June 22, 2010
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I love Facebook and its vast accumulation of in-the-moment thoughts and emotion. As my friend Jenny puts it, Facebook is “the world’s conversation.” News, gossip, events, from the significant to the trivial, flow full force like water from a fire hose. However, as fun as all that activity is, it’s also easy to get lost in that flood of information. Our little voice is one of thousands, and we can end up with hurt feelings if we don’t adjust our expectations.
I’ve found Facebook to be a great place to practice the art of not overreacting. One thing that pushes my buttons is being ignored, and on Facebook being ignored is an everyday occurrence. Our posts get lost in our friends’ rapidly moving news feeds, and, even worse, people we reach out to can literally ignore our requests to connect. I must have sent three friend requests to one poor guy I knew in high school before I realized that every time he received one he was clicking his “Ignore” button. Whoops.
In order to enjoy Facebook we need to let go of expectations and accept our tiny place in the gigantic flow. We’ve got to get comfortable with the fact that we’ll often be invisible, that our posts may not be acknowledged, that our voice will blend into the group’s. We’ve got to learn to accept rejection with grace or at least neutrality, and not make up stories about why someone doesn’t answer us or why they don’t want us in their circle of friends.
Because Facebook can truly be a delight. With Facebook I know I can stay connected with my childhood friend Donna no matter how far away she is. I can watch the blossoming of my second cousin’s three daughters even though I’ve never met them. I can hear what Tim Gunn has to say about Project Runway, and I can see a picture of my daughter’s driveway, covered with snow, a minute after she snaps the photo.
And I get the opportunity to make my own contribution, however small, to the world’s conversation.
Copyright © 2010 From The Easy Place