Friday, November 18, 2016

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How one little [big] thing can change your world-view. [Weltanschauung]

Some of you may have noticed that I'm not on Facebook anymore.  After the presidential election last Tuesday, about 10 days ago, I flirted with the idea of deactivating my account, and did so for about 48 hours.  Old habits die hard, and after those couple of days, I was back on although only for a few minutes here and there.

Then just a couple of days ago I was surfing through my Facebook contacts, and I came across one friend whom I was no longer "friends" with.  I was devastated.  I couldn't believe it.  I had just talked to her a couple of days before that, and we had poured our hearts out to each other about the election results (I'm an HRC fan and she's a Bernie fan).  What was happening?  What was the world coming to when you say one little thing and someone un-friends you?  I texted her.  No response.  I texted her again.  Again, no response.

I decided to go about my day, although now in quite a funk.  I busied myself with chores around the house, and decided I'd better go down in the basement and scoop the kitty litter boxes (the cats have been fighting, but that's a story for another day... they seem to be getting along better because of some changes I've made in their environment, one of the changes being cleaning the litter boxes more frequently).

I came back up to the kitchen and checked my phone.  Two missed calls!  (Both from my friend).  I immediately called her back.

Me:  "Hi.  How are you?"

Friend:  "I'm fine!  I'm in [another town] working here to help them get settled because they are short-staffed."

Me:  "Oh, ok.  That's good."

Friend:  "I wanted to call you back instead of texting you, because I could tell you were upset.  Oh, honey, we've never been friends on Facebook.  I tried to friend [another person from work] and she denied my request twice, so I decided not to try and friend certain people.  I hope you understand!"

Me (now feeling like a complete imbecile):  "Oh, my gosh!  You don't know how much better that makes me feel!  I wasn't sure if I said something that upset you, because we all [at work] were having such an awful week, and I know I was in a bad mood, and I know that I can be a little difficult, and it's your birthday coming up, and I wasn't sure what to do... Oh, thank you so much for calling me back!"

And, you get the idea... Love you long time and all that [shit] was said. XOXO.

And all this got me thinking.

If I can get this upset about one friend "un-friending" me on Facebook (but not really, because we are still friends, but we were never "friends") then maybe Facebook is just too much?  Maybe I'm depending on it way too much and being too emotional about it?  Yes, I could just spend less time on it, but when that little icon is on your phone, it's just too tempting...  and when the page is open on your computer and you're trying to do other stuff and the little red icon lights up that someone has commented or "liked" something that you said and you get a little flutter in your heart and your tummy that someone is thinking about you.  It all just means SO MUCH.

But does it?  Does it mean so much?  Does it really even matter?

I've discussed some of this with a couple of close friends and one of them sent me this article to read:  Rigged.

(Ugh, and the irony here, is that I had to log back on to Facebook just to find the link to the article!) Anyway, the article talks about how, by having so many contacts on Facebook who have a similar world-view to my own, how it's changed my perception of things around me (perhaps that everyone agrees with me, and that Clinton will win the election, which she obviously did not) to a point where things are not realistic.

I'm a pragmatist.  I'm a realist.  I tell it like it is, call 'em like I see 'em and am thrilled when other people around me do the same.  That's why it bothers me so much that there can be a whole different world out there (like nearly 1/2 of the country voting for a total bigot, misogynist, racist a-hole) while 99% of my contacts of Facebook (indeed, the world in my little bubble) hate the guy and would never vote for him.

So yeah, I though long and hard about being on Facebook and having my world-view skewed so much that I thought that 99% of everyone in my world, my bubble agreeing with me.  Of course, hindsight is 20-20 and this view, I realize now, is totally ridiculous.  There's no way that 99% of the people around me agree with my world-view.  I realize that now.  And that's the reason why I've decided to take a break.

If you still want to be in touch with me, I'd love to text with you, or talk on the phone with you, or meet up for coffee with you.  I'm still on FB Messenger so you can contact me there, and you can also follow me on Instagram @soligrrl and @franklinartemis.  Granted, the Instagram accounts are mostly pictures of my cats, my dogs, and coffee, but these are the things that are most important to me in my world (along with running...  which is also a topic for another day).  I'd love to keep in touch with you.  Just not on Facebook.  XOXO.