I REMEMBER WHEN FACEBOOK FIRST CAME OUT. Back in the day it was mostly a young person’s pursuit like twerking or pouring vodka into your eyeball. (And yes, vodka eyeballing is really a thing and, no, I haven’t tried it, but I’m tempted.) Eventually Facebook became so popular that everyone joined, even the nursing home set. (Speaking of which, Great Aunt Beulah, would you please stop posting pictures of your bunions?)
At first Facebooking seemed like harmless fun. I was poking people, posting cute cat pictures and harvesting bumper crops of zucchini in Farmville. Sometimes I’d reconnect with old boyfriends, all the while thinking, “Thank God I dodged that bullet.” For the most part, Facebook seemed a like a silly fad. I figured one day it would fade into oblivion and I could go back to living my life instead of frittering away time finding out my drunken elf name. (Sloshy Burpsalot, in case you were curious.)
But several years passed and Facebook is still stubbornly hanging around. But now, instead of seeing it as a lighthearted pastime, it’s become a minefield for my neuroses.
Case in point: the dreaded status update. Last week I spent a couple of minutes (okay, hours) coming up with a quip so witty it would make Jerry Seinfeld weep with envy. After posting, I braced myself for a tsunami of likes. Eight hours later I had zero likes and one comment from my mother who said, “Nice, honey, but I don’t quite get it.” The next day I post a photo of my hangnail and got 250 likes.
And of course, there’s that one friend (let’s call her Soul Destroyer) who likes everyone’s posts but mine. A mutual friend will post something completely banal like, “Cleaned out the kitty litter box,” and Soul Destroyer will not only like the post, she’ll shower it with smiley emoticons. I’ll post, “Won the Noble Peace Prize,” and the Internet silence from her is deafening.
And then there was that awkward time I was innocently scrolling through posts and suddenly stumbled upon photos of a fabulous party. All of my friends were there, swilling Monet, noshing on foie gras and laughing like banshees. The comments included: “Party of the year!” and “Everyone who is anyone was there!” But clearly I wasn’t “anyone” because I never received an invitation.
But the very worst Facebook incident happened last Saturday. I’d gone to an event the night before and didn’t get around to logging onto the Internet until noon.
On my Facebook timeline was a tagged photo that made me look like something the dog dug up and gnawed on for a few hours. There were 2,545 comments. A few were sympathetic: “Oh my! Not your best look.” A couple mistook me for someone else. (Is that Meat Loaf? He’s really let himself go.) and several were from ex-boyfriends who wrote: “Thank God I dodged that bullet.”
It’s enough to make a girl want to pour vodka into her eyeball.
Karin Gillespie posts regularly on Facebook. In the interest of keeping her therapy bills low, please like her posts.
This article appears in the April 2015 issue of Augusta Magazine.