My Mom is in the hospital. She was admitted to the hospital on Monday of this week with what turned out to be 3 broken/fractured vertebrae and an urinary tract infection. Having worked with physical therapists within the hospital, walked with assistance and support of a back brace, and her infection under control, my Mom was set to be released today and moved to a rehab facility for a “short stay”. Unfortunately, this morning we found out she had an increased heart rate, and they canceled the plans of moving her to the rehab facility today.
I share the above to give you an idea of my current mood. To be clearer, some of the emotions I am feeling include anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, sadness, and tiredness. And though my Mom’s current situation may be the catalyst for this post, my Mom’s current situation only added an intensity to the emotions I listed. I was feeling those emotions before my Mom was admitted to the hospital.
Generally speaking, I am an active Facebook user. I have a Facebook page that I manage for my pet sitting business, where I post pictures of my dog and cat clients (sometimes reptiles and amphibians clients, too). And, with regards to my personal Facebook page, I enjoy checking in with family, friends, and a few acquaintances, seeing what folks are posting, and sharing my own thoughts, pictures, etc.. For the past year, many of my posts have been about racism, because I am very passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement, and I am actively working to live an anti-racist life. However, for the past week or so, I’ve not checked in with others via Facebook, and I’ve not posted pictures, thoughts, and/or articles.
For the record, I’m not a Trump fan. I didn’t vote for him when he ran and won, and I hope he never returns to hold a political office. In my opinion, in all the years that I have used social media, it was the worst place to be last year, and I believe the negativity was fueled by Trump and his supporters. I unfriended many friends and family members, because I was tired of the conflicts and what I perceived as hate speech. While I was unfriending them via Facebook, I didn’t consider it an end to all of these friendships, because many of these friendships were created before Facebook existed. That said, if I didn’t feel a need to reach out and connect with them in real life, and they didn’t feel a need to reach out and connect with me in real life, was it really a friendship?
There was a cartoon popular a few years ago showing a picture of a funeral home, with just a few people attending a funeral. The caption on the cartoon was something along the lines of, “I was expecting a larger turnout, because she had over 2,000 Facebook friends.” I’m a person that takes friendships seriously, and I’m not saying I am alone in that regard. But as I unfriended many Facebook friends, I was slowly coming to the realization that what I really wanted wasn’t Facebook friends but friends in real life. That’s sad, eh? Because before social media, we had friends in real life. Right?
For the past few days, when things with my Mom seem to be improving, I found myself once again scrolling through my personal Facebook feed just about every day. I didn’t post anything, and I “liked” or “loved” very little. This morning, while I scrolled, I grew increasingly frustrated with the division that continues to exist within my feed and my world of Facebook friends: Dr. Seuss. Masks. Biden. Trump. Cancel culture. Rights. Freedom. Claims one “is not racist because”. Questions of whether or not “cancel culture” is uniting or dividing. I find it all so sad. And when one is already sad, it doesn’t make sense to surround one’s self with more sadness. Plus, it pisses the hell out of me that the majority of the people complaining about a cancel culture are white. (It doesn’t surprise me; it makes me mad.) Plus, plus – having *not* engaged in the dialogue, the urge to engage has diminished. (I consider that diminish a blessing.)
I don’t know that my desire to become active again on Facebook will return. I will continue to update my business page, and when I write something for my blog – like today – I will share it on my personal page. But other than that? I’m out. No more “likes”. No more “loves”. No more engaging in posts. I think it’s time I get back to my writing, which is a better way for me to express and share my passions without getting bogged down by the distractions that fill one’s Facebook feed. And, I want to get back to more meaningful discussions with the people I interact with outside of Facebook. If you happen to be reading this and you are one of my Facebook friends, then the following message is for you.
If you need me – I’m here. If you want to talk – I’m here. Email me. Call me. Text me. Not sure how to reach me but we’re friends? Then I am sure you can find a way to reach me. If we have a friendship, then I’m not ending the friendship; if we don’t have a friendship, then I am no longer pretending to be friends. I’m tired of seeing my ‘friends’ in a light that breaks my heart. Truth is – my own personal life can break my heart, and that’s all I can handle right now. If you need me, you can still find me – just not on Facebook.
Do you find all of this a little too dramatic? Yeah. I can see it. But, I like to write. I like to express my thoughts. And this is my blog, so it’s the perfect spot to write and express my thoughts, dramatically or not.
Black lives Matter.
Be the change you want to see in the world.