It’s Complicated

My heart wants roots My mind wants wings. I cannot bear Their bickerings.”

                    — E.Y. Harburg (via thepinesaredancing)

My dear blogging  friend Jenni, over at News of the Times posted one of her favorite songs, by the Dixie Chicks. I know the song well, but clicked on the YouTube video anyway. I haven’t heard that tune in a while, and as I was listening to it, it took on a different meaning for me. I’ve played with the idea of ending my relationship with Facebook. I’ve often confided in my NON- Facebooker friends some of the cons to being “connected”. And their reply is always, “Wow Lis. That doesn’t sound good at all, or fun. Why are you still on it?” I won’t give you the sordid details, but I’ll paint the big strokes for you.

For someone like me, and I emphasize, LIKE ME, the Facebook experience can be a quick transport back to junior high. And not the fun Junior High that included your first kiss and favorite teacher. (Kiss. Teacher. Two separate experiences, just to be clear). No, I mean the junior high experience of showing up to school and being the only one who didn’t get the memo that the jeans you wore a week ago…got put on the OUT list. Or the accidental finding of a note that was written solely about you and how annoying you are.

I say “someone like me” because many people may be unaware that I am both a Scorpio, AND the youngest member of my family. I know, right? SUCH a bad combo. If you aren’t schooled on Astrological signs and birth order, I’ll sum it up for you. The world MUST like me; I need a lot of acknowledgment and encouragement. And I’m paranoid as hell. If I see that someone has quite obviously been “ON” Facebook, and ignored my “Activity” , an insidious dialogue takes over the logical spaces of my brain.

I bet you ticked her off. You know, when you saw her at that last football game, she said “Hi”, but it wasn’t overly friendly. I know what’s going on. She’s boycotting the LIKING of my statuses. OMG. Why? Did I get too truthful, was I offensive, is it because I’m mostly Vegan?”

And it goes on this until I call one of my trusted counselor/friends and they throw some cold water through the phone line in my face and tell me to knock it off. Clearly, Facebook isn’t for me. Yet, why have I been clinging to it like last year’s Christmas Tree?

I love feeling like I’m still connected to people I’m no longer a part of their daily life. And sometimes, I feel REALLY LIKED. (At this point you may be clicking to my ABOUT to find out how old I actually am. Did you accidentally stumble onto one of those teenager blogs? But you don’t see 300 self photos, and you are doubtful. So, I’ll fill you in: I’m 41. Yes you read that right. FORTY-ONE.) Isn’t that horrible? I have this wonderful life. Full to the brim with wonderful family, friends, Preschoolers that think I’m the Bombdiggity, and a dog who worships me. And here I am, out for Pie Crust Crumbs from Facebook’s Dinner table.

Not to say that I think the people on Facebook are flaky. Well, some of them are. But I do have fantastic friends. Ones I’ve cherished, and have loved getting to know on Facebook, or am continuing to know from my childhood. And if I could just keep those things, I would never leave Mark Zucker-whatever’s Brainchild. But that isn’t the extent of it for me. I don’t judge anyone who chooses to be on Facebook. But, for me, I think I need a bigger space. Less judgement, less negativity, less politics; less not feeling accepted for who I am. As for remaining “connected” and informed of those that live far away, I do regret the upcoming rift. I hope we can talk on the phone, or arrange lunches when I’m in their vicinity. All of these thoughts have rambled around in my head, and I must tell you it feels amazing to have some clarity, at last.

Which is where my Jenni comes in. She posted the Dixie Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces”. As I listened to the song for 812th time in my life, its words changed from one meaning to another. The line, “She needs wide open spaces, room to make her big mistakes”  lifted a veil that had been drawn over my BIG PICTURE view. I over share, I talk about controversial things, I place my heart  raw and unprotected on Facebook, and put expectations on people that aren’t fair or reasonable. Facebook is making me feel closed-in; limited. I suddenly fear who will take this or that offensively, or in judgment. When I see two heads together in the coffee shop, I wonder, ‘YIKES! Are they talking about that edgy new song I just posted? It WAS a little off the beaten path for small town South Dakota!’ (yes, it’s always about me. Isn’t that lovely? It’s shocking I have any friends.)

I love writing, and in my writing I love being REAL. One of my favorite authors, Lisa (awesome name, huh?) from a Gripping Life just got VERY REAL on her blog today, and I applaud her for it. She has asked for support from the blogging world, and she will get it. She has made a world of friends by being such a source of kindness and compassion through her posts. She shares the ups and downs of life, and by sharing, she gives others permission to do the same.

I need the wide open spaces of my blog to share my thoughts and  learn how to be an author. I don’t need a self-imposed jail of judgement that I’m finding Facebook to be. There are a thousand things I will miss about logging in, but TWO thousand I won’t. Right now, I’m trying to decide how to let my friends know. If I do this big Status Update…I’m worried that many will have the reaction, “Oh, well isn’t SHE special?! Who does she think she is? Get off Facebook, but spare us the play-by play.“(See how my brain constructs dialogue out of thin air?)But then again, I don’t just want to drop off the face of the earth. I am keeping my Carr Party of Five Facebook page, because I think it’s handy for others to become aware of a new post. But the personal Facebook must go, as it may cause me to adopt the  Jackie O look of a scarf and huge sunglasses when I run to the Grocery. And I don’t wear scarves well; Funny -shaped head.

Dang. I wish I could pull this off.

I’ll have to think about it some more, but I would truly welcome any of your thoughts on this whole subject, and any advice. Also,  a big Thank You to Jenni, who pushed me to a decision that I know to be right for me, Scorpio/Youngest/CrazyLady Extraordinaire.

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25 thoughts on “It’s Complicated

  1. Hi Lis-
    I find myself in a similar conundrum with facebook. I like it for reasons like being able to chat with my college girl and keep an eye on the teen.The latest perk is that I have connected with some bloggers as well. It is nice to see the personal side. However I HATE the old high school reunion junk and I live in a small town where by 6 degrees of separation everyone knows your business. I have tried to craft groups and block people but then that gets complicated. What to do indeed! Boy I am rambling here.
    I love the support Grippy is getting.. WP rocks and you rock :0)
    Audra

  2. Lis, I am behind you 100% on your decision to shall we say “turn an about face.” I have never been on Facebook and do not see a reason to do so. I think your equating it to junior high school angst is telling. The following quote comes from a Communication Consultant I know, which makes it even more telling. “You can be too connected.” I can assure you family and close friends who care about you the most probably would confess they don’t care to know the intimate details of your daily life, just as you don’t theirs. That is before we get to acquaintances and beyond.

    As for that Scorpio and youngest child combo, all I can tell you from what you share with us is you have your priorities right and seem to be have a better handle than many on our imperfect world and population. I wrote a comment yesterday to a 21 year old who is just starting to figure out trying to be cool is a waste of energy, time and money. For me, I relish and value eclectic people. Our world is far more interesting if we just be ourselves. So, a toast to you and your Carr Party of Five. Keep on keepin on with your blog. We will keep reading and commenting. Thanks for giving us the chance to share our thoughts on top of yours. All the best, BTG

    • Dear Bt,
      I appreciate your comments. If used correctly, I think it can be a fantastic way to stay in touch. But, for crazy mental overthinkers…it can be the kiss of death. (I think we all know which category I fall in). I hope I’m doing the right thing, I do still have a daughter I need to watch over on there. But, after Jenni’s post that gave me the words I needed to hear, I just KNEW. Isn’t that weird?
      Anyway, I am thankful for Facebook, as it got me started on this writing journey. But, now I think it is hurting me more than helping.And, I’m thankful for thoughtful commenters as yourself!!!
      A huge thank you!
      🙂
      Love, lis
      xox

  3. Hi Lis. I hear what you are saying about facebook, and it sounds entirely valid and reasonable given your scorpio/youngest child-ness :). I am fortunate not to have gotten involved in the highschool side of facebook – I have a few people that have requested friendship, but they don’t cause me any hassle. I guess I have particular uses for facebook, and I keep the friendship on a particular level. A bit like a friend that I like, but know that they can be judgemental and can’t keep a secret. So I watch what I say. But this friend keeps me in the loop, and also gives me access to lots of inspirational material which I use to do my more ‘real’ communication – blogging. xxx Sara

  4. Loved this post Lis! Most importantly you honored how you feel, and you react. And that my friend, is what will keep you sane and happy. Glad you are still blogging though! We luvya girlie!

  5. Hi Lis,
    Most important thing to remember is that there are plenty of people who like/love you as you are and there is no reason to waste time, or energy, on those who don’t. If not being on FB makes that easier for you, then I say do it! I had to unfriend a couple of people on FB because they were living their personal dramas in a public forum and the energy was BAD. One I unfriended (if there is such a thing outside of FB) without saying a word and the other, I left a private note about why.

    Save your light and love for those who appreciate it!

    Cheers,
    Laura

  6. Yay!!!!! I am so glad one of my tunes Tuesday songs helped you get to this point!!! That is my greatest hope with that series – that others will understand what a song means to me or that they will find their own meaning in the song. So exciting!!! As for your Facebook revelation, and I say good for you! We survived without it for a long time and think we can do the same now. Congrats on your decision and on following your heart. I am all for that, as you know. Thanks so much for the shout out. You’re the best and I will take on any one who makes you feel otherwise. Happy turkey day weekend!!! 🙂

  7. Good for you, friend. It feels good to set boundaries. Here’s what I would do (learning from my own experience of “announcing” I was taking a facebook break…) Keep the new boundaries you are setting to yourself. Don’t delete your page. Just stop posting and leave it at that. The fewer words you use, the stronger you will feel. That way, if all you really need is a little break, you don’t have to deal with “Oh, Hi! I’m BACK!” And if others want to connect with you on fb, it’s still there. Since you’ll still be checking it anyway for the girl… 🙂

    Love and light!

    • Dear Lorri,
      Just started reading Brene Brown!!! So excited!!!
      I wish I could keep it. Wish I could be trusted with it. But alas, I don’t think I can. If it’s there, and I can access it, it’s like the most scrumptious pan of brownies….it will call out to me until I give in…for a little “nibble”.
      Thanks for your thoughts. They mean a lot to me.
      🙂
      Love, Lis
      xoxoox

  8. Hiya, from one scorpio to another, who also overshares and needs the world to appreciate her for it … don’t do it, don’t leave facebook, you’ll regret it and will never get up the courage to go back on, then you have the problem of what to say to people when they notice you’ve gone.
    But never fear, there is a solution … play with the settings. I’m not sure where the settings are off hand, but they’re there. You can choose who see’s your posts, gradually change them so that you drop off one or two friends at a time and eventually just leave family and close friends who you KNOW appreciate you even when they don’t say it.
    You will still have the other friends there and you can drop into their online world now and again, to say happy birthday, or arrange coffee or something, but no pressure.
    Hope this helps. 🙂

    • Dear Sallyann,
      Thank you so much for your comment!! I was just replying to my friend, Lorri….who had much the same idea as you. Facebook unwittingly takes up a lot of my time. I actually had considered shutting down my blog, because I didn’t think I had any time for it. In reality, I think my blog is more important. I’m hoping to get more accomplished at writing, and facebook seems to be taking me to a place that I don’t want to be. A popularity contest…a place for others to vent their negativity. I think I need to make a clean break. I can’t deal with who to keep, and who not to. If someone asks me, I’ll tell them. What I DON”T want to happen, is for others to realize they aren’t in “my circle” anymore, and be hurt or offended. Unfortunately, the way Facebook is set up, when you post a comment or LIKE something, it shows up on other people’s newsfeeds. There is no setting to stop that. I wish I could just be “moderate” with Facebook, but for me, it’s like telling an alcoholic they can have one beer a day.
      It’s just not how I want to go forward with Facebook. I’ve been on it for 5 years, and for the last two I’ve gone back and forth with getting off of it. So, I think it’s time. If I decide after being off it for a few months that I just can’t live without it, then I will.
      Again, Thanks so much Scoripio friend.
      🙂
      Love, Lis
      xoxoox

  9. Dearest Lis,
    There is no need to explain. The only commitment/contract you have is with yourself. Drop in and keep tabs on who/what is relevant to your life, ignore the rest.

    I don’t do Facebook or any other similar kinds of social media because, the way I look at it, if I dropped off someone’s radar screen at some point and they off mine, there must be a reason. Let it be.

    I’m of the Oldest, Virgo Crazy variety, myself! xoxoM

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