In the midst of what seems like a very long, long line of stuff, I was doing a bit of feeling sorry for myself. And (yes, I started a sentence with “and”) checking FB a little too much (not that anyone else reading this can relate to that), caught up in the pull of fairly instant socialization (however detached it is in some ways). I looked through pictures – others and my own, reflecting on the things that do change (hair styles) and the things that do stay the same (some friendships) and the things I wish would have changed (some negative attitudes) and wish would have stayed the same (my 1994 athleticism). Feels like I was searching for something, but without a goal. Just looking over the lives summarized in a few (or many) albums and condensed summaries of who they are – education, work, a quote….
I put up some new profile pictures today, mixing it up a little (see I do know how to live life on the edge) and got comments about looking exhausted, like I was off to party hard, being a cowgirl and about to lose my mind for wearing winter clothes in the summer (the picture was actually from March). There was beauty in every comment. At the end of the day, there are people who would tease me because they know I can take it (and give it back). That there are people who would look close enough at my picture to consider these things because they want to see what I’m up to. That even though I don’t always get the response I want when I want it to my posts, messages and texts (which is bizarre that I even expect them quicker when I know how long it can take me to respond – enough said friends?), people respond…eventually.
I have incredible friends and family in my life that I spend actual physical time with and that is essential. I don’t think that negates, though, what Facebook can offer. As much as we poke at the superficiality of online networking (which we cannot disagree has its problems, so we need to be careful about how we use it) there is no doubt that it has the power to bridge gaps in people’s lives and be a reminder of the many out there who have been there or are going there with us. We get advice (some of it not necessarily good, but generally, at least, entertaining) and words of comfort. So it is not always so much what is said, but the saying of it at all. (Note, though, that I do enjoy compliments on my profile pictures in addition to the jests.)
I think we skim the News Feed, like it is straight from CNN, because we truly want to know the details of the lives going on around us, from people’s own perspectives – to find out that the person you thought would conquer the world has his or her own challenges to face. That the person you had a crush on in 5th grade does not really have bones made of gold, as it seemed. To hear the songs that sing to others’ hearts. To peek at huge moments and every day hilarity. To post events and reunite. To learn that silly Deb, who jokes and smiles, has…been feeling sorry for herself, but she will be okay. That realness is one of the most honest and helpful things I think we can bring one another. We offer one another our stories and our audience.
Posted on Facebook on Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm