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The Pursuit of Facebook
The past three years, I have been through one of the most torturous experiences of my life... well my teenage life that is. The title may be a little pathetic, but the story is relatable to a lot of people.
It all started when I was eleven, and my mom’s trust for me was growing. She was (and is still) very protective of me, so as an eleven-year old, letting me do stuff on my own was hard for her. But she knew that it was time to let me off my leash a little. I was starting junior high in a couple of weeks at a new school. My mom was finally starting to let me spend the night at my friends’ houses. One day I was spending the night at my friend Maddie’s house. We were watching the TV which was next to the computer.
“Hey, do you want to go on Facebook?” Maddie said as she walked towards the computer.
“What’s Facebook?” I asked, trying to think what a Facebook was like.
“You don’t know what Facebook is? Well then we have got to get you one!”
“Umm, I am not sure if I can have one. I would have to ask my mom.” I knew if it dealt with a computer, I would have to ask my mom. I wasn’t about to start breaking her rules so soon after she started loosening her grip on me. Besides, I would have hated to lose her trust in me.
“Well, at least see what it is before you ask your mom. That way you will know what it is so you will know what to say when you try to convince your mom.”
“Okay, I guess I can do that.”
I was watching Maddie as she logged on and started to chat with people. I was so fascinated at the fact that she had 70 friends to chat with. I mean there were only about 100 people at our old school and we wouldn’t be starting junior high until the next week.
“Holy cow! How do you have so many friends? There are only 24 people in our class,” I said, just in awe.
“Well, they are mostly family, but the cool thing is that you can chat with people privately or you can talk to a bunch of people all at once. You can even put stuff like how you feel and what you are doing on this thing here called your wall.”
“Wow!” I said, now even more amazed!
“Oh,” I said just as I was snapped out of my zone of amazement. “That’s my mom. I’ll see you later.”
“Bye!” Maddie said as she waved from her doorstep.
“Mama! Can I have a Facebook?” I said as I jumped into the car.
“Sorry sweetie, but you are too young. You are just not responsible enough yet. Ask me when you are 12.”
Now I would have to wait another year...
A year had gone by, and now I was twelve. During this time I had been to many friends’ houses, and all of them had a Facebook account. Most of them asked why I didn’t have one and they asked like it was a crime to not have one. All I told them is that my mom did not think I was responsible enough. Others just assumed I had one and they asked me to be their friend on Facebook. Some people told me that they couldn't find me on Facebook. I told all of them the same thing, that I didn’t have a Facebook.
I realized that now that I was twelve I could ask my mom again!
“Mama, can I have a Facebook? Please?” Yes, I had even started begging for Facebook. How pathetic had my life become?
“Well, if you can show me that you can be responsible. That means keeping your room clean, doing your laundry, and finishing all of your homework on time. If you do all of those things and keep them up for a couple of months then we’ll see.” Yup, this is my life with my mom, always negotiating about something or other. Now I had to be responsible!
Normally, people have no problem doing all of the above in about two hours, but for me it was a HUGE challenge. I was just starting to learn how to study and how to be on time with everything. My first two years of junior high were the toughest. I was still learning the ropes and for me some things came easy, but for most other things I had to work really hard at them. I would be up until midnight at the earliest on most nights, including the weekends, just to work on studying and homework. I know that most preteens would have a struggle with keeping their room clean and their laundry done, but I was already a full-time student and I was not going to sacrifice a grade for a clean room.
As time went on, everything got a lot easier, but it was still a major struggle to meet expectations, especially when those expectations are from the ones that you want to amaze the most.
The school year went on and it was time for the 8th grade Will and Awards ceremony. The 8th grade could will any part of their characteristics or even objects to any of the 6th or 7th graders. I was a 7th grader, so anyone could have willed anything to me. When the ceremony was over, I was willed the love for Facebook, six times!
I called when I got home, my mother of course.
“Mama, we had our Will and Awards ceremony today.”
“Oh, what awards did you get?” my mother said, not wondering about the wills at all.
“I’ll tell you later, but guess what most of the 8th graders willed me today?”
“Okay, sweetie, what did they will you?”
“Well six out of the eight of them willed me the love for Facebook!”
“Well, you know what you have to do to get one,” she said for about the hundredth time.
“Yes, I know, but can’t I just have one?” I said sadly.
“You know what you have to do and I have to get back to work so I will see you when I get home.”
“Okay, bye.” Crushed again!
It was now the summer before my 8th grade year. My cousins and my great aunt were visiting from Texas. Whenever my family from Texas visits, we get together with my cousins, aunts and uncles from Seattle and Cashmere. It feels like a family reunion. I am so happy because I am an only child and it is nice to have other teenagers in the house with me. Of course, they all have a Facebook account and all of them try to convince my mom to let me have one.
One night all of us were having dinner together.
“Hey Mincita, (my mom’s family nickname) why don’t you let Jordanne have a Facebook account?” said my uncle Giorgio. He already knew why because I had just told him, but he asked anyways.
“She knows what she has to do.” My mom replied, without hesitating one bit. She doesn’t like it when people ask her something twice when they already know the answer.
My cousins Alex, Tommy, Diego, Giorgito, and I were all watching TV when my uncle Giorgio came in.
“Hey Jordanne, what is your email?” My uncle Giorgio asked as he held his phone in front of my face with the Facebook sign-up page on the screen.
“I can’t tell you. My mother would kill me!”
“Oh, no she won’t. I’ll just tell her that it was all me.”
“No, I can’t!” I said, just annoyed now.
“Hey, what are you trying tell my daughter?” my mom asked as she walked into the room.
“Nothing!” Uncle Giorgio said as he quickly put away his phone.
“I just don’t understand why she can’t just have a Facebook account,” said my Aunt Jessica as she was coming into the room.
“Yes, I don’t understand! You have one,” Uncle Giorgio said, now just trying to annoy my mother.
As all of this was going on, I was thinking about how my mom got a Facebook for herself. She got it to check how safe Facebook could really be, but it still tortured me because she doesn’t even use it that often. I kept thinking, and thinking, and thinking, about why she wouldn’t want me to have one. She had one and she still wouldn’t let me have one. It kept coming across my mind that she was only trying to protect me, but I kept on pushing that thought away, so that I could come up with a way that would really make sense in my young immature little head of mine. I was stumped, so I just settled with the fact that I liked the least, she was ONLY trying to protect me, and not torture me by getting one herself.
Now that I am in the 8th grade, I AM ON FACEBOOK!!!! The terrible, cruel, and torturous catch is that I can’t have Facebook friends unless I get all A’s for the semester. This was a result of a new negotiation I had with my mom. I think she is grooming me to become Ambassador for the United States – we negotiate so much! Luckily the end of the semester was last week, so I held in my hand the envelope holding my semester report card.
“Ma! Let’s open my report card.” I said excitedly and also a little nervous.
“Okay, let’s just see if you got all A’s.”
As my mom opens the report card, I am just filled with nervousness. I just wish that it were all over and done with. When we saw the report card, I have two B’s, one in the first quarter and one in the second quarter for different classes. So now we have to calculate to see if for the semester I average all A’s – how frustrating!
I GOT ALL A’s! That means that my mother has to let me be friends with other people on Facebook. I am SO happy!
“I guess that you got all A’s,” my mother said dreadingly “but next time A minuses won’t count!”
“You know I did! I can finally have Facebook friends that aren’t you!”
It was very lonely having just my mom as a friend because she never goes on and she blocked me from all of her other friends, but now I can have other friends. I was feeling like such a pariah with only my mom as my friend.
So, in the end, or what I call my wonderful present, I have a Facebook page, with friends other than my mother, and I am now happily chatting away.
Months later, I am still chatting away with many people and also posting a new status every other day, and loading pictures every chance I get. Facebook had become a part of my day to day life. Even though I have been a Facebook user for a few months. I was and still am teased, in a jokingly harmless way, for being a newbie and I guess that you are a newbie until you have been on Facebook for at least a year.
So now Facebook is how I stay in touch with the people that I don’t see on a regular basis, and I am keeping up my grades. The funny thing was that I got my Facebook account right after the first school semester, and now that I have one, my grades have gone up to a 3.8 average to a 4.0 average!
The school year is almost over and so now you can guess what I’ll be doing this summer. ;)