October 21, 2016

everything everywhere always

It is still dark outside. The world, as I know it, is still snoozing away snuggled in their homes, quietly peaceful. Even the birds are not awake yet, as I stick my nose out our slider door to enjoy a deep breath of salty air. Within that breath are the memories of many years, countless people, and truly, all of my life. I love doing that, and I am never disappointed.

However, I made a mistake this morning. While my beloved continues to slumber, I quietly got my morning coffee and intended to write, anticipating the small slice of solitude in which to attempt to organize my thoughts. I love writing, and I love having the space and time to do so. Unfortunately for me, like I said, I made a mistake. I read someone’s blog that, once again, called me out as a crappy person, a used-to-be friend who lacked the integrity to hang in there and ALWAYS be there. So, no, that wasn’t the best way to take the first bite of my ‘slice,’ as it were.

I should know better by now. Every time this person blogs, they just can’t leave it alone. They continue looking backward and lamenting how they have been mistreated despite their best efforts and intentions. Painting past situations according to their recollections…which is their prerogative, I suppose. I just need to learn the lesson: don’t read.

This is a lesson I am learning the hard way. Just this past week, I finally reached the critical point of deactivating my Facebook account. Don’t get me wrong—I have always been a proponent of the social media site, even defending it against very vocal religious detractors. So what changed? Well, I have been wondering that same question. All I have to observe is my own experience, so this is another ‘subject set of one’ type warrant; the fact is that I was really getting bumped and bruised as a participant. It didn’t seem to start that way, and as everything, it is in a constant state of evolution simply because the users are constantly changing. We change our views, our perspective, our experience, and our knowledge with each passing day, and with that change, the social landscape changes. The changes take place ever-so-slowly, but they do change. And one day you wake up and say, ‘hey! This sucks!’ Well, even if you don’t say that, you know that somehow what you have been doing is something that needs to be changed.

Facebook just wasn’t fun anymore. I remember, back in the days of the beloved Chaverim, sitting around laughing and posting with each other—it was enjoyable and edifying. We were learning about each other and the social media world around us, and sharing it all. It was beautiful, and I miss it. But, everything changes and my beloved friends disbanded, and Facebook became a bully pit. No one can post ANYTHING without another person, a so-called ‘friend,’ pushing them around a bit. Is that true? Did you check Snopes? Did you do your research? Why did you post that…I thought you were intelligent! How can this be edifying anymore? Political campaign smears and corrupt media articles, biased fear-mongering, and grandstanding, contrary comments all mixed together with cat memes and ads for bust-enhancers was just getting to be too much for me. It was stealing my joy of living. It was hijacking my peace with its addictive nature. I was spending way too much time scrolling in hopes of one good post that would make me feel the way we used to feel—included, liked, and accepted—to no avail.

I had to ask myself why I was on Facebook in the first place. My answers, after some pondering, were things that I just wasn’t getting on the site where I was spending so much of my free time: intelligent articles and information, insightful and thoughtful encouragement, and friendship. I was receiving NONE of these things on Facebook. None. In fact, the friendship piece was almost completely nonexistent, except for very few that I can count on one hand (and have fingers left over). So, that left me with only one option—get off.

So, that’s my story. When I deactivated my Facebook account, (which is no easy task, by the way), I checked the box that said I was only going to be off ‘temporarily.’ That may be the case, but it may not. Truly, it is none of their business; they have received enough marketing and demographic data from me as it is. But, here’s my rule:

When it is no longer fun nor edifying, it’s over. 
Time to move on.

And that is the real lesson, in my mind, anyway. Things change. Websites change, relationships change and evolve, and we change. Our perspectives change. And, as we get older and supposedly more wise, we feel more free to actually say how we feel about those changes, and make more changes, if necessary. And, that is what happened with that relationship with the author of the blog post that I read first thing this morning—things changed. The relationship demise the author was bemoaning had evolved into something that was not satisfying to all involved. It was unfortunate, indeed, but just because the relationship ended doesn’t mean it wasn’t good before, or that the entire relationship was a deception. It just changed, just like everything everywhere always.



2 comments:

Shannon Potratz said...

Greetings Hendel, Shannon here. Your favorite Tusken Raider (I hope that's still true). I had noticed that you, Lisa, and Charles had all been absent from my FB feed for a while. I don't spend a great deal of time there myself, but I do check in regularly. At any rate, I hunted through your archives in hopes that I could find some explanation for why I no longer saw my friends on my newsfeed. I suspected I already knew the answer, and it was confirmed in your blog. My apologies if ever there was something I may have said that contributed to your deactivation. I still think about my favorite Jedi friends. I hope all is well with you. Miss you all dearly.

Hendel D'bu said...

Dear Shannon,
Yes, you will always be my favorite Tusken! I am glad you sought me out :-) Facebook was just too much, and it was really dragging me down. And, yes, all three of us have left FB, not to be returning. I suspect a few others will choose the same route to find sanity in their lives again.

But, be assured, that the next time we are in your town we will want to meet up for a meal and a few laughs. You can always find me at moedimgirl@gmail.com - in fact, would you be so kind as to send me a quick message to let me know you saw this?

Give my love to your sweet family, too!
MTFBWY,
Liz