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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The down side of Facebook (or where did my social life go?)

I think Facebook is one of the best inventions of my lifetime. (For the reasons why I think this, read this previous post.) But one down side of Facebook is I get to see how much more fun other people's lives are than mine.

Did you know there are people out there who go on actual vacations? Trips to interesting places that don't involve familial obligations. Heck, there are couples I know who actually get together with other couples. For fun. On a regular basis. I'm talking people my own age and even older. It's not only the young'uns out there having fun.

Back in the day, Mike and I used to have a social life -- a pretty active one. Summer evenings were spent with several neighbors in the backyard, watching the kids run around having fun while us parents enjoyed liquid fun and good conversation.

We also used to spend quite a bit of time with other couples from church. Pretty much the same M.O. Kids running, playing and after dark, watching movies on the VCR (you can tell how long ago it was). Parents sitting out on the deck, citronella candles flickering, talking and laughing until late into the evening.

I miss those social days.

Now, Friday and Saturday nights generally consist of me with my laptop, Mike at the desktop computer, half watching whatever superhero or anime movie the boys picked from the Netflix queue. Of course, Annie being the happening teenager generally is with friends. Once we get the boys to bed, we might put a grown up movie on. Fast-forward 27 minutes and I'm snoring on the couch and Mike has flipped to some dreadfully boring (to me) show on the Military Channel.

What has happened to us?  Why is it that people we know are out there having fun and being social and we're home acting like a bunch of old people?

Some of it is a function of age. Not our age so much as the kids ages. Instead of running around the backyard with friends, our kids have social or sports obligations of their own. And they're not old enough to drive, so we're the ones running the shuttle back and forth.

Some of it is a function of geography. Many of the people who we used to spend weekend evenings with have moved to other cities. Then there's the whole "we don't drink like we used to" thing. That kind of puts a damper on the party life.

I realize the remedy to this situation lies within. The old "if you want to make a friend, be a friend."  This weekend, we're hosting a block/lawn party in the backyard. Maybe Sunday morning, I'll have something interesting to share on Facebook too.

For more PYHO posts, visit Shell at Things I Can't Say.

23 comments:

Rachel said...

I'm only laughing in empathy... because I know the feeling!

I'm actually the one with the preschooler while everyone else my age has kids in middle school. So it definitely tethers you a bit. But we're happy and I can't compare my life to others. Now if I could just quit being so insanely busy and get on a vacation... :)

Joanie said...

I had another comment but I deleted it. Just suffice it to say, you'll get your social life back. I promise!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Ours is caused by finances. Shortly after moving here to marry me :), my husband lost his job. That was almost four years ago.

I'm a teacher. Moneywise, I think you know what that means!

It's season, there will be another.

And blog sister, you don't know how tempted I am to come see you the next time my husband goes to Indy...

bucknerblog said...

FB is great, but it's all a big lie! People only put the very best of themselves on there (does anyone need to see or know that I haven't worn bottoms without an elastic band in MONTHS?).

Stacy Lynn said...

I have to agree with Bucknerblog (or else I could get very depressed). Facebook is fun, but it's like one giant, never-ending class reunion with everyone sucking in their stomaches and padding their resumes.

As for those Friday and Saturday nights...at least your husband is awake. Mine works such long hours that he is usually out cold and snoring before 9:00. I'd consider him sitting at the computer an improvement on my social life!

EMM said...

I agree about FB being a bit of a farce. People definitely do sugar coat their lives a bit. Sure, they took their three little ones for a "great day at the pool! Now time for a BBQ in the back yard!" but they fail to mention Timmy eating his share of sunscreen, Joey screaming because he wanted to skinny dip instead of putting on his bath suit, or how little Sarah socked another little girl in the mouth because, well, just because.
It's definitely a season of life that will change, but I will encourage you to try to "date" your hubby from time to time. As a fellow Catholic, I know our diocese has weekend marriage retreats for couples. It would take some finagling from friends or family members to watch the kids, but it might be fun! good luck! (Stopping by from Shell's PYHO.)

Shell said...

Oh, have fun with your party!

I don't go on fb often. One reason is that I see my old friends having fun and doing things that I would be included with if only we hadn't moved away.

Michelle said...

Have fun this weekend and enjoy getting your social life back! :) :)

Stopping by from Shell's blog :)

Kerri said...

Have fun with your party and hopefully you won't find yourself tagged in a slew of "crazy block party" pictures the next morning!! ;o) Facebook is such a wonderful and horrible thing isn't it?

Heather said...

I agree with facebook being sugarcoated. I don't so much have social life envy as dinner envy. So many people post about what a wonderful dinner they made/are making- um where do they find the time?

Enjoy your party!

Stopping by from PYHO

Heidi said...

I know the feeling! Kids kind of killed what little social life we had.
Babysitters are so expensive and the kids need to be in bed by 7 so it's hard to go anywhere in the evening.

We 2 Bees said...

Stopping by from Shell's! I totally know what you mean. I was laughing because I thought I have that thought all the time. Good for you for hosting a party! I keep telling my honey we need to plan things to do with others, I just keep putting it off! Maybe it's time...

Eternal Lizdom said...

I must be on a different Facebook... or I just don't see things the way others do. I don't sugar coat but I do share lots of what we do as a family or what I do with friends or on my own. I also enjoy reading about friends going out with friends (I usually note where they are so i can check it out sometime) or a friend on a date with their spouse or a friend's vacation updates.

The same could be said about blogs, actually.

I say you start with each other. Get out there and date each other a bit more. The kids getting older and busier should mean a little more time for you and Mike to reconnect. One of my fave posts of yours was you guys sharing your Segway adventures.

Lauren Michelle said...

I hear this a lot from parents, and it kind of makes me nervous about having kids. I really want kids, but I saw this same thing in my own family growing up and my parents only had one kid - me. I played softball, danced, cheered, did gymnastics, not to mention all the after-school activities I participated in like Beta Club, Student Council, etc. I don't know what they would've done if I'd had siblings.

I feel bad that parenting has become this thing that just wears you down and makes you a semblance of what you used to be. Maybe it's just all in perspective and effort. Maybe not everyone feels like that, but I see it a lot in my family and family friends. It makes me sad. I mean, I know that when you have kids you're supposed to do everything you can to make sure your children are having the best life possible, even if that means you get pushed back into the fray. I completely agree with children coming first, but it still makes me sad that parents tend to feel the way that you feel right now.

And I know that it's not just the kids, it's also work. It really sucks that we see people at work more often than we see the people we actually love and want to be around.

Stopping by from PYHO.

Kimberly said...

I totally relate. I don't go on FB much anymore, but it certainly stings when I see other people hanging out with friends, getting together socially, and having fun. I crave that for my own life. I want the connections and the friendships as well.

Have fun with your party and definitely let us know how it went! Came from PYHO, looking forward to reading more!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Lord alone knows how well I relate to this! I wish we lived close! I have a feeling we would be good (in person) friends! I miss the days of playing cards so late that we put the kids to bed at our friends house, barbecues in the backyard, pool parties, etc. I never was much of a drinker but I used to have a LOT more fun! Wish I knew how to fix that! For both of us!

CWMartin said...

Hey! I like the military channel- lost it in scaling down to a cheaper package. Other than that (and the kids) this sounds a LOT like us. Ask me, it's all about inertia...

Emily said...

I think we all get in slumps like that. I'm still a "youngin" and for awhile I felt that all we ever did was watch movies while our little guy slept. As he's getting older things are starting to change. We're actually BUSY on the weekends!

Good luck with the block party. What a great way to meet new people and indulge in some "liquid fun"! Have a great time! :)

Visiting from PYHO.

Sarah said...

It's amazing how fast that happens. I've been in school for two years and now that I'm out, I feel like I should get to have a social life...but I don't. I'm job hunting, or I'm tired or my knees hurt...I don't know. The block party sounds like fun! Wish I lived closer...lol! Stopping by from PYHO.

Nikke said...

I'm one of those people that look back and think, "Hey! I used to be fun! What happened??"
I find myself work, home, sleep. Work, home, sleep.
At least I can live through others' lives through Facebook. Ha!

Unknown Mami said...

i hope the block party is a huge success.

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Stopping by from PYHO and I am sooo glad you took the step to have the party tomorrow. :) YOu will enjoy it!

Mrs4444 said...

This is cute. I know the feeling, pretty much. For us, the couples we socialized with are divorced now and haven't been replaced--That's a real bummer.

Hope you had fun on Sunday! :)