Like so many other people out there I love Facebook. Well love is a strong word but I am highly grateful for it. It’s helped me keep in touch with a lot of different people, start friendships, keep friendships and motivate myself when I see other people my age doing great things. Ignoring the negative statues, offensive posts and selling my privacy information, I see a lot of positives in Facebook. It’s also made me aware of what growing up means.
I was scrolling through the newsfeed when I came across a series of photos with an old friend of mine tagged in them. In classic Facebook fashion, we’re not friends in real life anymore but we’re friends on Facebook. In primary school she was one of my best friends and we hung out all the time but when she changed schools our friendship faded. Hers was an International School with an American system so our holidays and timetables were so different. Different extracurricular activities didn’t help as she had dance classes on the weekend and I had golf on Fridays.
I tried calling her often and left messages with her family but I suppose friendships can’t be forced. With this girl though she was one of my first real friends and she impacted the kind of friend I strive to be. Whenever I see her on Facebook, I often try to ignore it but this bout of Facebook stalking gave me a look into her life now; her parents, her siblings who’ve grown so much, her new friends.
Part of being an adult is knowing you can’t force people to be your friends and sometimes people are only meant to be in your life for a season. But when you have a friend you still love and miss, that doesn’t make it any easier.
As far as my knowledge takes me 2 girls who were in my year as well as 1 girl who was two years below me are now young mothers. As an overly mature almost 20 year old this deeply troubled me. I mean I’m in a place where the mere thought of harbouring a human being within me gives me the creeps, and don’t get me started on the birthing process…but here we have 3 young ladies who are already mothers and at least 2 of them seem to be loving it.
In my world and especially with my family this would never have been an option. By no means do I suggest abortion (we’re all very proudly pro-life) but I would never consider putting myself in a position where I might have a baby out of wedlock. That’s not how I was raised. All 3 are lovely girls, the respective fathers are there to complete the family and they adore their children. For that I can’t help but be happy for them and their little bundles of cuteness. I can’t say I envy them though.
I don’t know maybe I’m just very driven and I’ve never really prioritised marriage and children so I can’t understand. However there is something about the look a mother of any age gives their child and the way their child loves them unconditionally which makes my heart glow. These ladies have taught me children can come at any time and regardless of how unexpected the turn may be, it doesn’t necessarily ruin lives.
Feeling separated and/or Homesick
Most of my friends are either back in Zimbabwe they are together at university and few things rub in how separated I am than end of semester. The holiday when all the Facebook posts about heading home flood my screen and all I can say is ‘that’s nice’. I knew what I was in for when I decided to go so far from home for university and I don’t regret my decision but when you’re the furthest away from home geographically, it’s really easy to get left behind. Parties happen, reunions go on, life dramas explode and all I can do is wait for someone to update me. This really makes the homesickness real and while I have Zimbabwean friends to have catch up sessions with, it’s not the same.
Here I’ve had to learn the cold reality that when you’re not in the midst of it, you may get left behind, and with my goal of becoming a television journalist I probably won’t be home very often until I decide to work there(which I will eventually). This why I’ve been so excited for and engrossed in the World Cup because it’s one thing my family and friends and I can all enjoy together, at the same time, and for a moment I forget they’re so far away.
Facebook isn’t perfect but I don’t think I would give up the social aspect of it. While some people look at it as a demon I find it’s been a bit of a mentor as I’ve been growing into myself.
Nice going Mr Zuckerberg and co.