Some months ago I decided to no longer post on Facebook my thoughts that I record in this blog. The impetus for that had two components.
First, from perusing Facebook, I had collected over time a well of frustration relating to various religious, political, and deepity type mental emesis that was threatening to overflow. That would be healthy for no one.
Second, it seemed that I had a talent for alienating friends simply by sharing my thoughts. In fact, a couple of them had been quite dismissive and insulting, intentionally attacking my character. After some challenge to them, these folks decided to withdraw from the conversation, cutting me off entirely. This did not tend to augment anyone’s happiness levels.
So I drew the conclusion that I’d rather not alienate any more friends. The result was that I largely just ignored Facebook for a while, checking in here and there to make sure I didn’t have any private messages, and that I would no longer share my (apparently) controversial thoughts in that forum.
But then two things happened.
First, I managed to alienate another friend anyway, completely apart from Facebook and blog ramblings. In fact, through a quirk of circumstance, I happened to find out precisely how much my friendship was worth to this other person: $130. (As usual with me, in my last communication I left the door open to reconciliation, but the other party simply deemed it not worthy of a response.) This told me that I didn’t need Facebook or the internet in order to lose friends. I seem to be able to do this no matter the medium. (Lest we think I’m having a pity party here, I’m not. I’ve made several friends over this same time period, and many others have shown meaningful support to me simultaneously. But I think these observations are relevant.)
Second, I just happened to get on FB recently and have a look back at my own page from the last year. Reviewing the pics, the short discussions, the funny or random articles, I realized what a great scrapbook FB is. That is, in the current solipsistic age (or blog post, as you deem) FB may stink as a medium for engaging friends, but it makes for a nice record of activities.
So here I am, back on FB posting pics, submitting comments, and, yes, linking to my blog. I have considered the price that I have to pay for being myself, and it seems worth the trade — at least for the moment. I cannot promise restraint or lack of controversy or that I won’t offend you, personally, dear reader.
But I will be myself. And I sincerely hope that is something you end up valuing, too.