Turns out, when you write a snarky post about melodramatic or ranting blogs, you really limit yourself when you then go through a blue and cranky phase 🙂 So long story short I’ve had severe writer’s block as my reaction to all current events is basically bafflement and/or exasperation and on the personal front I’ve had a rough month. Life’s incredibly good right now, kids thriving, marriage solid, it’s just that the chemicals in my brain and the hormones in my body cannot seem to reach a compromise and learn to get along. They’re kind of like congress that way. That, along with a manageable but chronic physical condition, is not a new problem. It’s just particularly beating me up right now. I was waiting for the fog to lift so I could write about something chipper but I think I see some really nice little posts peeking out from behind this one so I’ll get it out of the way and there should be some chipper things to follow.
I had two thoughts as I was cruising facebook recently. One was, that most people would be quite surprised to find out I struggled with these things. The other was that I couldn’t be sure they weren’t having problems themselves. Facebook gives us such an illusion of intimacy. All day, every day, the updates scroll by. We know what each others’ children look like, and the cute things they said over dinner last night. We know about births and marriages and breakups. Ultrasounds, political opinions, embarrassing pictures from last night’s party. What we don’t know, is what we don’t know. Just something to consider next time you’re thinking, “wow how can I have so many problems when x is doing so well”, or “gee I wish I had it together like y”. Part of the reason we tend to focus on the positive on facebook is that, if you mention the negative, it too is granted more weight than it should. Someone has an off day and complains. Now instead of thinking everything is perfect over at their place they’ve given the impression that they’re in a really bad way. Imagine your newsfeed as snapshots, taken a few hours apart of a person with no context. Who knows what you’d see if instead you had a film of their entire day. Let’s be honest, “Well it looks like I need to fill my Zoloft prescription” or “Can’t accomplish anything today because I’m in pain” are kind of downers as status updates, but I could have written both of those in the last few weeks. They don’t mean my life is a black hole. Entirely the opposite. My life is so amazing that I can see how good it is all the way through the haze of a temporary chemical imbalance. They’re just part of a bigger picture that social networks simply cannot recreate. Not saying we need to do much about this, it’s just something to keep at the back of your mind next time you’re facebook cruising.