For me, the first wave of friending via Facebook involved science friends from various post-collegiate stages of my life, the second wave was college friends, and the third wave was high school friends. (I have written before that I have decided not to friend current students.)
Reconnecting with high school friends has been great, but a bit of a culture shock for me. I only kept in vague touch with many of them, so I sort of knew who was where and what they were doing, but not in detail.
I suppose that as we progress through academic careers, we end up being surrounded by people who are quite a lot like ourselves in terms of education level, career goals, lifestyle, and so on. Of course we do occasionally interact with people who don't have PhDs, but for the most part (except when I get my hair cut and my teeth cleaned), I don't hear the details of people's non-academic lives like I do from my high school friends via FB.
All of my female friends from high school have full or part-time jobs (none in academe), and as far as I can tell, all of them also cook the family meals and clean the house and do the laundry and take care of the kids. The husbands mow the lawn and occasionally take charge of grilling food. I am sure they do some other household tasks as well, but it is incredible how much my friends work after they are home from work. They are doing all the things our mothers did in addition to having jobs outside the home.
No, I have not been in a deep cave for decades -- I know that this phenomenon has been documented, and the hours that men and women devote to various household tasks have been tallied and analyzed, but reading about it in a study or a news report is somehow different from having the details of these lives in my face(book) every day, from people I know. People I grew up with.
Stuff like this:
Hubby gets back from his fishing trip today. I can just imagine how much laundry I'm going to have to do!!!!!!!
A friend who lives near her commented: At least you won't have to mow the lawn yourself anymore, but you did a great job with it this week!
There is a FB option to "like" things, but I wish there were also an option to "dislike" things. FSP dislikes that her friend is doing hubby's fishy laundry and wonders why hubby doesn't do it. My friend worked all week and took care of a sick kid and drove another kid to and from soccer camp every day and cooked all the meals and so on. She is superwoman. I would have let the lawn grow for a week.
My wish for my friend is that hubby gets back from his trip and says "You have been working so hard all week while I was out with my buddies, why don't you just relax while I do this big pile of laundry and fix us a nice meal?"
In fact, I never comment on these things my high school friends write in FB. I am sure there are many things about my life that my high school friends find appalling and strange and they are too polite to opine about these. But I will say this: however challenging and time consuming my science professor job is, these high school friends seem significantly more exhausted than I am. And no wonder, they have more jobs than I do.
8 months ago