I hate Facebook chat. In fact, I hate almost all kinds of instant messaging, but I especially hate Facebook chat because it doesn’t archive conversations, which is a must for broody broads like myself. I’ll happily chat with my immediate family, but anyone beyond that leaves me feeling like I need more time to prepare, worried and uncomfortable. But enough about my social anxiety: Ruth loves Facebook chat.

Ruth and I FB chatted once, long ago, at her request; Last week, she started up another, asking whether this was an okay way to contact me. I hadn’t heard from her in over a month, so of course the answer is yes: I have to adapt to this new and unpleasant medium. I like email—or even texts—since I have time to think about how to respond to things rather than having to immediately come up with something witty or wise or polite. Okay, polite isn’t hard, but you get me. We talked, and I’m glad, but I know that she would prefer for this to be our default, which is too bad.

But here’s what I learned: Cricket has an imaginary daughter named “Carpet” who seems very impulsive. Cricket has recently moved to a real bed, and it turns out that Carpet has trouble staying in bed at night.

This is also when she told me about the robot video and its fallout; she explicitly encouraged me (several times) to make more videos. It’s something I’m nervous about, but I’ll comply: this week I will narrate a video of Mr. Book getting his hair cut, probably. Most likely, I will take several—at the market, at the park—and let them duke it out, choosing the one in which I say the fewest dopey things.

7 thoughts on “FBC

  1. For what it’s worth, I used to hate the non-archival feature of Facebook, but I believe they changed that to an “integrated” message system where all chats and messages are stored together in the messages section. You might check there. 🙂 Doesn’t help with the spontaneity issue, but it does let you save them for later, which will be especially nice when Cricket is of the age that he can send you messages himself (!!!). Keep at it with the videos; it sounds like they’re well-received.

  2. I think it’s great the videos were so well received and that Ruth is asking for more. Good luck in overcoming your nervousness – I’m sure nothing you say is dopey and Cricket will find everything you do quite fascinating.

  3. I find it so interesting to see people’s preferred media. I love letters and emails plus phone with my family and few closest friends. It’s hard for me to picture why Ruth would prefer fb chat, except that she’s not good about replying to emails. Maybe it feels less formal or stilted than emails since the time pressure leaves less time for constructing a reply.

    I love the sound of Cricket’s imaginary daughter. And your next videos! I like the haircut video idea since Cricket will get his first haircut before long.

  4. I’m glad to hear that Ruth is encouraging contact, even if it’s partly in a medium that isn’t your preferred mode. And I love, love, love hearing about other kids’ imaginary friends.

  5. If you’re on FB but you don’t feel like being “chatted”, you can click the little wheel icon on the bottom of the chat box, then uncheck the “available to chat” option. That will make you invisible. I’m with you, I like to think about my answers.

    • And I used to be invisible constantly—but then Facebook started just signing me in all by itself, and now I’m visible all the time just in case there is Cricket news. =/

  6. The reaching towards you & the fact that Cricket loves the video = great things, even if awkward. I’m confused by FB these days, utterly confused. And I love imaginary friends. One of my favorite things in all of life, if I’m being honest.

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