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Tracking the 19 Stages of Me on Facebook

As I write this, ’tis the season. The time of the year when judgment is abundant. The hottest gifts, the best décor, the cutest family photo. Which brings me to a conversation in my living room last Friday.

I was sitting with a group of my close friends at the end of a long week, and we decided to treat ourselves to the hour of happy. 

A friend of mine shared a story from the Thanksgiving holiday. Her sister-in-law had asked whether her Facebook feed was also filled with pictures of elaborate, beautifully set holiday tables. My friend looked at her and said, “Umm, no, actually mine is filled with beach pictures and comments about escaping the holiday.” 

I couldn’t help but wonder: What is the trending question that divides your Facebook feed? I realize that, for me, the so-called divide changes from year to year. If Facebook had been around when I was coming of age, here’s what I would want to know at each phase to sort my Facebook friends into one camp or the other:

1. Toddler Me

Do people call you bossy, too?

2. Elementary School Me

Do you keep a diary? 

3. Middle School Me

Do you have a poster of Rick Springfield?

4. High School Me

Do you have the Jordache Jeans with the zippers on the bottom?

5. College Me

Can you understand me? (I grew up on the East Coast, but went to school in Ohio. Sneakers, soda—no one knew what the heck I was talking about.)

6. Young-Professional Me

Do you also want to go back to college, like right now?

7. New-Mom Me

Is your house a Barney-free zone?

8. Rec-League-Watching Me

Do you know the score? (’cause I don’t)

9. Three-Small-Kids Me

Will you not-so-silently judge me if I’m not really sure where all three are at one time?

10. Three-Slightly-Older-Kids Me

Do you unapologetically long for some alone time? You know, like All. The. Time.

11. Teaching-Kids-to-Drive Me

Have you mastered the effortlessly calm look on the outside, while dying on the inside?

12. Competitive Me

Do you play your killer ping-pong spin shot on your kids too, regardless of their age or ability to see over the table?

13. Raising-Three-Teens Me

Do you think you are losing your mind?

14. College-Application-Season Me

No, really, do you?

15. Mother, Entrepreneur, Volunteer Me

Am I the only one running late?

16. One-Kid-in-College Me

Are you sort of okay with him leaving?

17. Two-Kids-in-College Me

Are you sort of not okay that two are gone now?

18. The-“Baby”-is-16 Me

Do you have something in your eye, too? Sniff sniff.

19. Writing-This-Essay Me

Are you judging me? (Oh puh-lease, I know you’ve been judging me since you read about the hour of happy in the second paragraph.)

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Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman is publisher of Your Teen Magazine.

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