Monday, April 23, 2012

Does Facebook Make Me Lonely?

A friend just sent me a link to this article from the latest issue of The Atlantic magazine, entitled, "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?"

I think about this a lot. I feel like I am a too-frequent user of Facebook and I wish I could quit, but I can't bring myself to do it. My reasons for staying: I have so many great photos and videos of my nieces and nephews on there, it's a great place to network, and I don't want to miss out on anything because I'm off the grid.

Also, without Facebook my husband and I likely never would have gotten together. It's amazing how far a poke can take you.

Did it just get weird in here? Anyway...

I will say that having Facebook makes me far less interested in stopping an acquaintance on the street to see what they've been up to. Nowadays, it's more than likely I already know more about their life than I care to, because they probably just posted a retro-looking photo of the vegan chili they ate last night, along with a banal description of their weekend, so unless this person is someone with whom I feel a  real bond, I might just walk by and avoid their gaze. Is that gross? Probably.

But as to being "lonelier", I don't think that I as a new mother this fall will feel nearly as disconnected as my mother's generation would have, in the house with a baby all day with no grown-up human interaction except via the phone and the odd get-together with a  friend or neighbour. I will know that if I post about a baby-related issue I'm having, eight friends (or maybe just "friends") will be ready with helpful advice within the hour.  I've felt loneliness and that's not it.

Perhaps it's just that we're confused by the word "friend" which Facebook uses to label the people whose profiles you can view. Depending on how far you've cast your social net, most of these people may not be your friends; these people might be that guy you shot that one commercial with or that woman you met at that party, whose names pre-Facebook you wouldn't have remembered, but now you'll never forget because you have constant access to intimate details of their lives.  In the before time, you'd likely never have seen these people again, and if you had you'd likely not have remembered where you knew them from. The fact that they sit there in your friends list, almost strangers to you, doesn't mean you're disconnected from your friends. It just means you probably don't have 845 friends, like Facebook suggests. Maybe you only have 14, and only 3 of them are really good friends. And that's okay. Facebook doesn't have to dictate how you define friendship.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

100% of Canadian women prefer glossier hair.

I did the voiceover for this Loreal Healthy Look commercial. The first couple of times I read the word "glossier" I pronounced it "glossi-ay" as though it were a sexy French-sounding name brand, when really it was just the word, "glossier". The director kindly said to me, "Okay, that sounds great. Next time can you try just saying, 'glossier'?" and I burst out laughing at my mistake. It was one of those moments where I wonder about my brain.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kick, kick, kick.

I had read in more than one pregnancy book that some women get nervous during that period of pregnancy in the early 2nd trimester when symptoms start disappearing, but the baby hasn't started kicking yet. It can start to feel like you're not pregnant when you lose the nausea and the fatigue, and all the proof you have left is that your pants don't fit. I knew that when this happened to me, I'd expect it and therefore wouldn't worry.

But I'm an almost-mom now, so of course I did worry. I felt weirdly normal for awhile there. Sure, my tummy was getting bigger - but was it really? Or was I just imagining it? And why wasn't I exhausted? And how could I know if everything was okay? I started feeling anxious. I wanted proof.

And just in time, at my 20th week, it became clear that those slight movements in my stomach that I'd chalked up to normal tummy rumblings were indeed Fetus Jutzivan making itself known. I wouldn't describe it as butterflies or popcorn popping, as people had to me, and in fact I wouldn't know how to describe it, but when it started happening enough, I knew what it was.

And it's really cool.

The books tell me the baby weighs 1 lb and is the size of "a small doll", which makes me laugh because that seems to indicate that "small doll" is a universal reference, like there are a finite number of doll sizes in the world. I have a Frida Kahlo doll that's about the size of my index finger, but I'm pretty sure that's not the kind of small they're talking about, especially since last week they were comparing the baby to a "small cantaloupe".

Anyway, my li'l one-pounder is big enough to be making my stomach stick out in such a way that one person so far has offered me a seat on the subway. Thank you, lady I don't know! That was very nice of you! That was one of those 25 degree days when I wore a tight t-shirt that left nothing to the imagination. Unfortunately, I haven't been offered a seat during rush hour since because I'm back in my winter coat which shows no definition. So much for my dreams of extra-special subway treatment for 9 whole months.

Pregnancy brings with it many side-effects: nausea, fatigue, achy muscles, forgetfulness, odd food cravings (lime sorbet! I must have lime sorbet!), and the list goes on. But there's one thing I wasn't expecting, and that is: "the inability to think or talk about anything but strollers and crib sets". I have seriously become the worst conversationalist. The other day I excitedly told a friend about a stroller I want that "folds like a dream" and she pretended to care, bless her. The thing is, I knew it wouldn't be that interesting to her, but I felt the need to share anyway. Because THAT'S ALL I THINK ABOUT THESE DAYS.

Baby baby baby. Kick kick kick. Looking forward to meeting you in August.