My Facebook Life

 

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Thank you, someecards.com.  Still  love you as much as I ever have.

Seen this one?  It’s been niggling at me, rolling around my cortex for some time now.  I’m on both sides of this one generally, but today I’m willing to go to the mat for the side who believes that painting pictures filled with magic sparkle dust, daisies, and rainbows on social media represents a brighter, more balanced outlook.

Social media is F-A-S-C-I-N-A-T-I-N-G, wouldn’t you agree?  I LOVE Facebook and Twitter.  I suck at Twitter, but I love it.  People I admire, but have not a speck of dust in the universe of a chance of knowing, have responded to blasts I’ve written.  Facebook has allowed me to connect with new people and reconnect with others I’m delighted remember me.  Facebook cheers you up when it’s your birthday, it helps raise money and awareness for worthy (along with shady) causes, it reminds you of the recent history you’ve put out there, (including the best hair ever!  no really, the best hair EVER!  Check it here–I wouldn’t lie about such things), and it provides a vehicle to share in friends’ celebrations and sorrows. This blog and its comments are a different form of cybersocial interaction, and has become semi-essential to my mental health. I am clearly pro-sharing, but discriminating where I share.  No, rhyme and reason don’t apply evenly.  Check your logic at the door.

Say what you will about instant gratification and the importance of “likes.”  I can’t pretend I’m immune or that it’s not true, but I’m also not developing an anthropological or sociological treatise here.  I’m just saying I enjoy shooting positive or silly feedback of sorts.  Who doesn’t want to say or hear, “Awww, your kid’s so cute?” or “I love that smile?” or “This smartass meme made me think of you?”

The stuff people say and write when they’re down though?  It worries me.  It worries me for them for reals, as in “what can I do to help you?”  It also concerns me for society at large.  There’s a need for first world citizenry to expose its rawest nerve to accomplish, well, to accomplish what?  Wait, don’t answer yet.

This weblog drove me home when I lost my way and needed a ride back last year. I am way more exposed here, virtually naked sometimes, but I guess that is the point of a blog.  I deposit my sorrows and worries here, allowing my head and heart to march ahead.  It’s cheaper than therapy, and it’s fun for me to write, even when my subject matter isn’t upbeat.  Plus, Sudoku as a brain-builder is fucking killing me.  How can I be so galactically stupid at something third-graders can do??  Moving right along. . .  Feedback here is scant and episodic, and that’s OK with me.  Although I’m not gonna lie–still waiting for that special something to go viral and allow me to make a living on the TV talk show circuit.  Kidding–I’m still not delusional. I couldn’t take to more instantaneous media when airing my most profound spousal, parental, or workplace aches and pains, yet have little hesitation doing so here. Why is that?

A high school acquaintance of mine aggressively shared painful, excruciating detail of a cheating spouse and subsequent divorce each step of the way.  Another acquaintance broadcasts (brags?) her every disagreement with her boyfriend, especially those in which she believes she’s firmly in the right, and you guys, it gets ugly.  What is to be gained?  Why am I OK being worried for someone by a Twitter/Facebook emotional display and not my own? It feels like a random application of rules. I’m not the only one who does that, right?  Do I know I’m essentially OK?  Is that why I read others’ soul-baring as pleas for help and not my own?  I rant and know it’s a rant; I also know I’m “done” once I’ve written it out, but I don’t always read others’ rest of the story.

Yeah, my Facebook/Twitter life is a much diluted version of my autobiography, but it isn’t completely sanitized either.  Deep thoughts bubble to surface there, true and deep sentiments of loss and elation get reported alongside the mundane every shade in between–

“I think I speak for everyone when I say, ‘Everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight.’ Thanks, SiriusXM.”

“No matter how big he gets, and he is a mighty big 10-year-old, I still see his baby self when I watch him sleep so peacefully. My sweet boy.”

“If you think a toasted French toast flavored bagel topped with Nutella and bacon isn’t a good dinner option, you’re wrong”

#1: What’s the temperature gonna be like today, Mom? Short sleeves or long?
Me: 50s. You can go either way probably, but I’d go long.
#1: I guess I’ll go with short then.
Me: Good talk, son.

“If you’re wondering if I enjoy removing thousands of staples from an 80-year-old floor, it’s a no.”

“You probably think that the first time you run after a long hiatus is the worst day. You’d be wrong though. No, no. After the second day you run is the one where your body laughs its ass off at your hubris.”

You get the idea.  But I think it’s all right this way.  For me anyway.  Facebook mundane feels a lot better than–

So now my son’s neurologist identified chorea, which is involuntary, non-purposeful movement, in his hands and legs and has ordered a series of labs to rule out a metabolic disease.  These lab results are delivered to my inbox without interpretation besides Dr. Google, and Dr. Google proves himself an EXTREMELY unreliable motherf’er.  MDA camp is in two weeks, and while I’m beyond excited and elated he’s been selected, I still wish he didn’t need to have this opportunity.  Not having a kitchen has finally beaten my capacity to exercise patience and I may have been a total bitch to my  husband about something super deep and complex like, “breakfast is ready.”  I’m worried that the project is going to break our bank, and I’ll never be able to help my kids pay for their education.  I feel constantly reminded of my inability to accomplish good things for my colleagues.  It seems that an important friend has begun to communicate with me through an intermediary or avoid me altogether, and it stings.

So yeah, pack your pixie dust and ride your unicorn on over to my Facebook wall and Twitter feed.  We’re gonna suspend a more bleak reality for a little while and have a little par-tay.  Maybe you’ll laugh.  Maybe you’ll smirk.  Maybe you’ll read a reminder to be kind or see a silly meme about shenanigans.  Oh, Wendy’s written yet another love letter about Barenaked Ladies??  Color me shocked!  You won’t see me take someone to task there though.  You might read about butterflies in my tummy about MDA camp, but you won’t read that those butterflies feel more like velociraptors tearing me up.  My Facebook life isn’t awesome, but it’s not a death knell either.

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21 thoughts on “My Facebook Life

  1. So true. My blog- excepting the photo course I partook in on WordPress- tends to expose the real me much more than my Facebook does. Hard to explain why except that I tend to see blog readers as more respectful than the FB community.
    Good writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bloggers are a very decent bunch, that’s for sure. I think maybe when you put yourself out here via your blog, you understand the risk taken, and are more decent in return. One has to look only so far as their local newspaper’s online editorials to read hate speech meant to inflame, and responders usually do it under cloak of anonymity. FB tends to be a little more in our face–not THAT kind of in your face, but you’re onto something. Thanks for the compliment and for taking the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think some differences can be nailed.
    You’re not blogging directly into the feeds of other people, are you, like you would on Facebook or Twitter? Except if you count the rss feed, but I find that different, because … ehm. If you want to blog, the reader does not trigger you to read everything first. You can have your rss completely separate from your blog.
    And if you want to read a full blogpost, you have to click through. If you want to ignore it, it’s far easier, and if you don, it’s your own decision, much more than in a twitter home feed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s true! Extra steps are involved when finding your way to a blog, and I think (I really do) that people read blogs with greater attention. FB is a blast of info, where issues are more fully fleshed out here. Blogs are easier to ignore. 🙂 The reader makes a commitment of sorts. Something like that anyway, right?

      Like

      • Yes, and then on Twitter, there are tiny pieces, but one after the other, and if I saw your Tweet, the next nanosecond I see the next. Hard to stop, work through your reaction to a certain tweet, then go on. Though it happens.
        (I’m not on facebook)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting read, as always. For me, FB is a short snippet, while blogging takes time and thought. We write and read blogs because of a drive to understand and be understood. I am more likely to develop an idea on my blog (or even in response to someone’s else blog). However, FB is often an off-the-cuff remark (positive or negative). Both personas are real. One is an “office water-cooler” conversation; the other is a “let’s have some tea together” time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree! My facebook and blog are two different beings altogether. There’s definitely a freedom to blogging. Moreover I feel that I would bore people on facebook with my long posts lol Facebook is a snippet people don’t really have the time to go into great detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The thing I love about FB is the false sense of accomplishment it gives. You post something, and that means, you’ve DONE something. But, really, you haven’t done much. Then the likes and comments start rolling in, and you feel like you’ve done a bigger something, but, really, you haven’t done any more than before; you’ve just done your not much with other people now doing not much.

    That said, FB is an important part of our daily lives. It is important to use it simply because such a high percentage of the world’s population is using it. There is a community there, and people need to belong.

    For me blogging fills a similar niche, but I feel like — am fooling myself? — that I am accomplishing something with my blog. Every visit, every view, every comment, every like, every country of a visitor gives me a nice little reward and feeling of accomplishment. Ooh! There’s a blog post, “The Dopamine of Social Media!”

    Jack

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a brilliant title, and a perfect follow-up to my ramblings here. You have your assignment! You’re right about the feedback, on FB, and especially here. On FB I drop something quick, and here I contemplate. Getting positive strokes here is a reward, I can’t say it’s not. Thanks so much for stopping by & giving me food for thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I once took a course in journaling — kind of the precursor to blogging — and one of the greatest lessons as we were all writing in our journals and discovering ourselves was to go back through your journal and find places to thank people for helping you. It was very powerful. Amazing really.

        We were all blown away by the follow up lesson to that: go through and find place to say you’re welcome.

        We may never know how we’ve touched someone or changed them or what they thought was a significant interaction, so its nice to make that connection.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think my FB is a bit different from my blog, I tend to over share on my blog and that’s okay, it’s intended to be authentic and honest. On FB it’s more like semi informational, semi hmmmmm, and semi really?? All in fun though because I feel that too many people are easily offended more on FB, maybe its because they’re not entirely sure of the intention behind the FB blurp. But then again what do I know, I’m bumbling though life like everyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: The Dopamine of Social Media! – The Psy of Life

  8. Pingback: What Kind of Grinch Do You Think I Am? | Greater Than Gravity

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