I love my phone. I’m probably addicted to my phone. You know what they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step. But, here’s the thing: I don’t want to take the first step. Until the day comes when my family surrounds me in an intervention (“Dear Mom, your cell phone addiction has affected me negatively in the following ways…”) I’m not putting the thing down. I’m fine. I can stop any time I want. I just don’t want to.
Like most middle-aged moms, I spend most of my screen time on Facebook. And why not? Facebook provides me with everything I need to know, see and laugh about. I’ve carefully filtered out all the people whose political views go against my own, so my feed brings me pure pleasure, or at least distraction.
Here is a list of things on my Facebook newsfeed right now:
Pictures of dogs, a recipe for bacon-wrapped Vienna sausages with brown sugar, a picture of local celebrity Mark Bowe of Barnwood Builders flexing his muscles, birthday wishes for Miss Britney Spears, a picture of an Arizona sunset, an article called “The Broke Girl’s Guide to Holiday Shopping” (I need to bookmark that one), another picture of a dog, a list of Harry Potter quotes, an article called “How to Invest Your Money when you Don’t Have Any Money,” an article called “Deck the Halls New Mexican style,” the afro of the day, another picture of a dog, a Breaking Bad think piece, a meme that says “Guns don’t kill people, George R.R. Martin kills people,” an article called “Here’s How Long it would take Vampires to Annihilate Humanity,” an article called “The Close Ties between Exercise and Beer,” and another dog picture.
I could go on. And I do, sometimes for an hour at a time. With content like that, why would I ever pay attention to the real world? Cute animals? Check. Articles about Game of Thrones, vampires and wizards? Check. Links to exercise and beer? Checkity check.
A friend once said to me, “My husband complains about my being on Facebook all the time. I tell him, if you would give me anything interesting to talk about, or engage me in any way, I’d turn it off.”
Well, ain’t that the freaking truth? I mean, are you married? Do you have a job? Have you looked out the window lately? Let me tell you something, that stuff is boring. As I write this, it is raining. It has rained for the last three days. I have a nice, beautiful window next to my desk, and, when I look outside, you know what I see? Rain. A gray sky. Yawn.
When I go home at night, I cook one of the same seven or eight meals I cook every night. I ask my husband how he’s doing. He’s tired. I ask my little one how she’s doing. She doesn’t answer; she’s watching Disney channel trying to decompress after a long school day and bus ride. My 13-year-old? She’s in her room. My dogs are chasing each other around the kitchen and my cats are hissing at them as they hide underneath the table. The laundry needs folding. I need to add ketchup to the shopping list. I’m tired, too.
And, tomorrow, if I’m lucky, is going to be the exact same. Because this is life right now. Steady. Holding. And, that’s okay. When I was a young woman, going out all the time, I used to ask myself, “I wonder what’s going to happen tonight?!”
Those years are behind me now. What’s going to happen tonight? Well, I need to stop and get gas and cat food. Then, I’m going to go home, cook dinner, argue with the children about doing the dishes, and look at my phone.
And maybe, if they’ll sit still long enough, I’ll take a picture of my dogs and post it to Facebook.