningful and one-size-fits-all quotes … I will never run out of romantic things to publicly tag my husband with.  I mean, I don’t want to be outdone by all the other perfect lovers out there.  Why keep your awesome love just between the two of you, when you can share with the whole world??  Who has time for handwritten sentiments left on mirrors and car windows???  Why bother, when someone, somewhere, can say it so much better? And I know Todd feels the love with every push of the “share” button.  

Friend.  Who, anywhere, can honestly say they don’t have at least 200 friends?  I have reconnected with classmates, childhood friends, Sisters, roommates, coworkers, friends of friends I used to hang out with, people I met in the doctor’s waiting room … and it’s all thanks to Facebook!  Where else can we hunt down people we have loved, and lost?  Where else can we send friend requests to people who wished we hadn’t?  And on Facebook, one doesn’t really even have to know the friends we can count.  I have friends on Facebook I will never meet in person… but who cares!**  One can’t increase the friend count once one has run out of “real” friends to add, right? And I think Facebook has made me way better at friendship than I could ever be, anywhere else.  Where else can I follow their daily activities like we were next door neighbors?  Where else could I lend support, a virtual hug, or just a simple “like” of their status, to make them feel special and appreciated??  Isn’t that what the comment section is really for?  Who needs to make face time when you can share a cup of coffee over instant messaging??  I can cover at least 23 friends a day, without ever having to get dressed or leave my couch.  Now how many can say THAT??!!
Writer.  Really, don’t we allaspire to be the next great Jodi Picoult?  But first let’s start with my blog, and I will share it every day on Facebook, whether it’s good or not because, after all… isn’t this how all great authors get started?  And, since everyone else is blogging and sharing, why not??  I have joyfully hopped on the wagon  of novice writers who all think they have something important to say, and that all of their friends, and the world, should be listening.  There are a handful of bloggers out there who really inspire me – to write with a least half of Jen’s genuine and side-splitting talent, or to write something more refreshing and less Crazybitch than that otherJen.  And, if my friends tell me they love it, which they almost always do because they’re my greatest critics, then I KNOW I’m gifted, right?  Note to self:  must practice begging my legion of fans to please like and share my blog so I can count my popularity in page visits. 
Athlete.  I ran before Facebook, but mostly after the children in a crowded department store or in a busy parking lot (though you can be sure I would have posted that in my status).  Now, with all the cool “groups” and apps available… I have my choice of being shamed, or bragging about how many miles I have run this week.  All the beotches posting their weekly mileage have pissed off the jealous, albeit lazy monster in me – and awakened a competitive beast I was sure died long ago in the 9th grade.  But…. if I can be serious for a moment, I did “brag” because it really was an achievement for me… however, having so many friends who run and post about it has often given me the extra motivation I needed to get out there and Do It, even when it was 28 degrees and the winds were blowing me all the way to Kansas (thanks beotches – I think you all know who you are – I love you ALL).
Person.  A well-rounded person – I can be all of the above and more.  I’ve aired most of my dirty laundry, and friends just can’t get enough!  And where else can I learn this much about politics?  How we were ever able to vote in a presidential election before Facebook, is a mystery to me.  I’ve even become an advocate for virtually every social cause known to man… and it’s so easy – just click share and post!  Save the African tree frog!  Burn the burqas!  I’ve become more driven to achieve more and more and more and… I’m gaming now!  Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga…and whew!  How the time flies!! 

I can’t wait to blog about my greatest achievements of 2013!! 
**Addendum – because I’m so damn nice and can’t bear it to be taken the wrong way.  There are a bunch of “people I will never meet in person,” although I would love to, who I have met on Facebook in what we refer to as the DOC.  Words cannot adequately express how meaningful it is to me to count you, my fellow D-parents and T1 adults, among my friends.  I appreciate your support, however virtual, I look forward to sharing posts with you, and commiserating in what only “we” can truly understand.  Thank you.**

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