Guest Blog By: Meg Flanagan
I hate Facebook. There, I said it. It’s out.
It is always there, mocking me. I know that the images that people project there are mostly a facade. It’s prettied up, and smoothed down, and made to look perfect. But it bugs me, and I can’t get away.
I can’t quit Facebook. It’s like an addiction.
Facebook, Why Can’t I Quit You?
Personally, I like to check up on people from high school, catch up on the latest ideas from teaching blogs, and peruse interesting articles from the New York Times, and network with other military spouses.
I think that a lot of us are trapped and hooked by Facebook and the endless opportunities for connecting that it presents.
Before my husband was even officially “in” the Marine Corps, I was linked with a wives, girlfriends, and fiancees page on Facebook. I was able to “talk” to other ladies in similar situations and try to wrap my mind around what I was getting into. I was scared about being forced to conform to some Stepford Wife stereotype with cookies, pearls, and an immaculate house. Because that’s not me, at all. Thanks to this group, I realized that more people broke the mold than fit into it.
After we were in the military, Facebook was my connection to my family. We were on opposite coasts for the very first time ever, and I missed them. With Facebook, I was able to share pictures of my new life with my whole family at once, chat with them across the country, and “attend” holiday gatherings.
It was also my connection to my husband. Units had just been approved to create official Facebook pages, and the First Marine Expeditionary Force (1MEF) had one. They posted pictures from inside the wire, of humanitarian missions, and of celebrity visits. I loved seeing those pictures. They made it seem like we were a few thousand miles closer.
Now, Facebook is my main method of staying in touch my my friends. We have been scattered the four corners of the world. We have had children, adopted pets, and moved all over again. But with this magical social media website, I can see those kids grow up. I can check out the new duty station.
Most importantly, I can network. This life is all about who I know and taking the next step forward. Last time we moved, I was able to find Facebook groups in our new location, connect with spouses, and learn about our new hometown. I even found a house using Facebook connections! Right now, I’m using it to promote my blog and to find job opportunities.
I wish Facebook wasn’t so useful for me, as a military spouse, right now. I wish it wasn’t how I found new friends, learned about my next home, and stayed connected to the professional side of my life. I wish it was all frivolous nonsense. I would be able to shut it down, and walk away. No problem.
But I just can’t quit Facebook.
About the Author…
Meg Flanagan is a special and elementary education teacher who holds a M.Ed in special education and a BS in elementary education. In addition to classroom experience, she has also worked in private tutoring and home schools. Meg is passionate about education advocacy for all children, but especially for children with special needs and children of military and state department personnel. You can find Meg online at MilKids Education Consulting, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.