I just looked at my latest status update on Facebook and was confronted first with the painful likelihood that I am a massive perimenopausal loser.
The update says "Linda has a BSG question for Rachel or Laura. I need your fraking help!" I'll enumerate the glaring embarrassments, as if I need to: 1. It makes clear that I just watched my first episode of Battlestar Galactica, so I'm not even an early-adopter dork. 2. I'm using in my status update one of only two BSG clichés I know. 3. This update leaves no doubt that there's absolutely nothing happening on my personal battleship on Friday nights. BSG, and a Klonopin/Celexa cocktail: that's about all I've got.
Then I arrived at the more troubling realization: this was my tenth status update in less than a week. Now if I were a bright young thing like some of my fave editors at the Huff Post, maybe this would not be so vexing. I imagine they're all texting and Facebooking and second-lifing and all that stuff I guessing the yoots do all day long.
But I'm at an age when my eggs are drooping like puckered late-harvest grapes on the vine. I'm a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom with a toddler to chase for much of the day. I'm a pre-school room parent, and I've just been asked to find a non-stereotypical firefighter to talk to a bunch of 3-year olds, and, gods help me (BSG cliché #2), I'm going to find a black lady firefighter. I have some "writing" to do. And yet I still have the time to update, to peruse my friend list, to SuperPoke, to review dozens of my beloved movies for an audience of who again? It's undeniable: I'm an aging Facebook whore.
I've already taken grief for this. I keep trying to pull my over-35 demo into my online wonderland where nothing is too mundane to mention, and where I can bore my friends with my Hugh Laurie obsession at will. My friend Kara says she'd feel vaguely "pervy" going on it, even though I insist to her that all but one of my Facebook friends is over 30. One sorely-missed ex-co-worker who shall remain nameless (Tom) told another friend something to the effect of "that's so high school! I don't even have a cell phone!"
He's right: it is very high school. And that's precisely what I love about it. Being at home, I miss being around my friends all the time, the companionship I had during high school, college, and work. I like knowing that Penelope is buried in laundry, or that Adam can't believe his new baby is waking up so early or that Peg is "this close to bouncing!" or that my husband's ultra-fabulous co-worker Sarav has changed his profile picture AGAIN.
I'm not sure they care about my status updates or music taste, but I care about theirs. And when you think about it, this really is the definition of a loser, right? Someone who cares a lot more about other people than other people care about them. So that's me: loser, and aging Facebook whore, guilty as charged.
Not everything about my journey through Facebook has been utterly prosaic, though. I've reconnected with work friends who help me feel like I'm back in a newsroom and not another damn sandbox. I've found two friends I've been out of touch with for 15 years, one of whom I never would have found were it not for Facebook. I've made one friend of a friend I've never even met or spoken to, Peg, who peppers my inbox with hilarious commentary in her own peculiar dialect that her pals call "Pegtois". After meeting Sarav at my husband's workplace, I immediately recognized that he was a blaze of glory shooting across that drab cubicle farm, and that I wanted to friend him.
But I'll admit I do feel the occasional embarrassment at somehow having the mental energy and time to attend so vigilantly to something so, well, high school. I can relate to Rachel Dratch, who recently admitted that, well, she's not doing a whole helluva lot since leaving SNL and getting booted from 30 Rock. I could claim, like so many people I know, that I am just so busy, so slammed, so utterly crazed, that I would simply never have the time for silly old Facebook. But I've got to be honest, like the underemployed Rachel Dratch. As I was typing this, I thought, I should friend her fan site on Facebook. And when I tried, it said "your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Hours?? Are you fraking kidding me?