Voyeurs or Friends?!

When Facebook first came out it seemed like a cool way to travel through space and time, to reconnect with new and old friends, coworkers and family. Slowly though I wonder if it hasn’t become a venue for voyeurism more than a place to share information, thoughts, friendships and images. I feel like there are times when someone is posting something extremely personal, and I’m uncomfortable viewing it. Suddenly I am engaged an extremely personal conversation with someone I know very little, or only as an “acquaintance.” The level of information being imparted for all to view, is sometimes cringe worthy and deeply private.

Without warning I find myself brought up short by knowing the ins and outs of someone’s IBS, ,(irritable bowel syndrome), their divorce and hatred of the ex, or a photo of…”what is this on my back?” I wonder, is there no one else that can look at that thing growing on your back to decide what it is and more importantly how to treat it? Must I be scrolling through my timeline with my coffee, barely awake only to see a boil the size of a small bird perched on your back, gag a little and sit back and wonder..wth!

Back in the day, there was a saying, “TMI”, too much information. It is my nature to be guarded and less likely to share personal successes and failures with “virtual strangers.” Make no mistake, while we are all FB friends, we are strangers in one another’s daily lives. It’s difficult enough to be talking with someone who is bashing their ex in real time but at least, hopefully you know their back story. On FB, it’s a momentary blurt of information without context. It doesn’t account for nuances, for two sides of a story, or for questions. Instead, we’re left with judgements and I wonder, what knowledge have I gained? Is there value in knowing you hate your ex? What if I like your ex as a person?

Have we reached the point where the “likes” are the driving force behind the posts. Who liked it, who commented, who started trolling to initiate hate and discord? Who is listening?? Is anyone listening? Perhaps that is the problem. In our lives it seems things are moving so fast and now everyone has a way to gauge who is moving faster? Who is traveling, who is getting married, having babies, buying houses/businesses, going to fantastic parties and meeting amazing people? How do I measure up? Am I losing?

In a way, it sets us all up for dissatisfaction with our own lives. Why am I not getting anywhere when everyone on FB is going everywhere? How can we live our lives with gratitude and be in the moment if the moment is only there for the sake of the post? If the motivation for having the experience, is so you can post it, are we really connecting to one another? I have been out with friends and while we are hanging out having fun someone inevitably says, let’s take a picture and post it. Suddenly everyone is primping wondering if they look alright, how do I compare with everyone else and Boom…you’re completely out of the moment. Transported again through space and time as the picture is immediately posted and you pray that everyone likes it, I mean really likes it so that everyone can see you’re doing alright. Is it a validation of who we are or are we voyeurs in other people’s lives, constantly watching, trying to measure up and wondering, am I liked?

If you combine this with the unprecedented hacking of FB, I wonder if we are soaking up hate and division more than we are benefitting from the connectedness of sharing? Have we lost the ability to see beneath the surface? Are we all just creating movie posters of our lives without the story. For me as a writer, the post is the cover of the book but the richness of the person is in their stories. Without knowing the rise and fall of triumph and the agony of defeat it seems less meaningful, less authentic. Almost like we are inviting people to look at us, to judge us, only don’t look too closely. Just tell me you like what you see.

Seasons Greetings!!!

Hello All,

This year, for some reason, I am as excited about Christmas as my sons are. Usually I am alone in a room drinking a glass of wine, surrounded by echoes of curses, wrapping paper strewn about my feet, tape stuck to my skin, and A  Christmas Carol playing in the background. Yep, I’m almost always running around trying to get everything done and exhausted when midnight hits and I’m still tying ribbons, sticking bows that don’t stick, and labeling the presents with my left hand so no one recognizes that I wrote them myself. My youngest caught on to my handwriting being on the gifts a few years ago so I switched to using my left. Ah, the things I do for the people I love. 

Well this year, everything is already wrapped, except what Santa is bringing and I getting ready to actually watch, A Christmas Carol. The anticipation in the air is electric and I am glad that I get to enjoy each moment without panic about forgetting someone or something. This year, I might have finally gotten this thing down, maybe. I don’t want to set the bar to high for next year.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season with the people they love most in the world. “God Bless Us Everyone.” 

It is the one season of the year when we can lay aside all gnawing worry, indulge in sentiment without censure, assume the carefree faith of childhood, and just plain “have fun.” 
Whether they call it Yuletide, Noel, Weinachten, or Christmas, people around the earth thirst for its refreshment as the desert traveller for the oasis. ~D.D. Monroe
Local Nativity Scene
Local Nativity Scene
Christmas Lights in Edgartown.
Christmas Lights in Edgartown.
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