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Monday, October 13, 2014

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Facebook makes me tired.

Well, let's be real about this... pretty much everything makes me tired lately.

I've come to understand that when it comes to pop culture, or socialization, or politics, or religion, or trendy food/styles/music, or lifestyles, or wisdom, or friendship, or pretty much anything really-- I am not enough.

I don't feel passionate about most things. It's not that I don't have opinions or ideas, I've just lived long enough to understand that shouting my ideas to anyone within earshot (or who can see my Facebook post or Tweet or Pin) keeps me from hearing what anyone else might be saying.

But maybe that's the point. Maybe those people who say inflammatory things about sexuality and marriage and religion and Twinkies and disposable diapers don't want to hear what anyone else says.

I do, though.

Watching people I know and care about write gloating or caustic things about my beliefs is difficult for me to process. I don't write things about their beliefs. I don't press "like" when someone else does. I suppose if I feel passionate about something, it's that people have the right to believe as they wish without being mocked or bullied in a social forum.

It's an unpopular belief. VERY unpopular. I still feel it passionately.

Seeing posts about extreme political views or reading comments that are hateful or blatantly bigoted-- posts and comments that originate from people I care about deeply-- well, that simply makes me even more confused. I want to support them. They're my friends and sometimes my family. But mostly I don't agree with anyone.

Feeling isolated on Facebook is a very odd concept.

I write posts about funny things that happen to me or something beautiful I've encountered. Sometimes I laugh at myself or wonder what to make for dinner. Occasionally I whine because my life feels a little bit overwhelming or painful.

Why did I join Facebook in the first place?

I thought it might keep me connected with people I care about. I wanted to see pictures of spouses and children and friends and loved ones. Sometimes I play Scrabble there, and other stupid Facebook games. There are times that I read posts that make me laugh. I hoped I would feel closer ties to people I care about.

I don't though. The photos are still fun. I like reconnecting with people from my past (actually-- that was a therapy assignment). But I find myself hiding posts that feel hateful, or that diminish parts of my life that make me who I am, or that just make me wish I'd never read or seen or encountered whatever topic might be screaming at me from my computer. Mostly, at this point, it's very clear that Facebook is a way for people to say, "Look at me! I'm here! and I can scream my opinions so very loudly that I'll never, even for a moment, hear the words you're whispering! They (and you) don't matter! The only thing that matters is that I get to talk about the things that make me angry/passionate/frustrated!"

I'm not a screamer. I would love to have a conversation about the things that are loved by the people I love. But a conversation is not a placard on Facebook. It's intimate and involves sharing, and it is only through that type of interchange that people understand what makes another person beautiful.

I'm too tired to participate in the scathing words. I don't have the stamina to fight over whether or not I believe things that are right or wrong. I despise feeling that I no longer have a right to decide what I feel--that I must jump on one bandwagon or another and original thought is no longer valued.

Perhaps it's time to unplug.

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