Fireworks on FaceBook
FaceBook continues to amaze me, as a versatile and powerful means of reaching out to others. Having been too self-conscious in the past to have ever felt comfortable enough to have embraced it, I find I am now in the infancy of a newly-found harmonious relationship with this form of social networking.
I do not mind that some people choose not to engage in FaceBook, because I remember what it was like to be up here on my mountain, perfectly content to be left A-Lone. Everyone has the right to remain within the boundaries of what is comfortable. For some the difficulty is the extension of self into the public forum; for others it is an invasion of privacy. I have no interest in trying to convince anyone that he or she should become involved in FaceBook. That is a personal choice; all I want to do is explain why it works so well for me.
I still find it immensely difficult to engage in social settings, comfortably. I have to weigh each event on its own merits, consider all factors, and then proceed with caution. With FaceBook there are no social anxiety issues. I am not terribly active with the posting of personal agenda items, except for my writing, so I do not incur others’ wrath. I also get a sense of enjoyment out of lending a shoulder for others to lean on, when times are hard. It never seems to matter if the person needing a shoulder to lean on, is three thousand miles away.
It’s about having someone on the other end of the keyboard, who cares enough to at least read what was posted, and make some kind of response. For some that is not how it works. For others, it’s what works best. I am someone who still derives a great deal of satisfaction out of taking no more than ten or fifteen minutes, a couple of times a day, to see if there are folks out there in cyber-space, who are hurting.
There are different ways that folks express pain. There are those who lash out with personal attacks, directed at some unknown target, replete with plenty of spicy language to accompany the diatribe. I avoid these, because they are personal. Then there are those who simply speak in the present, saying in one simple phrase, life-altering statements that come from the depths of their souls, and the words hang on my wall on FaceBook, and scream out for a response.
I see it as the same as the middle school kids who used to come early to school, and who would come into my classroom in the time before school started, to sit and chat about nothing in particular, except that the stuff they talked about involved the same sorts of issues, only from a less experienced perspective. A person either has the capacity to sit and listen, while grading spelling tests, or entering grades into a notebook, or a person does not.
That is all a part of FaceBook. Of course, many post a lot of stuff, but do not themselves, scroll down their walls, dutifully seeing what others have to say. It doesn’t make them bad people, because they approach FaceBook differently; at least they are there.
What does annoy me, is that some people put FaceBook down, because they have a narrow concept of what it is all about. They see it as idle chatting, which does describe a fair amount, but neglect to see that a wealth of other information also exists for those who care to pursue it. Ignore FaceBook if you choose, but leave the criticism behind.
For those who feel the invasion of privacy issue, I conclude that I have no point of reference. I no longer feel the onus of having a “spotlight” on me, as I did my entire life, until I got rid of my panic attack syndrome. Now, I feel comfortable reestablishing ties with a multitude of individuals, who have unconditionally invited me into their spaces.
I find it very enjoyable, and satisfying beyond description. The climb into the 21st century has been arduous and challenging, but has proven well-worth the effort. All I have to do is click on my wall and start scrolling. It’s like strolling down the boulevard, without the discomfort of jenky knees.
OK, let’s see who’s out there today. I bet there will be some colorful pics of fireworks, not to mention some inspiring Independence Day feasts. I don’t even have to leave my kitchen to see the fireworks displays on FaceBook. And the dogs get a break from the firecrackers.