Good morning! I hope this blog finds you well rested and loved after Christmas. I wish I could say that I am in top shape but I have definitely been better. I have a nasty cold complete with chest coughs, blocked nasal passages and a fever. The cherry on top was losing my voice. I sound like Patti Mayonnaise. But, I didn’t get on here to complain about that! All in all I had a quiet Christmas spent with people I love and that’s all I can ask for.
Something has been weighing on my mind though. The holidays are of course about seeing family and catching up with each other, near and far. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so many other public forums it feels like we already know what is going on in a person’s life. We get to watch children grow from afar, feel a person’s pain during loss, and so much more. But do you ever really know what is going on in a person’s life unless they personally come to you and tell you? Some of the brightest, smiling, faces online are struggling behind comprehension. Being able to share with friends and family online is a treasure. It’s a privilege to be chosen to apart of a person’s life online. That doesn’t give anyone the right to start questioning you or judging you or thinking they know your whole life story. We live in this world where we feel entitled to an endless source of personal information about one another. When I went through my last break up I actually deactivated my Facebook for 6 or more months because I couldn’t handle the people questioning me “what happened?” “You seemed so happy” “Are you single now?” It was so horrible I actually never reactivated that Facebook. Too many memories and far too many “friends” on that list. So I created a new one where I honestly am very selective about who gets to be on there.
My life is pretty much an open book. You can’t be a blogger and not have a certain degree of honesty about your life. My writing is my therapy. It’s hard for me to open up sometimes. You might not know it, but hitting that “publish” button sometimes takes my breath away. Is someone going to judge me? Is my writing good enough? Am I being TOO candid? But I still do it, because I am growing through every post.
The moral of this story is that when someone trusts you enough to give you a front seat to the show of their life you should respect that. If someone wanted you to know every personal detail of what is going on beyond the photographs, they would tell you. You are NOT entitled to knowing everything about someone just because they have given you the chance to share fragments of their life.
I love social media for keeping me connected to the people I care about but I worry that we are becoming so detached from the reality that there is a person behind the screen. It’s easy to question, threaten, intimidate, or have an opinion about a person when you aren’t facing them directly. It’s also just as easy to love, compliment, and spread cheer. It seems lately though that social media has turned into a breeding ground for bullies. Technology has us jaded and I for one am going to make it a goal to unplug more often. When I go to the yoga studio and turn my phone off for an hour and a half and spend time doing nothing but nurturing myself and being present, I feel so much better. It’s like all the fuzz in my brain is gone. There is clarity that comes from being mindful and focused.
When you spend all your time staring at your newsfeed you are soaking up all those people’s energies. If they are in a bad mood and complaining, you are inviting that into your space by reading it. I am not some granola hippie (well…to some extent I am)…I am not crying out for total social media abstinence. I am just bringing attention to the fact that there is more to life than what meets the eye online.