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Facebook Phobias and Pinterest Guilt



I admit it. I avoided Facebook as long as I could.


I used the excuse that I didn’t want my students to be able to follow my personal life, but the truth is, to someone with my level of anxiety, Facebook is a scary place.


Imagine a place where everything you submit to the group is instantly judged with likes or angry faces. If someone feels strongly enough, comments can be added, which may or may not represent the original intent of the post.


If you survive the first verdict of your “friends”, and if the post passes an appropriate level of humor, insightfulness, or raw emotion, it may be shared. (And then who knows what will happen to it!)


To someone like me, pushing the post button can be daunting. It’s resigning control over my ideas. I want people to like my post, but they may not see it, or they may just skim over it, or most frightening, they may not care about what I’m putting out there, or maybe they just have muted me. Nothing is worse than having “friends” that don’t care.


But, my editor has stressed the importance of creating a presence on Facebook, so here I am, trying not to check my likes and shares every hour.


They say, “It doesn’t matter what you share, as long as people find it interesting. Your presence will drive book sales after your release.”


Well, so far, my mother and a few other friends find me interesting. If I sell to all of you, I think I’m up to twenty book orders.


Maybe I need to find something more interesting to blog about.


This drive to find something better—more interesting, more colorful, more like-worthy—drove me to Pinterest. If anyone needs ideas on how to do anything “more”, this is the site.


I went to get some ideas for my son’s homecoming—some cute sayings for posters, banner designs, and so on. I left hours later with so much mom guilt, it was overwhelming.


“Did you know moms decorate the inside of the boxes they send for care packages?” I asked my husband as I slid into bed, late.


“Huh?” he asked, disoriented from sleep. Then he snorted loudly and rolled over.


“And you can make the gabled roofline of our house look like a suit and tie using butcher paper.” He was no longer listening. I wondered where I could rent a cherry-picker.


“I think I’m going to buy a computer file to make a banner." I continued. "It will only be about a hundred dollars to print at Kinkos.”


He turned over on his side. “Why can’t we just use the banner paper and paints we bought at Michael’s?”


“Then it won’t match the water bottles.”


“The water bottles?”


“Yes. I’m going to wrap them in labels that look like little suits and ties. The lid is the neck of the suit.”


“Why do we need to dress the water bottles in missionary attire?” He sat up, propped by his pillow, his lip twitching in amusement.


“Because it will look cute in the pictures!” I swung my pillow at his arm. “That way Daniel will know we care that he’s home.”


“I thought that’s why we were sending everyone to meet us at Café Rio.” He frowned. “I don’t think we need to have water bottles.”


“Oh, and I need to get an Ohio flag,” I added, checking another idea off my mental list.


“Can I ask why?” he patiently asked. “We don’t have a flagpole, you know.”


“No,” I scowled. “He needs to wear it as a cape. There’s an adorable photo of a missionary standing like a superhero with the flag as his cape. I could use it on Facebook.”


“So, we’ll need an industrial fan?” he quipped.


“Can you get one?”


“Sure.” He chuckled as he laid back down. “Right after I block Pinterest on your computer.”

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