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Succumbing to Facebook Peer Pressure

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Peer Pressure at 40.

woman infront of a computer

I finally did it. Yesterday, after many months of insisting I would never do it, avoiding it like the plague and saying I wouldn't be caught dead joining in; I finally joined Facebook. Now I know everyone swears by it, they love it and are obsessed with it - but I'm not one of them. I didn't join Facebook to reconnect with old friends; why would I? I barely have time for the friends who are already a big part of my life. I didn't join in to network; I'm more of an old fashioned let's meet for coffee kind of girl. And I certainly didn't join because I needed something to do in my spare time; as a working mother - I have no spare time to speak of.

No, the reason I joined Facebook is plain and simple. It's called peer pressure. I got tired of the endless questions, "why aren't you on?" "When are you going to join?" And of course, my personal favorite, "Everyone's doing it." 

Even Jennifer Aniston is feeling the Facebook peer pressure. But unlike me, she's not caving in. Jennifer tells this Sunday's "New York Times Magazine" that you shouldn't expect to see her on it anytime soon. "It's not for me," says Aniston. "I'd be opening myself up to too much."  Well, it's not like Jennifer and I ever had much in common anyway - she's just one less friend I'll have to worry about.

Yes, we're talking about the same old good old fashioned peer pressure which the nuns in high school swore would ruin my life. It didn't then -- I managed to get good grades, get into a good college and even avoid a teen pregnancy! But it seems peer pressure is back and while it didn't ruin my life back then, it's attempting to derail me today, even as I type this I'm getting virtual poked by people I haven't heard from in years.

But the more I think of it, the more I realize that Facebook isn't the only peer pressure pet peeve of mine. Actually - I could name a few things that my peers are pestering me to do. Now while these may seem insignificant to some, they bug the you know what out of me. For example, I really don't like spending money on workout clothes. I think my old, holy sweats are the perfect workout outfit and I don't see the need to buy something nice when all I'm going to do is sweat all over it. When did the gym become a fashion show?? I admit it, I actually did cave in and trade in my old stretched out gym pants for a pair of yoga pants recently. I'm not proud of it, I don't even do yoga. But I finally got tired of the stares my stretched out sweats were getting and now at least I can concentrate on my reps instead of wondering what the workout queens decked out head to toe in the latest workout wear are whispering about when they look at me.

Now here's the thing, I'm an adult, I can handle it and I can choose what peer pressure I cave into and what I'll ignore. But when it comes to my kids - all bets are off. Let me go on record as saying I will never cave in to current trends when it comes to raising my kids. I know so many women who swear by the latest scientific findings and raise their kids based on every new parenting theory that finds its way into their in-box. Not me. I'm pretty lenient about tv watching even though my closest friends won't even let their kids watch Sponge Bob. You behave? You get to watch TV - it's as simple as that. My kids will never get a time out for slipping and letting loose with a naughty word - cause after all, guess who they probably heard it from? That's right, me. No, when it comes to my kids I could care less what everyone else is doing - peer pressure is one thing ...but in my home, parenting is not a group activity.

OK, gotta go....I just got poked again

next: Thanksgiving "Skinny Sides"
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Praise and Coffee November 24, 2008, 1:49 PM

I caved too! My children are somewhat horrified…
I have had a lot of fun with it, but I don’t have time for all the gift giving and “flinging” of things.

Now that I’ve found Twitter…Facebook is on the back burner again.

Gretchen Cawthon November 24, 2008, 2:11 PM

*raises hand* Hi my name is Gretchen and I’m a Facebook addict. :)

just sayin' November 24, 2008, 4:55 PM

I used to like facebook, but then everyone was “poking” me and trying to get me to join all the dumb clubs on it. sorry, no time.

Eva G. del Vecchio-Porter December 1, 2008, 12:18 PM

facebook is great. I love connecting with old friends and I’ve practically replaced email with facebook. twitter is great too…

Shelly February 11, 2009, 2:16 PM

Facebook is really like high school just on-line. I have maybe a handful of people that I talk to regular and the rest is just like a “hi” in the hallway. I’m laid off so it kills some time right now while my son is in school. I really like this site though, at least I can have intelligent conversations here! Once I’m back to work, I’m sure Facebook will fade into the background.

Shelly February 11, 2009, 2:18 PM

oh, and the only cool thing was that I was able to get in touch with my baby cousin. we were close as kids and after she got married 10 yrs ago, lost that a little bit. so overall, a good experience.

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