Here is what I am not posting on Facebook: Our wood splitter motor, RIP, died yesterday. For five years he thwacked hearty logs in halves and quarters. We’ll miss him dearly. He spewed oil and gas fumes upon us as we worked, but he rarely missed a beat. Until yesterday.
Before you all start weeping and sending consoling comments, never fear. We knew the motor was a’dyin’ for many months. Barry was a tad upset when the despairing moment arrived. He muttered dire forecasts about the cost of a new motor and the effects of our wood-splitting delay.
But the Universe proved helpful and found us a new motor for under $300, so we should be back sweating and heaving logs and wood splitting before long.
I did not post on Facebook: Hey, we found a new wood splitter motor! or The bottom wire of our garden electric fence broke. Or Hey, we harvested our first green onions and lettuce. Or, Guess what, my friend Ruth dropped by with a freshly washed bag of arugula and spinach! Or: The crows are going wild behind the house, yapping and cawing and screaming. What’s up with crows?
I do not post much on Facebook these days, except maybe when my dad celebrates his 80th birthday party, or some other family news.
And it still feels puzzling. Part of me wants to share more–but the other part simply can not do it any more.
As many of you know, this blogger has experienced a love/hate relationship with Facebook and maybe social media as a whole. (See Facebook, we’ve got issues for a Freshly Pressed Post which has had 10,808 views since it was published in 2010, so I guess it was a timely topic.)
Eight years ago (more or less) I fell madly in love with social media through a website called Zaadz which morphed into a website called Gaia which died like our wood splitter motor, although it now exists in a new incarnation call A New Gaia.
I would post anything and everything on that site. It was love at first sight. It brought the world into our Little House in the Big Woods. Suddenly, my times of loneliness and isolation dissolved. Here, at one’s fingertips, existed a world of spiritual seekers and social connectors. I thought I’d “died and gone to heaven” as we used to say.
Two months before Gaia closed, I had a strong intuition. An inner voice said, “It’s time to quit.”
I did and moved over to Facebook to connect there.
Facebook, however, has never felt like home.
At times I have posted with great delight. At other times, it’s challenging to figure out what to express.
Lately, it’s so often impossible.
Nothing feels quite appropriate.
It feels like a wrong fit, like a jacket with too-short sleeves, like a dress you’re almost embarrassed to wear.
Don’t get me wrong–there have been happy moments on The Book, as well. I recently reconnected with three first cousins. It’s a delight to have so many folks a finger’s length away, not lost in obscurity. It’s great to “private message” folks. It can be a thrill to not lose people in the busy craziness of life. It’s often fun to see what others are doing, posting, sharing.
What occurred recently is that for most of my life it’s been challenging or uncomfortable to engage in huge public conversations. I prefer intimate private talks with you and you and you. (Which may be an odd sentiment for a blogger who likes to write for an audience to express.)
Facebook conversations morph easily into cliques, with certain friends chatting and sharing, and others remaining silent. I don’t know how to say Happy Birthday to one person and not the other 216. And I don’t want to spend hours a day stalking, perusing, finding out obscure details without engaging in a more face-to-face manner.
I don’t know how to talk publicly with you and you and not you.
It’s not just on Facebook that I’m less prone to engage in a full public conversation. I used to love WordPress for its conversational value.
This blog now has over 37,000 comments since its inception in 2010. About 14,000 of those comments are mine. It used to be vital to respond to each and every comment here. Now, I prefer to respond to commenters privately in emails and Facebook messages, except during occasional inspirational times when it feels right to share publicly.
I like private conversations the best, so it seems.
What about you?
Have you comes to happy terms with social media? Has your relationship changed over time? Are you more comfortable sharing privately or publicly?
P.S. Today I posted a link on Facebook directing folks to this wild & raw poem. Foxes will leap into your eyes if you read it all the way to the end. Otters will rush from the darkness. For those who’ve been visited by a Wild God and lived to tell. Please read Sometimes a Wild God.
P.S.S. Whenever I make a pronouncement, the opposite often happens. So I will probably be posting statuses about our wood splitter on Facebook and engaging in public conversations until the Universe allows me to regain the viewpoint expressed in this blog. lol.