Facebook, Friendship, Social Media

Friend-back.

 

There is a lot I do not want to read this month — or see, or hear. Inconceivable to me a year ago, I have been making daily choices about the news: read the New York Times or toss? Turn on the evening news or Netflix? Scroll through Twitter or ignore.?

“Bear witness!” my cousin scolds me. But I need to manage my media diet to sleep at night. I have taken to skimming. I deleted The Skimm (suddenly, it seems too snarky and young when everything is too much in crisis). Facebook, however, has been a bit of a conundrum.

As a social media tool, FB has such information potential and such damage potential. A year ago, convinced I couldn’t listen or read what the Trump supporters had to post, I ‘unfollowed’ a lot of people. I defined ‘friends’ as those that agreed with my politics. But look where that landed me — in a bubble of Hilary supporters and no balanced perspective. I was crushed even more– a tough lesson in listening and not just to what I wanted to hear.

Since January 21st, 2017 the site has become a place to ‘click and share’ our rage and disbelief, media false or true, pictures that can be difficult to look at, rhetoric that ranges from “F***” to “Crying.” Frankly, who isn’t going through that range of emotion every day, regardless of which party you support?

This time, I won’t un-friend you. In fact, I have ‘friended-back’ everyone.

I am listening.

I fully understand that the rate of posting cute puppies or sporty photos in exotic locations has steeply declined. We are a nation in crisis. But you are my friends, and for that I will read your feed, wince in private, and be present to what is happening and for you.

Otherwise, I am uninformed and not a friend. But throw me a cute Scottish Terrier sometime just to keep my heartburn at bay.

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