Is it Social or Unsocial Media? I’m not sure.
Truth is, I’m awkward with social media. When I meet people and they reach out to connect on Facebook and then never interact, that seems weird to me. Or, if I reach out to them and they don’t follow back, that seems weird to me. Especially if they’ve said, “Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Let’s connect!” It would be very easy to eschew social media all together. Alas…
I recently took an 8 months hiatus from Facebook, or what I called My Time of Sanity Restoration and Liberation Campaign. If you’ve followed along with my posts the last few years, you know I’ve struggled with this issue a lot. So much so, that I’m sick of hearing myself complain about it! Ha–now that’s bad! Here are a couple of old posts concerning my problems with social media. Feb. 2018 and Nov. 2018
But, last week I bit the bullet and pushed the button to reactivate my Facebook page. Why? I went to my family reunion and had an aha! moment. There are so many beautiful children in our family (and yours and everyone’s). Many had grown up. Cousins were talking about recent experiences–good and bad–and I had missed out on many of them. Oh, I hear plenty that I need to. I do keep in touch with my family for important updates and big news. But, I missed a lot of the everyday events, the little things, the things we share quickly on social media and don’t think anymore about. Especially photos. I realized I missed those quotidian moments. I’m not suggesting that we only keep up with family and friends on media platforms. I am suggesting it’s a convenient and easy way to do so.
I did learn some things during My Time of Sanity Restoration, though. I learned that the people who want to keep you in their lives, will do so whether you are on Facebook or not. I learned some folks make the extra effort to stay in touch regardless of how it’s done. I learned some folks are just too busy raising babies, living a life, working hard, and surviving that life to make much extra effort. I get it. Been there, done that. I have friends and family who rarely interact with me on Facebook but who text me almost daily and call regularly. I can’t figure out those dynamics at all sometimes. So I won’t try.
In short, I missed some people–family, friends, bookstore updates (stop judging).
When I signed back on to Facebook the first thing I did was unlike thousands of pages. Did I need to LIKE every yoga studio in the US? Nope. Every museum? Nope. Every bookstore? Watch it–them’s fighting words. I unfriended people I really didn’t know. I unfriended people when I realized they had several accounts for several different kinds of friends. Actually, anyone with multiple accounts had to go. I unfriended people who I met once and then they ignored me. Or maybe I ignored them? I hope not, but it’s possible. AND I unfriended people who insisted on racist, homophobic, rude, political, mysoginistic rhetoric. Done with all of that. My Facebook is MY place. As Tyler Perry’s Medea says to a bad-mannered teenager, “I know you ain’t coming up in MY DAMN HOUSE and disrespecting me!” (I think I’m remembering that correctly…) I feel the same way. I also will be very discerning in adding new people. After all, (yes…) it’s my house.
I’m still not a big fan of Facebook. I don’t trust it. I think it is shady AF (always wanted to write that in a blog post! Score!). It still scares me.
I plan to watch The Great Hack movie on Netflix. Maybe you will want to, too? Here’s a link: The Great Hack
I am already aware of Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 US Elections and Brexit. It sickens me. I know I’ll learn more. It will sicken me more.
AND YET, I also think Facebook is the best way right now to keep up with old friends and faraway family. Or one best way, I guess.
All of that to say I’m back in a relationship with Facebook, and It’s Complicated.