One year ago, I wrote Vestibulation, just as I was peeking over the brink of new awareness. Before I knew it was that, I was pretty sure I was losing part of myself. In that post, I laid out why it felt important to delete my Facebook account, one of many significant shifts to help bring things back into focus.
We are all moderately aware of the risks inherent to social media, and screen addiction, and escapism. This writing is not about those; it’s about why I’m back on Facebook, after a one year hiatus. Simply put, it is an ingenious tool, that allows us to self-promote, for something close to free.
I say “close to free,” because sharing about ourselves in this public forum, where people can take what they want from our offerings, and make snap determinations about us, sometimes without knowing us at all, is not without cost. In fact, my almost 9-year-old told me once, “Mom, you are taking a very dangerous risk by writing these blogs. What if someone disagrees with what you write?” (I assure you a truly beautiful discussion followed.)
I am back on Facebook because I love to write. I want to write more, and more, and more, and so I need to do just that, and set it out for the birds to pick over. Putting it out there means letting it fly, for the people who will love it, hate it, or feel ambivalent. Facebook…is an easy way to stare down my timidity, and basically, get over it. (Thank you, Facebook friends.)
I have also re-friended Facebook because 2015 was about ships sailing. Personally, Facebook feels less treacherous, and fun again. In clearing the decks, I’ve come to know who I am, at least in this moment of life. This means I don’t have to use Facebook to show others who I am, so they, in turn, can reflect back to me who I am, and I don’t need the escape, because there is less to escape from.
With more self-assurance, I am learning. I better understand that ego wants to feel valuable, and my heart wants to feel understood, but this organism only needs homeostasis. I have my own shape, and I am filled with my own value, organizing a life of health, love, safety, happiness, and ease…for myself and my family.
Facebook is not necessary for any of these; it is merely a convenient tool. As long as I can remember that, and keep it in its proper place—a place to share little moments, put up pictures, peek in on friends, and shamelessly self promote, then it’ll serve me just fine.