Tag Archives: facebook

The Weekend of Rachael

I have this story to tell, but I started writing it a week ago, and then I thought, “Wouldn’t this be so cool if I did it to the tune of the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?” And then I never got around to writing it, and now it’s been a week, and I’m afraid if I don’t just tell you, it’ll be too late anyway.

So. Here’s what happened last weekend (as in 10 days ago).

No, I have to go back a little farther. I’m in this Facebook group for moms. It’s been going strong for almost 3 years, and I joined way back in April of 2012, when I went public about being pregnant with B. A coworker invited me to this group that her friend had started, which was, at the time, about 20 women around the country who were all pregnant. It was a fun group of people, and I liked it.

As fun, likable things do, it’s grown considerably. At present count, the group boasts over 100 members, and is relatively drama-free. (You might laugh, but consider what I just said: it’s over 100 women, mostly semi-hidden behind the anonymity of the internet, all engaged in parenting: the activity that turns you into a hormonal, defensive, stressed, confused, second-guesser.) But the group is supportive, it’s helpful, we send each other outgrown Halloween costumes and do Secret Santa gift exchanges and get together when it’s possible and tell each other what HFM/blocked tear ducts/normal diaper rash looks like.

One of the women from the original group (let’s call her Rachael) lived in Nebraska with her husband and her one child and her pregnant belly when I first e-met her. She was one of the women that I really took a shine to. We talked outside of the group, sent each Christmas cards, etc. This summer, she moved to Nevada with her (now three!) kids.

And last weekend, on a complete whim and a prayer, she hopped on a plane and flew to the Bay Area to meet a bunch of other moms in real life for the first time.

See, I had invited the Bay Area contingent of this group to come see the show my work is currently producing. We were going on Sunday afternoon. Jokingly, Rachael started talking about flying out to come with us. We egged her on and offered our couches, and the next thing I know, there I am at the airport picking her up.

Earlier that day, Drew had asked me if I was at all worried that she was catfishing us. I didn’t think that was likely, as it has been 2 1/2 years and that’s a very long con. But when I was waiting at the terminal, and she texted and said, “I just walked outside,” and all I could see was a tall guy standing on the curb – I did have a moment of “Uh-oh…” Luckily, then I saw Rachael a little further down and everything was fine.

It turns out she is just as lovely in person as she is online. She stayed over at my place on Friday night, then on Saturday we did brunch and hung out with some of the group in the East Bay, she stayed with another friend on Saturday night, and then a third friend on Sunday night. I hope it was as fun and casual as it all sounds – it was certainly gutsy to fly somewhere new to stay with a bunch of strangers, and I really hope that it paid off for her.

It did for us – it was awesome to get to meet a pseudo-celebrity, for one…I was a little star-struck. But for another, well, we Bay Area members have historically put a lot of planning into each meet up. Having this last-minute weekend happen where we pulled it together for multiple meals and hanging out – well, maybe it taught us to loosen up a little bit. Also, most of the hanging out didn’t involve children (ironic, since that’s what brought us all together), so maybe it also taught us that we can be friends based on our actual relationships, and not just based on the fact that we all have kids.

At any rate. It was an awesome, whirlwind, crazy weekend, and it all went by too fast. I had an amazing time. I hope we can do more stuff like that in the future. So thank you to Rachael for kicking it all off and taking a chance on us! And thanks for not being a catfisher or a murderer!

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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Celebrities, Friends, Nonfiction, Travel

Your picture frames have changed, and so has your name

I’m suffering from this new dilemma. It has to do with Facebook. (Doesn’t everything?)

This isn’t about how the Facebook newsfeed is now all shared articles, video ads, or people sharing photos attached to recipes. (Where are the pithy status updates of yore? I never thought I’d miss them, but I do.)

This is a relatively new dilemma. Here it is: I’ve started seeing photos where, even when I study each face, I have no idea who anyone in the photo is.

Sometimes, while scrolling, I’ll pass the header telling me “So and so is tagged in a photo.” Then I stare at the photo and try to figure out which one of these people is my friend. When I can’t figure it out, I scroll up, go, “Oh yeah, wow, she’s really changed since middle school” (or whatever), and then go on my way.

But it makes me wonder what is the point of being friends with people if:

a) I never talk to them;
b) they never talk to me;
c) I can’t recognize them in a picture; or
d) there are more than 2 degrees of separation between us.

Not to sound exclusive or anything, but if I’m going to waste time on Facebook, I’d prefer to waste it on people I actually know in real life and care about. (Along those lines, I guess I should also excise those people I’ve hidden and thus forgotten about.)

Oh Facebook…what will I worry superficially about when you’re no longer a thing?

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Filed under "Other people", Friends, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Technology

Oh brave new world: Babies on the internet

I have a dilemma. And I know it will be one that people have differing opinions on. But I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it, precisely.

You (maybe) know how on your Facebook timeline, you can scroll all the way back to “born 1983,” and you have blank years between, say, 1983 and 2006, when you actually set up your account. But at some point in the not-so-distant future, there is going to be a wave of teenagers with every single year of their lives filled out, thanks to their overenthusiastic parents.

And I guess no one really knows what this is going to mean for the future. And maybe I’m giving Facebook (or whatever comes after Facebook) too much credit. But I think it’s a pretty safe guess that things aren’t going to start turning backward. Everything’s going online.

When Drew and I got married, we got into a small scuffle or two with friends over the fact that we preferred that people not post tons of pictures of the wedding, particularly if they’re, you know, sitting in the back and taking pictures on their phone. Ultimately, yes, some pictures got posted, and it didn’t really bother either of us. But the other day, I saw that a (far-flung) friend of mine had posted 300 pictures into an album called “Wedding,” and my first thought was, “Oh wow, I didn’t even know she was getting married!” and then when I looked at the pictures I realized it was just a wedding that she attended. (I don’t even think she was in it…just a guest. Which seems extreme to me.)

But at least those people are all over 18. Lately, I can’t stop worrying about the whole phenomenon of posting a million pictures of your baby on your Facebook page. Let me just admit, I don’t think I will be able to resist that, for a couple reasons.

1) How can you not show off something like that? How cute would an Instagramed baby be? Am I right?
2) I’m pretty sure that I’m still like halfway in the closet with this whole “being pregnant” thing, and if I post a couple pictures of me and Drew holding an infant, it’s going to make it a lot clearer.

(There’s also a whole other side issue of the “attention wanted” posts, versus the “for entertainment purposes” posts, versus the “for the family members” posts.)

It’s not just the possibility that one day this kid will want to be the president (ha, yeah right), and won’t want pictures of himself or herself naked in a bathtub. It’s also a safety thing. Drew pointed out there are people on Facebook, who we don’t really know in real life…but we know EVERYTHING about their (very young) children. Like, we could probably use the knowledge we have, to kidnap said children. And we would never do that, because we’re cool, but there are people out there who would totally do that.

I can’t claim to be particularly good at staying anonymous – I’m sure that I’ve accidentally let slip too many details here. Things that I didn’t mean to say, but “oops” happens.

And even if I can resist putting a bunch of pictures – there are still all these other people running around with cameras and phones and wanting to post stuff.

I can be kind of private about some things. And delivery is going to be one of those things. I’m good having our parents in and out during labor, and hanging out…but when it comes down to business, it’s really important to me that it’s me and Drew (and I guess some doctors or something). It fits with our whole “we’re a team” thing.

So I’m going to be pretty bummed if I come home two days later and find out that it’s already on Facebook, because someone jumped the gun – purely out of excitement, I’m sure. But how do you put that out there, without sounding like a total bitch? It’s just gotten too hard to put restrictions on things like that.

Friend anecdotes: one friend was very strict about things early on. She didn’t want her kid posted anywhere linked with his name, or with the names of her or her husband. I think she was thinking about safety. But eventually she’s posted more and more pictures and videos of him on her Facebook, which I’m sure has the highest security settings.

Another friend has been strict the whole time, and her kid is 3 years old. She’s also told family members to take things down because she doesn’t want them just floating out there. She also told us a story about a relative posting a video online with the caption, “[Name]’s first steps!!” And all the family members were commenting and loving it, and she had to say, “Hey, listen, she had her first steps a week ago and her father and I were there you can’t just take that away from us.”

I guess that’s my fear. My long-winded fear. I just don’t want this to get away from us. I want the two of us – Drew and me – to be the keepers of the milestones and the reveals. That’s all. I guess. Luckily, none of our parents are really into Facebook, so they won’t go crazy. Other friends and relatives…might be harder to rein in.

Silver lining, which I keep reminding myself: I am so grateful that this kid is arriving into a world of people excited and happy to meet him or her.

PS. He or she has been kicking the whole time I’ve been writing this – perhaps as if to say, “Moooo-oom, you’re embarrassing me” ?

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Filed under "Other people", Beginnings, Being a girl, Children, Drew, Family, Fashion, Friends, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parents, Pregnancy

Facebook, right ahead!

First, I’d like to mention that Titanic is out in theatres again and I’m pretty psyched. I kind of really want to go see it. Titanic is an awesome movie, and I only hope that they didn’t ruin it by putting it in 3D.

Seriously. I just googled “Titanic screen shots” to find something appropriate, and every single picture made me think, “Oh, I love that part of the movie!” If you haven’t seen it lately (like, since it came out in the mid-90s) you should definitely check it out now.

In other news, I’ve been thinking a lot about what will happen on Sunday. Sunday is Easter. Easter means a lot of things to me, and I like it a lot. But this year specifically, Easter means my return to Facebook. And I’m no longer sure how I feel about that.

This morning on Sarah and Vinnie, Vinnie said:

“People say ‘That’s not real life.’ But Facebook IS real life. That’s where real life is happening. Every day I see people run to Facebook to post something important about their life. Or not important.”

Very apropos, since I’ve been thinking about how to handle this return to “real life.” I might have to do this in a list format.

On the one hand: I am starting to not miss it. I definitely don’t miss getting irritated by updates from people I don’t like. And I don’t miss having to keep up with everything that everyone posts.

On the other hand: It is a great way to keep in touch with people I don’t regularly speak with. Like far-flung cousins or old family friends. Also, sometimes we use it for work purposes.

On the other hand: I am enjoying the ignorance of not knowing certain things.

On the other hand: I don’t want to be “that guy” who has to tell everyone, “Oh, I don’t have a Facebook.” What’s next? “I don’t have a TV” or “I don’t have a cell phone”? (No, never either of those things.)

On the other hand: What if I have some piece of critical information to share? Drew and I are currently moving into a new apartment. It’s kind of exciting. But how is anyone going to know that without Facebook?

On the other hand: Who needs to know about that? Besides people who will come visit, who will probably ask me for the address beforehand?

On the other hand: Okay, so what if I had some other kind of news to share? And rather than sending mass emails or trying to text everyone, I just want to drop one Facebook post and be done with it?

On the other hand: Would I not be doing that just to get attention? And I certainly don’t want to go back to pandering for likes or comments. Also, isn’t that kind of why I have  a blog?

So, I guess I haven’t really decided anything. Except that I need to figure out when I can go see Titanic.

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Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Friends, Memoir, Self improvement, Technology

Facebook DOES miss me!

After saying yesterday that my separation from Facebook was pretty painless so far, they sent me this email proving that they don’t feel the same way.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

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Filed under Self improvement, Technology

Facebook, do you miss me?

Last weekend was about the halfway point during Lent. I meant to do a little introspective on how it’s been going without Facebook. But I got distacted with real life and it’s happening late.

I find that I don’t seriously miss Facebook. Occasionally I want to wander over there to kill some time, but I’ve found other websites to take care of that aspect of it. I am afraid I’m missing friends’ birthdays. But oops. I did totally miss one friend’s birthday party invite, but it was at a bar on a Wednesday night in San Francisco, and chances are I would have taken a raincheck anyway.

I kind of like not having Facebook in my, um, face all the time. I don’t have to read the endless posts about The Hunger Games movie coming out. It’s not like I’m not interested in The Hunger Games, but when I have opinions on something like this, it’s so hard for me to watch other people’s opinions go by without saying anything…lol. I don’t miss seeing the same memes posted over and over again. Or seeing the horrible grammar and spelling on the wall for my high school reunion (yikes).

I have also accidentally sort of fallen off of Twitter. I just love not having the pressure of staying caught up on what everyone is saying all the time. Do I sound old?

The only thing is – I guess I thought I’d be more missed. Looking at it now, I get that people are more likely to comment on something I post, rather than just posting a comment onto my timeline. But I don’t know. I thought that someone would want to talk to me. But it seems that no one really does. [Why do I know this? Because I have to get on Facebook for work sometimes (don’t worry, I don’t go through the news feed, I go straight to facebook.com/theatreworkssv), and so I see the pitiful number of notifications.]

Or if they do want to talk to me, they are emailing or texting or talking to me in person. And isn’t that what this is all about?

So…I guess so far this experiment is successful! Still no word on whether I’ll be back on Facebook on Easter Sunday. We’ll see!

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I will trade social media for books any day of the week.

I gave up Facebook for Lent. I wasn’t going to give up anything, because as usual it snuck up on me, but then my uncle made an offhand comment (a Facebook status, actually), that “I guess none of us gave this up for Lent.” And then I realized that would be a great idea.

My reasoning was that I have friends who I never reach out to anymore, because I rationalize that I know what’s going on in their life, because I just looked at 60 pictures they just posted of their latest vacation. But I’m not really keeping in touch with these people. So I’m going to attempt to communicate with friends and family via other methods – even if it’s just email – over the next 5 1/2 weeks.

In the few weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday, I had been getting tired of Facebook – of always checking it and of never really seeing anything new, but then checking it again anyway. I also feel like my news feed has devolved into people sharing not-funny pictures. Oh, and now I get to see all the weird, embarrassing articles you just read online.

I’m not complaining about Facebook. It is what it is and it’s great for some things. But I think this break comes at a good time.

On the other hand, I know I’m doing something right because I’m kind of dying to get back on there and see what’s going on.

I have been uploading things for work, but not looking at anything else. Which is hard. I have stopped myself half a dozen times from just lazily clicking on someone’s profile, from a comment they made on the work page, just to see what’s up. Oops!

But last night, while I was on a mini-cleaning frenzy, I looked down and realized there was an Amazon box of 4 books on the ground. I remembered ordering it, but couldn’t quite remember what the items were. Then I cast my gaze around…on the pile of books I got at that used bookstore…the other used bookstore…from that Amazon gift card…from that payday that I went to Barnes and Noble…and I realized, if I had 9 boxes of books (a conservative estimate) when we moved in here, I surely have 11 now.

How did that happen? In 2 months? Maybe for Lent, I should have given up buying books. But that’s just crazy talk. I’d sooner give up chocolate again.

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Filed under Being a girl, Books, Nonfiction, Religion