Me personally? I’ve been off of Facebook for a little over a year now. I thought I’d miss it. I don’t. Yeah, that goes for Twitter too. I think my last post on there was 2009.
I mean, I miss the connecting that I was able to do with *some and certain* people from my school days. Actually, what had me “hook, line and sinker” was that I had spent well over 10 years looking for someone that I went to elementary school with and, thanks to Facebook, I found her. Two weeks after signing up.
And while I have no real horror stories to tell as it relates to my personal life, I do love that car commercial (is it Toyota?!?) that has that chick in it that talks about how her parents need to get a life while they’re out and she’s home on her laptop with her 600+, er “friends”. Social media is not intimacy nor is it living in the real world. For those who choose to believe otherwise, I feel really badly for them.
However, there is one story from my experience with Facebook that has always stayed with me. One that isn’t very “friendly”. Someone I went to college with, last I checked, was getting a DNA test because he saw a picture of an ex-girlfriend’s son…that oddly looked *a lot* like him. Thanks again, to Facebook. That, and how the Word tells us that what is spoken in the darkness will be heard in the light (Luke 12:3). I guess *that’s* similar to what grandma used to scare the mess outta me with: “Be sure your sins will find you out.” Yeah. Social media doesn’t really have your back, either. For those who choose to believe otherwise, you might want to read an article that I read entitled, “Facebook Might Be the Blame for Your Divorce“. Here is an excerpt…that is really understandable. Oh, and disturbing:
“More than 80 percent of divorce attorneys recently surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that in the past few years they have witnessed ‘an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence.’ Although it is difficult to definitively establish cause and effect here, it seems likely that the divorce rate among baby boomers has been elevated by the Internet.
Nancy Kalish, a professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento, suspects that online connections may lead to growing numbers of what she terms ‘accidental affairs,’ meaning they involve people who don’t set out to have a physical or emotional relationship outside their marriage. Kalish studies couples who reunite after years apart.
Before there was an Internet, when someone wanted to track down a past love, he or she had to go through the effort of locating a friend or relative to make contact. ‘Unless they were single, divorced or widowed, they just didn’t typically do that,’ Kalish told me.
But now the ghosts of romance past are alive and well online, popping up on chat services and sending greetings on Facebook. In the 21st century, old friends are virtually at our fingertips, and a seemingly harmless email sent to someone with the innocent intention of ‘catching up’ can quickly go further. Many of those who engage in accidental affairs tell Kalish that they had happy marriages before they strayed. ‘They still bear responsibility for the affairs, of course; no one made them write, call or meet in a hotel room,’ Kalish said. ‘But these are probably people who would not have cheated years ago, even with a lost love.’
What makes the possibility of reconnection so alluring?
Our brains often romanticize the past, in ways not entirely within our conscious control. Recollecting people, places and experiences can affect our neurochemistry.”
There’s a guy from my past who, during one of those “reunion dinners”, said something that was so dead on as I gazed at his smooth chocolate skin and listened to his “better than Barry (er, White)” voice: “Shellie, you’re not in love with me. You’re in love with *the memory of me*.” Hmph. Looking back, I was never in love with him at all. I was just in a lot of lust. And yet, whenever I would see him post-relationship (?!?), it was like I was in, what my brother used to have under his bio on his Facebook profile: conflicted resolve. And honestly, I would have to be to want to revisit that part of my past in the first place.
Which is the same thing that I wonder about engaged men who send friend requests to old sex partners from college or married women who look to see what their first love is up to. Cause really, what’s the point? I think if a lot of people *really* took the time to answer *that* question, the potential for future drama could be avoided. Cause honestly, if “it” ended, why for you is it not over? Ended? Finished? Done. *Now*.
There’s someone else in my life who seems to stay caught up in the “hamster wheel of emotion” because when she ends a relationship with a guy, within weeks, she’s on his page seeing what he’s up to. Then she finds herself all upset about what she finds.
“So, get off of Facebook,” I say.
“I’m cool,” is usually her response. “I can handle it.”
What’s the AA saying I once heard? “First a man takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man.” When we can’t give up what seems to be the source of internal unrest, while we *think* we may be handling it, more times than not, it’s handling us.
And is it worth it? *Is it really?*
You know, I ain’t mad at Facebook. Hats off to Mark’s hustle. Twitter’s too. It’s just, when the Word says that, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17-18-NKJV) sometimes living *peacefully* means leaving your past behind you. Sometimes living peacefully means disconnecting yourself from *anything* that would serve as a temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes living peacefully is, as I put it, “closing up your mouse holes”. So the *rats* can’t get in.
Like I said, I haven’t had any real crazy Facebook stories. Oh, but I’m not married (yet), either. I will say that one day, some months ago, while my friend was on her page, curiosity got the best of me (which is *rarely* a good thing) and I went to look up a picture of a past “love” of mine. He was holding a newborn. And you know what I immediately thought? “Yeah, if he wanted me to know, he would’ve told me.” I wouldn’t have to sneak to seek him out.
The “Ah ha” moment? The time I spent looking for my past on the ‘net is time I could spend preparing for my future…off of it.
Words to live by.
And for those of you not ready to receive it, a great FB status to post.
Have a good one, y’all.