Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How Facebook makes me feel Unsuccesful, Unpopular and (probably) Fat

I want you to know that I never wanted to join Facebook. I wanted to join the Amish but they wouldn't have me since I look bad in a bonnett. But my mother made me do it. She basically said, "I won't send you those weekly six dozen homemade cookies unless you get yourself on Facebook and start making something of yourself!" So let's be honest with each other: I didn't join Facebook to find my lost loves, to spy on my worst enemy or to show anyone cute photos of my kids, I joined to help promote my second novel, I'll Take What She Has, which (according to my publicist, since I've never read the thing), is the best, funniest, most heart-felt and entertaining novel you'll ever read.
Face Book. Of course.

And you know what's happened to me since I became the last American to join Facebook? My self-esteem has plummeted into the earth's core and I have LOST not gained money by having to see a shrink every other day. I know this hasn't happened to you because I've looked you up on Facebook and read all your old blog posts so I know everything about you and your children and the awesome birthday party you threw where you took six thousand photos--so cute, can't wait to get more, :-), LOL!!!, so I'll go ahead and tell you why Facebook has ruined my life.

First, until Facebook, I thought I was pretty popular, doing pretty well in the friendship category. I could host a party and at least two people would show up and if I met an old friend in the grocery store she always said, "Oh, yeah, I think I remember you," so imagine my surprise when I got on Facebook and realized how totally, completely, profoundly unpopular I actually am. How do people get hundreds of friends? I mean, I guess I know how. I thought, if I just look up all my old lovers and get them to be friends with me, then I'll have at least one thousand friends, except I couldn't remember any of their last names which is why I'm going to teach my children NOT to have one-night stands with strangers who leave before sunrise so that when they grow up they won't have to feel like a virtual loser. (Kids: know the name before you do the deed!)

Second, Facebook exposes you to all the people from your past who you couldn't stand the first time around because they were so much better than you only now, because you're friends with them so that at least you don't look like the world's most unloveable human on the planet, you have to be reminded of this fact every time you turn on your computer (which is why after I finish this blog post I'm going to through this computer out the window). I mean, who needs to see messages like this: "I'm so happy! The larger dose of Prozac is amazing!" Or, "Finally kicked my crack addiction, now I can use my billions to buy some stuff I saw on Pinterest" or "My book just hit number one on the bestseller list and yours didn't!" Look, if I wanted to get depressed, I'd read Sylvia Plath. And she'll never unfriend me because she's dead.

Third, I am not fat, but Facebook makes me feel fat. I'll tell you why, because I can hear the intrigue in your silence (and by the way, it's so great that we could have this special moment together, a real heart-to-heart), get ready for it (drum roll, please): it vaporizes your time! And before you know it, once you've read every entry in your newsfeed, looked up every person you ever kissed, your worst enemy, your husband's new secretary (thank God, she's fat, except you had to guess based on her chin because she doesn't have a single picture of herself from the waist down), and all the most unpopular kids you knew in high school (to make yourself feel better, of course, which it doesn't, because it turns out they have more friends than you now), that you have been sitting at the computer for EIGHTEEN HOURS! And during that time, you have done nothing but mindlessly eat Cheez-Its (comfort food, natch), also your toddler has died of starvation and your six year old got stuck in a tree and couldn't come down and your husband run off with a woman who actually engages with him (and what's up with that? You did "like" his latest post, after all), and your mother called to say she's sorry she can't friend you on Facebook but she doesn't want to make herself look bad because she's next in line to be the Best Selling novelist of all time and you'll only drag her down (but she's sure you don't mind and she's sending cookies so your fat ass can just get even bigger!).

Ah, well. Envy. What a good topic for a novel. I should write something about it....
Oh, right, I already did.
And really, normally, I wouldn't ask you to buy my new novel. I'm not that kind of girl. But if you don't go and buy it, I will not be able to continue seeing my therapist for help with my Facebookphrenia. Won't you please help a good cause?


  1. I can see where you get your great wit, from your mother.
    She always made me laugh.

  2. I never feel more needed as a mother than when I get on the computer or pick up the phone. It's amazing what checking Facebook can do for your in-house self esteem. ;)

    1. Yes, of course. But my children ALWAYS want me because I have chocolate candies in my pocket.

  3. You can never quite know - you are a powerful and intimidating person!! sometimes the prettiest girls don't get asked out because everyone thinks they will say "no!"

    1. You know, that's just what my mom always said...

  4. Actually, she's not really my mother. I just pay her to pretend so I can get in with all her connections.

  5. "You can never quite know - you are a powerful and intimidating person!! sometimes the prettiest girls don't get asked out because everyone thinks they will say "no!"" ...recently, when talking, "facebook angst," with my therapist - I stated that I write these witty pieces and to my chagrin, not many people comment on them. The reply from my therapist..."they are afraid"

    And, WOW! that lady who you have referred to as mom...is not really your mom??? You sure must have spent some time with her or have had similar variables in your lives...as in some ways you look alike. Also, interesting...now thinking....hmmm for sake of networking, I too could pretend to be a daughter of this woman you call mom. Perhaps, you could introduce me as a long lost sister who has found you (I am sure that we could come up with a story good enough to be believed(she did spend some time living in the 60's ...right????) Our "story" may even be worthy of being published??? Further, getting weekly care packages of cookies could be great!

    There are a few who love me. One in particular sometimes refers to me as "the angler." But wait, please know that this one is an "angler" herself - when she wanted a new bed for her son, suddenly a bed that I owned that was not regularly used was "taking up too much space" in my parents home and she offered to store it until I needed or wanted it back...hmmmm....ph! angler smangler...recognizing reality, willingness to ask or to venture out and negotiate make me an angler...then, so be it - I am an angler.

  6. Twitter makes me feel fat too, but a lot faster. ;)