I deactivated my Facebook account. I'd never even considered doing it before, but then, one sunny afternoon, when I dashed inside to check my email and felt that lately all-too-familiar sinking feeling of getting no feedback, I realized something had gone awry. Facebook was supposed to be a tool to stay in contact with a few close friends, share some pictures of my sweet baby and see my friends' important moments. Suddenly, though, I realized it had become a barometer of some sort rather than a harmless tool. If I didn't have any comments, one part of me felt, that meant I wasn't interesting. No longer did it satisfy to have lunch and share a meaningful story with one true friend, I was posting for over a hundred -- some people I didn't know and most of whom I'd probably never talk to in person.
Did I even really care what these people thought? What happened? I realized it wasn't that I wasn't satisfied with a few simple, in-the-flesh friends, it was that I hadn't take much time to spend with real people. That fact, and its consequences, was what didn't satisfy. That was why I was disappointed in so silly a thing as "0 comments". I was annoyed with myself for even feeling this way, but then I decided to take it easy on myself. We do need thoughtful feedback, and genuine encouragement for the things that are important to us. But receiving thoughtful feedback and encouragement comes from the work, and sometimes the inconvenience, of cultivating relationships with real people. I think Facebook is great, but for me, it had taken the place of something much, much better. I realized that, with everything going on in my life the past few years, I had forgotten what it felt like not to be in survival mode, and some of my relationships had fallen by the wayside. Right now, I'd rather write a thought-out, heartfelt blog post that only a precious few read, than hope for witty feedback over the fact that I had grapefruit for breakfast. It may seem more thankless at first, but over time I think it will be more more fulfilling. I can't be driven by things I can't control, such as how many people choose to give feedback. I can only follow what I believe to be my purpose, share my life, and have faith that I will enrich those people God means me to enrich.
Love to all.