I wrote this in March.
I joined Facebook about a year ago. I have two teenaged children and I wanted to see what it was about. For a long time I stayed hidden under a pen name, until one person found me. Then another, and like a shampoo commercial from the seventies my “friends” list multiplied exponentially until I was soon “friends” with forty people, some barely acquaintances. Some had recently made guest appearances in my writing. A best friend from elementary school reminded me via my “wall” of a disgusting soda mix we used to drink. I had written of this concoction in my journal two months before.
It can get overwhelming at times, especially when people post photos of us as pre-adolescents, or unquiet teens, so young, so spirited, so naïve. Who knew then that Della would slit her wrists? That Natalie and Vicky would die of cancer, leaving young children to face monumental loss? How some of us would go to college, grad school, medical school, and become professionals while others floundered, never getting much traction. Are we all shocked to be on the cusp or over the edge of 50? We didn’t know then how much our teeth could hurt, how fat or farsighted we could become, or how dark could be the pain of losing a child.
I’m finding myself glad to be in the virtual presence of these kids. Yeah, for me they’re still kids, as am I. These are the barely-formed people who knew the barely-formed Monique, a perspective only they will ever have.
I’ll see some of them some time, I’m sure, during trips back home or to here or there. I’ll see them in their present adult forms, and hold up my mirror to see what is different and what is the same. What parts are essential to who we are, no matter the age and what parts change as we grow, wizen, age.
My assessment of Facebook, if anyone asks, is that sure, it’s great for today’s kids to network and share. But its real value is to those of us who have separated, and lost touch of our childhoods.
1 year ago