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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Me & Tea & My Facebook Memories

Every morning before I go to work, but after I shuttle my son out the door to catch the school bus, I have half an hour to myself.

This half-hour is precious. It's half an hour why nobody needs me to do anything--and believe me when you're the mother of a special needs child, having half an hour to yourself is a real treat and generally only comes at bedtime or in the car on my commute to and from work.

I've fallen into a pattern, and it's a nice one. I make myself a cup of tea (I've never been a coffee drinker), and I opened up Facebook to the "Memories" section. 

Facebook gets a bad rap these days--and deservedly so for a lot of it. There are many things I hate about Facebook: I hate that they know so much of my personal data even when I've taken great steps to try to winnow that down. I hate that they give me constant, repetitive ads and I especially hate when they have absolutely nothing to do with me or my lifestyle. Dear Facebook, I am a single mom with a special needs kid and two jobs. I'm not buying anyone a Lexus for Christmas.

I hate how Facebook automatically sorts to "Top Stories," showing me the same handful of posts from the same people over and over again as a default. I should be able to see everyone on my friends list and in chronological order. I don't friend everybody who asks. My Facebook account is set to private and I only friend people that I actually personally know or I have a mutual friend in common with you (and they have vouched for you and recommended you to me). Therefore, if you're on my friends list you're someone I want to read.

I hate how Facebook messenger lets people know if you read the message or not. Sometimes I read messages and I just don't feel like replying to them right now, or ever--especially if you're sending me some dumb political post. I shouldn't have to feel obliged to answer you just because I know you can see that I've read your message.

I could go on and on about all the things that are wrong with Facebook, but the truth of the matter is it is simply the most thorough tool out there for me to keep in touch with my high school and college friends, extended family members, and sadly, most of the time with my neighbors. We are all so busy, Facebook is often the best way for us to know what's going on in each other's lives.

Of course, that doesn't apply to my teenage daughter. She does not post much on Facebook beyond the occasional repost of a meme or political message. Facebook is for old people, you know.

But the one thing Facebook does right, the one feature I truly enjoy, is Facebook Memories. I'm getting all sorts of great pictures of my kids spanning across the years, moments I captured, funny things they did or said, milestones in my life-- the good in the bad. It's funny to see the things that I used to stress about, and sobering to see the things I used to take for granted. 

So every weekday morning from seven to seven-thirty, It's just me and my tea and my Facebook memories. My special time to review and reconnect. To put my current life in perspective.

Do you have a special time just for yourself every day-- or at least most days? When and where is it?

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