I know, I know, I said never again but it’s not what you think. (End of sob)
In order to support one wellness practice I had to compromise another. Sort of. And yes, folks, this is part of the overall practice — finding the balance and maintaining it in non-static, ever-changing circumstances.
Last month I resolved to fill the void left by disappearing running friendships with more involvement in my community (in ways other than running). I’ve been connecting with community resources, following local events, and finding new ways to show up, contribute, and participate. One of the problems I face is the Facebook disconnection. Community organizations now rely on social media to the point that critical and time-sensitive event scheduling isn’t maintained on websites anymore; it’s all on Facebook now. I’ve been doing the best I can without it, even resorting to picking up the telephone and calling to inquire the old-fashioned way. Even with real live people on the other end of the line I couldn’t get accurate information, and the websites I check only offer general information rather than details. Everything is on Facebook now — to the extent that it is nowhere else but on Facebook.
“Updates will always be on Facebook.”
“Any changes will be broadcast on Facebook.”
“The best way to stay informed is through our Facebook page.”
“You’ll need to check Facebook regularly for the most up-to-date information.”
“Oh, we posted that on Facebook. Did you not see it? You need to follow us.”
I tried for a few weeks to use Facebook as a visitor (without an account) but Facebook will only tolerate this for so long before it starts blocking access with sign-up demands. I fought the good fight until the fight started to compromise my mission(s), at which point I decided that my time and energy could be better spent elsewhere (anywhere but Facebook) if I created a non-personal account. I needed a way to get in, get the info, and get out without wrangling all the pop-ups and half-screen blockages and the like. So I did.
It’s not a fake account and not a fake identity. It’s a tool for gathering information, and that’s all. It’s really me, but there is nothing personal involved. It’s a legit account under this blog’s calling card, which is new (have you seen it yet?), strictly for the purposes of following community organizations, schedules, events, and timely information. No news, no politics, no comments. No matter how cute or stupid, I’m not going to look, so don’t bother trying to seduce me. I’m the biggest bitch on Facebook right now. Maybe ever. I am Facebook Frigid. I’m not sorry.
I will make no friends I don’t already know. I will maintain no timeline that is not wellness work. I will like nothing. I will post nothing that is not wellness work. I will share nothing that is not wellness work. I will follow no individuals without a direct connection to a community activity. Don’t take it personally. Don’t send me a friend request. Don’t invite me to join your group. Don’t send me a chat message because I’m not even activating that function.
And yes, I hate it that I had to go back but it was too time-consuming to continue to resist. Yes, I probably do want to be your friend in person or want to join your group in person but I will only do so in person. So you’re gonna have to invite me in person, which means look at me and talk to me. Facebook is not a form of friendship no matter how much we’ve been programmed to believe that it is.
Don’t expect that this one compromise means I’m re-entering social media culture. I’m not. I said I wasn’t going back to the social media lifestyle and I’m not. But I can’t get the lap swim schedule for the community pool anywhere but on Facebook. Not on the website, not by calling the nice lady at the front desk, and not by asking in person at the pool. I tried. The only place I can get it each month is Facebook, and this only one example.
Change showed the cracks in sharp relief.
The trouble started with the wedding vows.