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Debra-Lynn B. Hook: Stuck inside, who's hating Facebook now?

Debra-Lynn B. Hook, Tribune News Service on

Published in Parenting News

O Facebook, my Facebook, you multibillion-dollar social behemoth critics love to hate, where would my pandemic-panicked soul be without you at 2 a.m. when I've woken from another world-is-ending dream?

Where would I be at 10 a.m. when I realize I've not only consumed my sugar allotment for the day, but possibly my RDA of caffeine and fat, I'm eyeing the alcohol and I don't even drink?

Or at 6 in the evening when I can't peel myself off Netflix to eat pasta again, much less cook it?

Where would I be at 4 and 8 and every other hour of the day when the only two people I directly engage with are off in the far corners of the house, and I'm starting to talk to the stuffed lamb my sister gave me for Easter?

Better than a therapist, better than a sister or a friend, each of whom will eventually roll over and fall asleep or demand a co-pay, my Facebook is an omnipresent blank canvas on which to express the deep underpinnings of my every-changing COVID-coaxed neuroses.

Zoom -- yes, wish-we-bought-stock-in-Zoom -- may have captured the corner on family meetings and tele-conferencing during these stay-home times. But for a whole lot of people around the world, right up there with food, clothing and masks that fit, is the brainchild Mark Zuckerberg's started in his Harvard dorm room.


No meeting ID, nor time limit, required, Facebook offers news, a marketplace, games and a hangout with a choice of 2.4 billion monthly users, 24-7 and free -- a full-service community that has become doubly important with the social losses created by the pandemic.

"For this person in solitary confinement, it's my lifeline," says my one friend, a poet and former Unitarian-Universalist minister who lives in Indiana.

"It's my coping mechanism," says another friend, "my main news source," says another, in Cleveland.

"I love seeing what other people are doing, thinking, how they are coping with all this," says my friend Becky.


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