Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Crossroads of Life and Facebook


A friend of mine, or I should I now say, frenemy, recently commented to me that I should have less engagement photos on my Facebook profile and more blog posts regarding single woman dating and it got me thinking about the evolution of people, and of Facebook.

Facebook coincidently began when I was making the transition from high school senior to college freshman. My freshman roommate, Arielle, who was and is still very tech savvy, made me a profile that I kept for a short time, then deleted because I thought it was lame. Even then I was very perceptive and could see the prospective downsides to having a page that anyone could see or comment on during my manizing years. It was the good ‘ol days and I was a loyal community webshots user that could control what flattering photos of myself and others were released, or what unflattering photos were not. However, much to my roommate’s suggestion, I finally hopped back on the bandwagon and made myself a profile. Mind you this was EIGHT years ago….

At that time, Facebook started with just a single profile page that you could post autobiographical information, comments and messages. Shortly thereafter, you could add photo albums and “tag” people. During this commencement of the non-professional photography phenomenon, underage drinking and living on our own for the first time was also commencing. My generation’s freedom and independence simultaneously developed as Facebook did.

As such, with just a quick glance of my 502 tagged photos, one can see the transition I have made as a young, wild college freshman to a more mature mother. Furthermore, with just a quick glance at my wall posts from 2004 until today, you can see there were none back then, since that was not a viable option on Facebook at that time, and now, most consist of comments regarding my son or being a mother.

So why this brief Facebook and personal history? Because as it is with everything in life, someone always wants to complain. I frequently hear people comment that they are so sick of seeing mothers post pictures of their kids, or pictures of weddings. Simultaneously, I also hear those persons being complained of, comment that they are so sick of seeing people post pictures of clubs and drinking, as well as hearing about the hangovers next day. Call me a hypocrite, but in the past year and a half, I have been on both sides of the spectrum.

What is ever so prevalent to me now is that my generation of young adults is at a crossroads in life and on Facebook. Mid twenty-somethings are at the stage in their life where they are figuring out who they are, who they were and who they want to become. I am going to assume that most people my age, by this point in their life, are finished with school and either continuing their education in graduate school, searching for a job, climbing the corporate ladder at their job, dating, becoming engaged, getting married and/or having babies. That is a very wide variant of life activities and options in my opinion.

This all means that on any given day, when I pull up my Facebook newsfeed, I have the option to read about how drunk Sarah was last night and/or see photos of same or hear about how sick Emma’s child was last night and/or see photos of same.

I can distinctly remember a comment I made just prior to me becoming pregnant that went something like, “If I have to hear about the ins and outs of my co-worker’s child’s potty training experiences, my co-worker should not be offended when hearing a story about how slam hammered drunk I intentionally got on the weekend!”

It seems to me that the grass may not always be greener on the other side, but the other side is always complaining that the grass needs maintained. No single, independent, employed partying mid twenty something, living it up on the weekends wants to hear about children and marriage on Facebook, and I don’t know too many married with kids Facebook participants that want to see pictures of sloppy self portraits from Saturday night. And I should know, I have felt both ways at one point or another. Please see the first 402 tagged photos of mine that are of me partying, versus my most recent one.

However, I can honestly say at this point in my life, if I have to listen or read about how drunk you were last night that you threw (which by the way I don’t care) then why shouldn’t you have to listen to or read about how my kid threw up directly in my face yesterday (which by the way, he really did). I see no high horse to either end of the spectrum, I just see the difference and recognize its there. And others should too before ignorantly making brash comments and ever so arrogantly assuming their side is better. It’s not. It’s just different. And so goes the progression of life…. And Facebook. A lot happens in EIGHT years.