Every time I turn around, it seems someone else is quitting Facebook. It's supposed to be freeing, I guess, a way to release yourself from the stress of constant updates about Aunt Norma's corns and your neighbor's personal fight to rid her diet of all sugar. I too have an oversharer or two on my Facebook feed who I'd like to bid bye bye. But quitting Facebook? Over my dead body.
I have the bookmark right on the toolbar of my browser for easy access. I have the app on my iPad. I have the app on my phone. And when I'm doing nothing more exciting than sitting in the front seat of the car waiting for my husband to come back from paying the cashier for the gas he's just pumped, you can bet I'm probably checking in on my feed.
You could call me obsessed with Facebook.
It's a possibility I won't deny.
I check it quite a lot more than I should probably admit. People like me are the reason Mark Zuckerberg is a gazillionaire.
But is that so wrong?
I don't share every intimate detail of my sex life on Facebook. I don't ignore my kid just so I can Facebook. And I am not dumb enough to set myself up to have my house robbed by spilling my every movement online.
I do, however, use Facebook to feel less alone.
I work at home. I don't have adults to talk to during the day. Usually I'm so caught up in work that I don't notice the quiet, but Facebook helps. A lot. I feel like there's someone else out there.
Not to mention, I am a mother of a 7-year-old. Facebook is how I remain connected to the outside world in the middle of running from this playdate to that dance recital and beyond.
Once upon a time, I wandered around my house, cordless phone to my ear, chattering away to my best friends for hours at a time. Now, when I pick up the phone, I might as well be turning on a flashing neon sign that says, "Now! NOW is the time to ask me everything you have forgotten to ask me for the past week. And yes, I want to pour you a new cup of juice, and tie your shoes! And no, I don't actually care what the person on the other end of this phone is saying to me!"
What I used to share with my friends on the phone is now managed in brief Facebook messages, dashed out in the morning before we put our kids on the bus or the evening after we put the kids to bed. It's not the same, but gosh darnit, we are not giving up on each other, and why should we?
Being a busy working parent may mean that your social life has changed. It may be shoved into the small corners you can carve out in your schedule, but you need it. I need it.
I need to connect with people who are tall enough to ride the average amusement park ride, people beyond my husband, that is. I need to make jokes and hear news and stay involved in the world outside my living room.
And so, as long as Facebook is there for me, I will be there ... on Facebook.
Could you? Would you quit Facebook?
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