How Facebook robbed me of my past…! by Pamela Francis

Social media has done what a good publicist would get paid to: make us all look good – better than we are. Make our lives look more glamorous. Cheat the tiny dive in the strip mall to appear as though it were the most velvet-ropest joint of all velvet-roped joints – and look! They let us in! But for moms like me who started out the motherhood gate late, our todays with their Skyzone/Chuck E. Cheese/Chick Fil A constant rotation sometimes don’t seem to hold a candle to our glorious yesterdays.

When I was in eleventh grade Bruce Springsteen had a song out that I loved to death: Glory Days. I used to listen to it every day in the earphones of my walkman on the way to summer school in 1984. New York’s WPLJ and Z100 radio stations played the hell out of it and I was not complaining. Because in addition to those rousing stadium-like melodies and the relentless airplay, the song truly had something going for it: a story. A story full of pathos as the Boss regales us with tales of friends and cohorts whose days of pitching fast balls and pulling dudes are behind them now.

We didn’t have Facebook then. We didn’t have Instagram. Kodak, Polaroid and postmodern oral tradition was it. So now, when I check in on what friends with no children or whose kids have already seen their eighteenth birthday are doing, I can’t help but rue this day and the way social media makes me look like I haven’t lived. Facebook robbed me of my past! Unless it’s “throwback Thursday” or “flashback Friday” I simply look like a pathetic nostalgia-freak if I start posting scans of whatever old photo I can dig up depicting my fabulous life as a world traveler-music video producer-(North) Hollywood screenwriter.  Even worse is if I take a picture of a picture in my desperate bid to show my network I’ve BEEN to the Caribbean, dammit!  Twice, ok?  Oh, what…?!  Africa? I’ve been there, too!  SMH.  Oh, those ’90’s…

In times like these I sit there and then I get up and I roam around the house seething with righteous indignation. For the twentieth time I toy with the idea of deleting my account – or at the very least, unfriending anyone and everyone who failed to hit LIKE at the shared post of my son’s latest clarinet recital. Then I calm down, I saunter over to where my five-year old is trying his hand at being one of those people who makes their living shooting YOUTUBE videos of themselves testing XBOX360 games, complete with British accent commentary, and I reach for my old iphone 4S; The one stock full of pictures and video of my children. The children I didn’t have until I was thirty five and then forty three. The kids who now have published books and extensive travel experience at age twelve and five because social media inspires me. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the lot inspire me to be, do and have more than my sometimes really tired forty eight-year old body might otherwise reach for. And in that respect, though they sometimes feel like they’ve robbed me of my illustrious past, they have really gifted me with a future.antigue

st croix



Tags: , , , , , , ,

  1. 2 Responses to “How Facebook robbed me of my past…! by Pamela Francis”

  2. I will always “like” pics of your children’s clarinet recitals! (And I still like the photos I took of you in St. Croix.) Life constantly changes, moves on, gets different but it’s always interesting…even when it isn’t reflected on Facebook and especially when channeled through your children. Your past enlivens your present and your future. Enjoy every minute of the “now” it has created.

    By Gayle on Nov 19, 2015

  3. Gayle…! : ) Well said, sistren xoxo

    By Pamela Francis on Dec 3, 2015