This week on Facebook: numbers in your status.
Have you noticed them? In some updates, you see a number followed by a personal message. It reads kind of random — what’s a #65? Why was she (he?) so inspiring? So kind? So laugh-out-loud funny? Are we talking about bra colors again? Or is this the number of times we’ve set our handbags on the sofa? The head spins. Why isn’t anyone talking about the banana nut muffins they baked last night?
Why? Because lately, that’s Facebook — a virtual space where many, most of the parents I know spend those countless but short moments of free-time, while half-watching TV with their kids (as recommended by media experts!). Facebook is a connection to other people, even when you’re stuck in a cubicle/a Gymboree class/waiting for the macaroni water to boil.
But wine o’clock updates aren’t enough to sustain the FB beast. It’s a social network, for crying out loud. Let’s socialize!
And so sometimes Facebook is like high school spirit week with a little chain-letter hocus-pocus mixed in. One week we’re told to change our profile pics to our doppelgangers (for me, that was Belinda Carlisle), another, such as last week, our favorite childhood cartoon (would have been Johnny Quest, but I didn’t get around to it).
Other times, FB holds unofficial competitions, like who can reveal their quirkiest details in the 25 Things About Me. Or that list of books that someone in the U.K. thought everyone should have read. FB wants us to highlight the classics that we have read. Oh sure, like I’m going to admit I have never cracked the spine of Moby Dick (guess I just did). Of course, that didn’t stop me from scanning all the lists that I, by virtue of being a “friend”, had access to.
It’s not all FB fun and games, though. Like those shame-y shame-y status updates that are all, like, I know you won’t copy and paste this in your status update because you probably don’t care enough about cancer. Wha …? Can’t it be a given that I don’t like child abuse/cyberbullies/right-wingers? I just made banana nut muffins. I can’t fight cancer when I’ve got baked goods coming out of the oven!
Which brings us to the Facebook numbers game: pick a number and put it in your status update. Then others will take that number and write about you, cloaked as a number not a name, in their status updates. Let the good times roll.
The thing about Facebook is that, despite these sometimes curious trends, the personal revelations from and to “friends” in addition to friends, the banal updates (guilty), the boring self promotion (guilty!), it’s a nice addition to the world of communication, especially as a parent.
Not only are there some decent resources (here are the 50 best Facebook fan pages for parents …), but knowing you’re not the only screamer in the mother world, and easily checking up on friends (real friends … they do exist on FB) while Caillou squawks his whine-y self in the background — kind of makes all the “#421: You’re awesome!”s easier to overlook.
If you agree, copy this entire post and put it in your status update. Or better yet, comment below.
MORE FROM STROLLERDERBY
Fire Retardant Found in a Stick of Butter
Woman Gives Birth in an MRI Machine
Elizabeth Edwards Has Ended Cancer Treatment
ABC’s After School Special Box Set
Google eBooks Launches — More Kids Books
Father of 3 Latest Death in Disney Town
Celebrities Crowd Top Internet Searches of 2010
Is Your Tween Qatar-Bound?
Study: Beautiful Couples Have Baby Girls
Are the Smartest Women Having More Babies?
Flash Mob in a Food Court
The Hot Christmas Toys of Yore
Image: Wesley Fryer via Flickr