The two topics that the human-interest columns are obsessing over right now are : (1) women lamenting their life choices, regardless of what they’ve chosen to do with their lives (sidenote: a producer for NPR’s The Takeaway called me earlier this week to possibly participate in a discussion on their show about work/life balance as a young lawyer, but they decided to “go another direction.” I’m pretty sure my interview answers weren’t miserable enough for the angle that’s been so trendy lately), and (2) Facebook making people cri cri cri big tearz of sad loneliness. I am just not getting it.
An academic paper recently focused on the Facebook sad, and found a correlation between Facebook use and depression. It stems from a theory of readers comparing their typically mundane lives with the “highlight reel” that is posted by others online. Martha Beck also did a big piece in O magazine on “Fear of Missing Out.” She finds her facebook-obsessed clients become obsessive and depressed about all the fun things they’re missing out on, and gives tips for “breaking free.”
People do this? They really do this? I spend more hours on Facebook than I care to admit, but it has never occurred to me to look at it through jealous eyes. Facebook for me has always been a constant feed of inspiration. I love seeing all the cool things everyone else is doing, and that gives me ideas for cool things that my family and I can go out and do. When I see someone doing fun things, I think “AWESOME! I want to do that, TOO!!” And then I start making plans to DO whatever that fun thing is. I don’t say “Booo hoo where is all my fun?” Not all my Facebook time is puppies and rainbows…I admit that from time to time I indulge in a little schadenfreude from that newsfeed (come on, who doesn’t, and you know it makes you feel guilty but good), but I’ve never been jealous or sad from Facebook.
Does seeing other peoples’ adventures on Facebook make you jealous and sad, or does it inspire you with ideas for adventures of your own?
In an entirely different direction, I took Baby Beez on a long stroller walk today along the Riverfront Trail, from the trail parking under the Veterans Bridge all the way past PNC Park and Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino and a whole bunch of crusty old “Boat Clubs” all the way to SCI Pittsburgh. Out and back was a total of 7.5 miles. Baby Beez was in her brand-that-will-remain-unnamed jogging stroller that has only gone out for a “jog” once before. When Baby Beez was about 6 months old, we went to Schenley Park for a trail jog. Within just a few moments of jogging, the thing rumbled violently and the front wheel popped off. We crashed and burned, but were ultimately OK. I assumed I hadn’t installed the wheel properly, and in my fear of once again eating dirt the stroller remained tucked away in a corner for the next 2.5 years.
Today I was finally inspired to give it another go. I had to haul the big, clunky folds-but-not-very-well thing to the gas station to inflate the wheels, then I had to awkwardly cram the stupid thing in my car. Baby Beez and I got to the trail and I double checked and triple checked the front wheel, and everything was installed properly. It was all smooth for the first few minutes of walking, but within 10 steps of breaking into the jog, the familiar RUMBLETHUMPRUMBLETHUMPRUMBLETHUMP returned. The front wheel swivels, and something about he swivel function just isn’t right. It’s not effective to lock-out the swivel, because the front wheel gets fixed in a position that makes the whole thing pull to the side. The result is that you can’t use it for jogging, unless you want the whole thing to rumble and explode in a million pieces or for it to veer off the trail. Which is so useful, since it is a jogging stroller.
To actually be ABLE to jog with a stroller, I’m guessing I’m probably going to have to plunk down the cash for a BOB or a Phil & Teds. Given how much I’ve gotten back into running, I’d probably actually use it, but I don’t want to get one if Baby Beez is going to grow out of it right away, and there are only about 4 months in Pittsburgh that are appropriate weather-wise for outside running anyway. I’m not entirely sure that a jogging stroller will be worth the cash money at this point. Any thoughts from anyone more experienced with jogging strollers would be welcomed.
After discovering that I cannot actually jog with my jogging stroller, I was pissed. It was a huge production for us to even get out to the trail, and I wasn’t going to just turn around and pack us all back into the car, to drop Baby Beez off with Mr. Beez and go off for a run on my own. And I couldn’t run with her in the stroller. So I decided that I was going to walk, and I was going to walk until I was done with my anger. The anger took 7.5 miles of walking, but at least I earned myself a bunch of activity points.