Tag: facebook

Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby


My son’s extended relatives—who all live far from Baltimore—are always demanding more pictures of him be posted on Facebook. I sometimes feel like my wife and I accidentally signed ourselves up for an unpaid digital photography internship. But, of course, our family’s photo obsession is sweet, and why shouldn’t they crave pictures of him? After all, they don’t get to see him every day like I do. So what’s my excuse, then?

I have often been guilty of sitting the kiddo up in my lap so we can look at pictures of him together on the computer screen, (Well, I look at them. He mostly pulls his head back to stare at the ceiling fan.) Only recently did I realize the absurdity of staring at images of my child, when, if I angled my head a few degrees, I could be looking at the real thing.

It reminds me of when I traveled to New York City as a child. I stood just outside the Statue of Liberty, not staring up in awe at the literally monumental vastness of the original, but rather transfixed by the dinky, plastic facsimile my Grandma bought for me in Battery Park before we boarded the ferry.

Perhaps we feel more connection to souvenirs because we understand that they outlast the moments they memorialize. They are the infinitesimally small piece of the memory that we get to own. I still have that little plastic Liberty, and I can now only barely remember the view from the actual statue’s crown. Someday all I will have of my son’s infantile smile are hundreds upon hundreds of digital photos on Facebook and Flickr.

All My Exes Live on Facebook

Dear Sara,

My boyfriend is friends with his exes on Facebook and I just don’t think this is appropriate. I mean, sometimes he’s quite familiar with them too. I hate being able to read it when he has special little inside-jokes with them. I don’t want to see that. It is wrong for me to ask him to de-friend them? 

In a word, absolutely. If it bothers you, you should delete your own Facebook account. You shouldn’t have access to the temptation to feel bad about something awesome; that your boyfriend is evolved enough to have rich, meaningful friendships in his life with both sexes. That your boyfriend is still friends with his exes is the best testament you can ask for regarding how cool (comfortable with himself) he must be. I would know because I am friends with 97% of my exes. That other 3% are those who just can’t stand being friends with me, and I actively judge them for it. Relationships aren’t ownership, and when you date somebody, you share something between two people that is unique because of who you were at the time, individually and with each other, and what you learned from each other. Just because you’re now dating, or engaged to, or even married to one-half of that now-extinguished pair, it belongs to him, not you, and trusting him to handle that aspect of himself responsibly is a million times more rewarding than asking him to cut it off and hand it to you as some sort of proof that he loves you more.

If you don’t figure this out now, you’ll eventually stifle him, so if you want to hang onto him, consider this: Jealousy is one of those things that for some reason we aren’t taught to grow out of by the time we’re twelve. But it should be. It’s the emotional appendix, totally superfluous. When you catch yourself feeling it, you should regard it in the same manner as if you just caught yourself tempted to shoplift. And also note: Facebook is the lowest common denominator when it comes to friendships; Facebook exists for the people we still care about, but who cannot be a part of our lives actively for one reason or another. I would hope that in addition to being Facebook friends with the ones who live close, your boyfriend still meets with them from time to time for coffee. You are the one he chooses to be with for the given time. That is awesome; that is more than enough.

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