Facebook, My Frenemy

The older I get, the more I hate social media.  That’s an unoriginal sentiment, I know.  I’m not, however, one of those people that thinks social media is pure evil.  It has its uses, even pockets of joy. 

Being ancient like I am, my social media accounts are also old.  They contain pictures I posted a decade or more ago.  Since I no longer bring canisters of film to the little huts in the strip-mall parking lots for developing, I don’t have a whole lot of actual, physical photographs from the past ten years.  There are no albums full of memories I can leaf through.  If I want to see the pictures I took five or six cellphones ago, I have to look on Facebook or Instagram. 

Facebook, stalker that it is, knows this, and every morning it pelts me with something I posted years ago on this date that I might want to remember.  Sometimes, I do want to remember those things.  Sometimes, I don’t. 

The other day, a picture of me and my sorority sisters[1] taken at my 25th college reunion[2] popped up. This picture made me grin widely.  Over a year into coronapocalypse, I haven’t seen anyone I’m not related to or don’t work with.  The people in that picture live all over the place – San Francisco, D.C., and all points in between.  We see each other every five years if we’re lucky.  That was a fun night, full of hijinks and shenanigans and the sharing of old stories I’m not interested in telling the likes of you. 

Facebook gave me the option of ‘sharing’ the picture to my wall.  I did so, with the caption, “I miss everyone in this picture.”  I meant it.  Sincerely.

I then went about my business and didn’t look at Facebook again for some hours.  It turns out that Facebook glitched and failed to share the picture – only my caption.  On my wall was a blank space with the caption, “I miss everyone in this picture.”  I started to get embarrassed and slightly mad at Mark Zuckerberg[3].  Then I read the comments, which were plentiful.

This is the picture I MEANT to post. Don’t we look happy?

It turns out that my friends, who do indeed know me, thought I had done that on purpose.  They thought it was a statement about my satisfaction with my own company.  “Nope, I’m good,” that picture told them.  “I don’t need you people, I’m happy on my own.”  To a person, they thought it was a good joke. 

It got me to thinking.  I’m not much of a pine-er.  I don’t sit around wallowing in the misery of being without people I love.  The pandemic has been much easier on me than on most people.  Being an introvert and a homebody, I’ve enjoyed the break from constant social activity.  I like going 36 hours[4] on the weekends without changing out of my pajamas.  I spend workdays being bombarded by interaction.  It was hard on me, pre-pandemic, to have to spend evenings and weekends doing the same.

So yeah, I do miss my sorority sisters.  I miss the non-stop belly laughs and the knowledge that people who have known my secrets since I was an 18-year-old idiot can be trusted to be in my life.  If there were a safe way for us to rent a beach house and meet up this weekend, I’d be changing the oil in my car and checking the tire pressure to make sure I was good to go.

But I’m also happy on my own.  I am, in fact, good. 

I do need you people, though.   

[1] So many people express shock when they find out I was in a sorority.  “You don’t seem like the sorority type,” they’ll say.  I don’t generally respond like I want to which is, “I don’t seem like the kind of person who values female friendship?  Stop watching teen movies and look at what sororities really are.”  Sisterhood, baby.

[2] I told you I was ancient.  There are law school graduates out there born after I graduated from college.  This thought alternately depresses me and elates me, because although it means I’m old, it also means that I can honestly claim to have paid my dues and you will respect me for it, dammit.

[3] Mark Zuckerberg is the source of many of my problems, or at least he’s plausibly blamed for many of them.

[4] Or more.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com, on Twitter, or on Facebook.   Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here.

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