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I wonder if there’s a rehab for this?

I’m addicted to Facebook.

There. I said it. I’m not proud of it. But acknowledging the problem is the first step, right?

The whole thing started innocently enough. About a year ago a friend asked me to sign up on Facebook so we could play Scrabulous when we had downtime at work. I was a little reluctant because I was afraid to put too much information about myself online (this, my friends, is called irony), but I signed up, put minimal information on my page and kind of forgot about it. Over the summer a couple of good friends from high school found me on there. We caught up and it was like 20 years hadn’t passed.

Over the holidays I was totally dying sick and spent a lot of time in bed, napping or zoning out to the TV. I was bored out of my head after a while. I didn’t have enough energy to get up and do anything so after checking out all the blogs I read, I logged into Facebook and actually spent some time digging around to see who was there.

I found a boy I went to grammar school with, and through him I found my best friend from 1st through 8th grades. It was so great to catch up with her again (Side note: I also realized that my best friends in life have been Ann, Ann, Leslie and Lesley. Is that weird?). I’ve also reconnected with a bunch of friends from high school.

For the most part it’s been great. I’ve missed some of the people I’ve reconnected with. But it’s funny—and not in a good way—how some of my old insecurities have resurfaced.

I’m older, I’m happy, I’m happily married, I have a great career, and nothing to complain about. But old grudges and past slights never really go away. Some of my online conversations have dragged me kicking and screaming back to a time of raging insecurity. The other night I e-mailed with a woman I haven’t seen since I was 13, and I felt a flash of anger, resentment and insecurity at the end of the exchange.

I will never forget a few key things about her, the first being, when we were in 5th grade, she broke my arm playing Dodge Ball. She was a total tomboy, tough as nails. I was a small, painfully shy, quiet kid who read a lot. We were playing on opposite teams and she had been picking on me and taunting me all through recess. She chucked the ball at my face with all of her might, and when I put my hands up to block it, the force snapped my forearm. I wore a cast for 6 weeks. Later, in 7th grade I had a Halloween party. I just wanted to invite my best friends, but since there were only 40 kids in my class, my mom made me invite all of the girls (there were about 15 of us), not just the ones I wanted to invite. (Don’t parents know there’s a reason you don’t want to invite everyone?) Needless to say, at some point during the party I ended up in tears in my room, wishing she would just go the fuck away, stop picking on me and leave me alone. Having someone totally ruin your party blows. And when you’re 12 it’s the end of the fucking world.

I thought all these years later things would be different when I talked to her, but oddly they aren’t. She thought those stories were hilarious; I want to scratch her fucking eyeballs out. But part of me wants to thank her. Because of girls like her, I learned to stand up for myself. I learned how to be more assertive and push back. I know how to manage bullies and fight like a banshee if I have to. (And in 8th grade I learned how to perfectly aim a softball. Right in her back. Payback is a bitch. And so am I.)

I love seeing how everyone looks now. For the most part we’ve aged well as a group. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take some pleasure out of the fact that some didn’t! Personally, I think I look better now than I did then. Plus, I don’t think I ooze insecurity anymore, which helps.

Aside from that, reliving the days of school dances, Madonna, New Wave music, bad perms, foot-long cans of Aqua Net (Sebastian hairspray if your mom was cool), Glamour Shots and every other bad ’80s cliché, Facebook has been totally awesome.

I am a junkie. And Facebook is my crack.

Senior Picture (1987)

Senior Picture (1987)

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17 Responses

  1. I am – as you know! – Facebook illiterate. Everything I Need To Know About Facebook I Learned From Maureen. I love that you love it. Me? I run from the idea of it (I just cannot explain the confusion that is my current life to One More Single Person) so I can live vicariously through you.

    I think no matter how old we get or how far we go or how successful we may currently feel as women…there remains that part of us that will always be that 12-year-old little lost girl (or 13, 16, etc.) trying to figure out our way. Certain things can bring it out….LIKE FACEBOOK….uh which is why I will stay AWAY FROM FACEBOOK.

    You know, that second Lesley is AWESOME.
    XOXO

  2. Facebook is awesome!

    although reliving the fact that I WAS a crazy partier and am now a workaholic family guy that rarely sees that same family can almost get a little depressing.

    On the bright side, Facebook can be used to plan get togethers with the old crowd when you go back home…and when you do, you can invite ONLY the people you want, and your Mom can’t do anything about it 🙂

    Plus I have to be careful now, since the wife is also now on Facebook as of this week LOL

    C

  3. See, that’s one of the reasons I haven’t signed up yet. I went to 10 schools between kindergarten and 12th grade, including four high schools. Some sucked harder than others, and I am not sure I want to travel back in time and reconnect with all of those people. Some I’d love to talk to, but others, not so much.

    Plus, being an HR person, my perception of Facebook is that it’s the place where I find out WAY too much about the personal lives of employees. Back when MySpace was popular, I remember finding the page of one of our pilots, drunkenly frolicking with a giant blow-up penis. That’s the sort of thing I don’t really need to see, y’know?

  4. Oh boy! Facebook. Send me your name so I can find you and add you to my friends, please? I promise I won’t throw anything at you and will behave impeccably if I’m every invited to your party. My email is: urbanpedestrian@gmail.com

  5. And shut up about your 61 degrees. It’s minus 25 here in your Farenheit temperatures, and has been all week.

  6. XUP: HOLY CRAP.

  7. Lesley: You are my one and only Lesley—ey OR ie!

    Ho: If it weren’t for Facebook I would almost never talk to you or know what’s going on in your life.

    Kerry: I am definitely very cautious about what I put up there. I’m always amazed at how much info that no one should ever know gets up there!

    XUP: Sent you an e-mail. You should come down here where it’s warm and there are no transit strikes! I don’t know how you do it—minus 25? Good God.

  8. OMG that is such a great blog and really speaks to many of us. Yes FB has brought back some of my insecurites and anger and fortunately I have the power to control who I want back in my life and who I don’t. Like you I am a Facebook Junkie!

  9. Facebook? Who has TIME for that stuff? I certainly have no idea how Hobrecker finds the time to “Facebook” people. I only have ONE baby and all my time at home is fully occupied. How does he do it with TWO??? He is, without question, the Dalai Lama of time management. (apparently)

    Mo…nice pic. Ha!

  10. Percy: You’re absolutely right. We now have the ability to let who we want back in. (Thanks by the way!) And better yet, we’re much better at dealing with the insecurities.

    Eric: This is your first comment! You’ve finally stopped lurking. I’m not sure Chris sleeps more than 3 hours a night, which gives him plenty of time to Facebook! Your problem is, you’re still fighting to get a full night’s sleep. You may as well give up and start practicing because come April, you’ll never sleep again.

  11. Ya, it’s even cold for us. When the snot freezes in your nose the instant you step outside you know it’s too cold to be outside. Bare skin gets frostbitten within 10 minutes. It’s not that cold all winter though — it’s usually around 10 degrees F give or take

  12. XUP: Mmmm. Snotcicles.

  13. I just have no desire to be on Facebook. I have lots of online friends who are and just sing its praises all the time…but the whole point is to meet up with people you know/knew, right? Yeah, I have no desire to do that.

  14. Debra: I love how anti-social you are! A girl after my own heart. I’d almost never leave the house if it weren’t for Bill and Lesley.

  15. I’m afraid to go on Facebook. I keep getting the e-mails from people I know already…and I have already connected with the people I do remember from high school via google searches a few years ago.

    But…would it increase traffic to a wine blog I wonder…?

    By the way you look HAWT for a junkie…compared to Amy Winehouse you rock!

  16. Hell, I didn’t get a cordless phone for the longest time, and had to be coerced (gun to the head, knife to the throat) to get a cell phone. I do like voicemail, though: saves me from actually having to answer the damned thing.

    So no, no Facebook for me (and screw you, Farhad Manjoo). All those people who are allegedly out there looking for me? Maybe there’s a reason we haven’t been in touch all these years. And I still haven’t managed to make it to any of my high school reunions. . . .

    Not that I didn’t have a good time in HS—and thank the gods there was no Facebook back then to document how much and how often I had that good time. I only got arrested once; with Facebook? Hm, evidence, too much evidence. . . .

  17. LOL – you are a trip, girl. Though I have to admit – since I joined FB a few weeks ago – it sure has been fun connecting with old friends – and new!

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