I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Life is short, and I’ve only got so many fucks to give. I’ve stopped fretting about things like what my kids wear and whether or not my favorite leggings are considered “age-appropriate.” Ask me what I think about my non-HGTV home décor, and I will respond with an IDGAF shrug. And I’ve quit worrying about bullshit of any kind, including the online variety.
Well, except Facebook. Because despite the fact that Facebook is filled with so much bullshit I need to put on rubber gloves and a hazmat suit when I open my computer, I just can’t quit.
Truth be told, there are some days when just a few minutes on Facebook is enough to necessitate a shower, a stiff drink, or both. I have to scroll past the controversial articles and fake news, then pretend not to notice when friends “like” stuff posted by the NRA and the Duggars. I go through the daily dance of leaving Facebook groups selling expensive leggings or essential oils promising to make me look 10 years younger, only to be added back into the group 10 minutes later.
Leave group. Get notification I was added back in. Leave again. Rinse and repeat.
Sure, your humblebrags make me throw up in my mouth a little bit, #soblessed induces an eyeroll so hard I nearly pass out, and at this point, I’m numb to the vaguebooking about “exciting news” and “send prayers” without so much as a hint of the cause for excitement or the need for prayers.
And then there’s the teensy, tiny problem of fake news, to which the only logical question is: What the actual fuck?
Fortunately, there’s this magical little button called “unfriend” or “unfollow.” Poof! The punknuggets and assholes are gone.
A sanctimommy starts a post with “I don’t mean to judge but…” and then goes on to judge the mom who fed her kids cheese doodles in the movie theater? Buh-bye. Douchebags who tell sexist, racist, or homophobic “jokes?” Gone. (Side note: How were we even “friends” to begin with?)
And yes, every once in a while, I just need to do a little online cleanse to rid myself of the assholery.
But I just can’t quit you, Facebook. Your memes make me laugh out loud, your secret groups provide me with endless sources of procrastination, and I have friends all over the world — even if I have no idea what their voices sound like.
If it weren’t for Facebook, how would I see all those nauseatingly cute holiday photos and silly cat videos? How would I know that you were up until 3 a.m. with a puking toddler, which makes me feel just a teensy bit better about the fact that I was up until 2 a.m. with snoring husband? How would I find out about your new Paleo diet or be able to take that quiz to test my ’80s pop culture knowledge? (100%, thankyouverymuch!)
Where would I get breaking news about Christmas ornaments that look like vaginas or learn that Girl Scout Cookies are coming to store shelves in 2017? These are the things I need to know.
Let’s be honest: The world can feel pretty dark and overwhelmingly hard sometimes. The nightly news is a running list of worst-case scenarios and terrifying nightmares. Bills are piling up on the kitchen counter, and my dogs just shit in the living room again. If it weren’t for the amazingly awesome news of a college friend’s promotion or the lopsided video of a cousin’s daughter’s piano recital, I might lose all faith in the goodness of humanity.
In other words, Facebook keeps me from losing my shit on the regular.
And it also keeps me in the know, lest I become a walking cliché of the out-of-touch, middle-aged suburban mom. When my son listens to a new song by Fitz and the Tantrums, I can share it on Facebook and seem like a hip mom who knows the indie music world. When I’m wondering what the fuck a Hatchimal is, Facebook will be there to tell me not only what it is but also to let me know I’m hopelessly behind, because they are sold out everywhere, and I’m a horrible parent for not getting my act together sooner.
If I want to know the pros and cons of time-outs or crying it out, Facebook will be there to give me 10,000 options and provide me with more information than I could possibly need or absorb.
And let’s not forget the sheer joy of distraction that Facebook provides. Because when my kids are throttling each other with plastic swords while screaming at the top of their lungs, and my husband calls to say he’s going to be late, and we just ran out of chocolate and wine… Forget the Calgon bubble bath — nothing says “take me away” like a little mindless Facebook scrolling.
So while I’m ridding myself of bullshit, shenanigans, and drama of all kinds, Facebook is not one of them. Because when all else fails, there’s always cat videos.