Friday, May 6, 2011

Facebook=High School

Most of us have probably thought it. I have had numerous conversations about it. Surely more than one of my status updates have reflected it. Facebook is like virtual high school. While my high school experience was not detrimental to my mental health and resulted in a 16+-year-marriage and several enduring friendships, let me be really clear: I have no desire to repeat it.

Unlike high school, Facebook's playing field is more level. There aren't cool kids, burnouts, nerds, and so forth. There isn't Harding and Reserve, the eastsiders, the westsiders, the Panthers, Raiders, and Ranthers. While the school consolodation may have traumatic for some, it worked well for me. We won the state championship, and some of my best friends, and my husband, were westsiders.

Initially, I opened a facebook account so I could look at pictures of my darling niece, Jinju, but it is in that aforementioned optimistic spirit that I accepted nearly every friend request I got, unless I had no idea who the person was or if the requester was a porn star. Again, am I the only one who gets friend requests from porn stars? Historically, I didn't "defriend" anyone unless a person just blatantly didn't like me, or as in one actual case, spread lies about my family.

Since joining Facebook, I have enjoyed reconnecting with so many people from my past. I have enjoyed seeing my peers grown up, seeing friends' pregnant bellies, and sweet babies, and children who look just like their parents did 20 years ago. I found my best friend from junior high, with whom I'd lost touch. Turns out she is still my best friend. Twenty-five years, moves across the country, countless friends who have come and gone, marriages, divorces, and deaths, and she is still my best friend. And we still have the same boyfriends as we did 15 and 20 years ago, respectively. I wonder how many of the girls, who talked shit about us in high school can say that.

In answer to, "Where have you been? I never see you on Facebook anymore." I haven't gone anywhere, really. I am grateful I made it through high school intact. I pray that my kids make it through--Chloe's almost done. But I have no desire to experience it again. And for those "friends" who wanted to see my life: Here it is. I have aged, gained weight and gotten wrinkles, but I don't look drastically different. I have three kids, and their dad (all three because, yes, people have asked) is the same guy I "hearted" on my notebooks 20 years ago. I still heart him.

If I said your kids are cute, I think they are. If I commented on your posts, I meant it. If I said you look great, I really think you do--honestly, there must have been something in the water at old WGH because most of the people I have seen from high school look really good. My point: If I say something on Facebook, I really mean it. I am not trying to get your vote for homecoming queen. I am not trying to be someone I'm not; this is really who I am.

And to those who continue to judge me based on who I was 20 years ago? You are right. I am still the same person, with a few changes. I won't talk about you behind your back; I will say it to your face, but I will nearly always choose to be kind even at the expense of honesty. If you talk about me or flirt with my husband, I won't fight. I really don't care what people say about me, and I love that people find my husband attractive. He's incredibly sexy and his lips are unrivaled by any white man I've met. All that aside, if you look cross-eyed at my kids, I will unapologetically go crazy on your ass.

2 comments:

  1. You actually did defriend me, but I just figured it was because we weren't ever particularly close and sometimes we all just need to clear out our friend lists. I hope that's all it was, and I hope you don't mind that I read your blog. I think you are a really good writer; not surprising because I remember us going to the English festival at YSU together in junior high. Anyway, just thought I would leave a comment instead of lurking.

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  2. I seem to remember a few fights...

    I post on a few message boards and have gotten to meet some of the folks from there in person. Their reactions invariably are, "Wow, you're just like you are on the board." Well who the hell else would I be?

    The same thing happened at work. I was talking with one of the people in accounting and she was lamenting the fact that people are often very different at work from how they are in the world. For example when workmates go out for drinks. I was pleased when she said, "But not you, Rich. You're the same person in your office as you are at the bar with six scotches in you. A little louder, maybe, but no different."

    Again, who else would I be?

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