I have been horribly lax about my blogging lately. I’m teaching a new class. I’m trying to get in shape. I have writer’s block. My children hate my blog. I could probably come up with at least twenty excuses. However, since I have slacked up on writing I have spent a lot more time of Facebook. I know that Facebook annoys some people, but Facebook helps me stay in touch. Facebook makes me smile, laugh, cry, scream and tear my hair. Facebook is extremely human. Being a student of the Humanities, I love Facebook. What I do NOT love are the complaints of bitter and cranky folks about what is posted on Facebook. If I listened to all of the complaints I have read I would never post ANYTHING at all.
There are the usual complaints about politics and religion. These are subjects polite people have known not to bring up at the supper table since at least the Victorian Age, but Facebook is not the dinner table. If it is a place for dialogue, why are some subjects taboo? I will admit that I am not always fond of the way things are posted, or the words that are used, but if I choose to have a Facebook page, I think I should accept the fact that I will not agree with everything I see posted there. In fact, I wouldn’t get as much out of it if I did because personal growth comes from discussion, dialogue, and the consideration of ideas different than my own.
Then there are the bitter rants. These are aimed at all happiness enjoyed by others. If we listened to these we would never post pictures of babies, children, engagement rings, weddings, or vacations. I am glad that most people ignore this and post any way. When I am having a hard day, it encourages me to know that “somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light…” We need to get over ourselves and be happy for other people.
Unfortunately, the happy people also sometimes chime in with rants about the unhappy people. While I do not enjoy reading about pain, and while I do think that we should try to keep drama and mean-spirited comments off the social media, I want to know when my friends are truly hurting. Life has become ridiculously busy. Facebook can be a place to go for help and encouragement. Why not let it?
I’ve also read rants about posting food pictures, weather comments, Pintrest ideas, recipes, sports scores, and movie and television spoilers. Really folks, if you don’t like it, don’t look. Hide people. If necessary de-friend them, but don’t expect everyone to post everything to please you. I love to go on Facebook on Saturday evening and see the wide variety of things my friends have been up to. Did you complete a project in your house? I want to see it. Get a new haircut? Show us. I’d love to know how your kid’s soccer game went, and if you have a new crock-pot recipe, I’ll probably be interested. Are you excited that you saw a few snow flakes? I would be, too! What have you read lately? How’s your dog? I want to know. Sometimes life is tough and sometimes life is wonderful. As we make our ways through this crazy, fast-paced world, Facebook helps us share our experiences. I think that’s a good thing.