I’m glad that in Heaven we won’t have that “I need to document this on Instagram/Facebook/my blog” thought.
Sometimes I feel seriously guilty if I don’t update this place or one of those other ones mentioned with pictures and thoughts. I know my family in particular “follows” this (and those) and I often feel like I’m leaving them out of the loop when I go silent. Not to mention my friends. It’s like you can’t even have friends these days unless you are Facebook friends.
Because on top of all the other stuff and responsibilities, let’s add one more: family archivist and journalist. I really do love writing and taking pictures and it can be a great outlet for me, but sometimes I get so caught up in that, in capturing the perfect moment or even just life as it is right now in all the chaos and mess, that I miss out on other stuff or the bigger picture.
I almost kind of hate, actually, that I’m constantly thinking of the next picture or thing I need to say and share. We live in an insane age. I just keep thinking that over and over again lately.
Before all this constant sharing business, you might have some banter about certain subjects at a party or maybe even have some thoughts exchanged between pen pals or on the phone with a long distance friend. Things might get a little uncomfortable, but you’d probably agree to disagree and then move on. Those with connections and eloquence might publish their opinions in the opinion section of the newspaper and elicit more of a response and expect such a response in the letters to the editor section.
Now? Now, we are bombarded by our own opinions and everyone else’s nearly constantly. Everything turns into a controversy with even one wrongly taken remark devoid of the context of a human being sitting in front of us.
Too many controversies have been erupting in my life lately and I have to wonder if it is really everyone else or maybe it’s just me that is the problem (that sounds like a bad breakup line).
I was researching Internet Etiquette or “netiquette,” online community user agreements and similar topics earlier this week because a group I’m in is getting large and needing something of this sort.
Did this help me to be kinder and less snappish with people? Did I find myself any less on the defensive about various things? Did I remember that most of the people I interact with are friends and family, human beings? No, of course not. Please forgive me, a sinner, if I offended you this week.
The problem is me, but the problem also is that our opinions, our not well formed or edited opinions are put out there for the world to see constantly. They are out out there without context.
I remember hearing a sermon several years ago about how parts of Mother Theresa’s personal journals were being released to the public in which she often expressed despair and doubt in her salvation. I remember this was not treated kindly by the Protestant speaker, but all I could think of was a) Why is everyone reading her personal diary? b) What would she would think of this? c) When I do sit down to write it is usually a case of emotional vomit whether blog/journal/personal message/comment, but it doesn’t represent all of me and it’s probably the same for Mother Theresa d) I’m going to put in my will that my journals be burned and maybe I’ll just start destroying them now.
I have since found ways to get myself in trouble because of my writing over and over again without dying or anyone reading my journals. I have yet to learn my lesson. I saw one of those e card funnies today, “I never make the same mistake twice. I make it five or six times, just to be sure.”
Our former pastor once told me that he never resolves anything over e-mail. As much as I’ve been misinterpreted, I’m starting to think my policy ought to be, “I don’t explain myself or anything in writing, period.” And maybe I’ll stop over-documenting (the new hashtag for that I’m told is #oversharenting) my kids’ lives. I mean is anyone really going to care about my Instagram feed or my Facebook timeline in 100 years? In 50? 20? Probably not. So let’s just get on with living life and less with documenting every second of it and writing down all the thoughts to go with it. Which sounds very hypocritical now that it has taken me 13 paragraphs to get here. Ha!