Social Me-dia in a time of I-solation.
Having always kept my social media circle small, I really thought I had “it” covered. A happy, little virtual tribe of like-minded souls…I guess we learn as we go.
Playing on social Me-dia in a time of I-solation has taught me much. Not only do I not share many views with several folks on my friends’ list, I’ve even started questioning if: a) some of them actually have souls, and b) can we even be defined as humankind anymore? I’m not seeing much kindness or compassion, let alone any equanimity.
I’m guessing that peace, tolerance, love, and respect are in lockdown somewhere together. It feels, at times, like only the rowdy, opinionated quadruplets of anger, animosity, frustration, and (dare I say it?) sheer self-centered ignorance are still freely roaming the streets—all fueled by a frisson of fear.
What started off as a place to catch up with family and friends who are scattered around the globe—we had this amazing platform to connect us—has become a virtual nightmare.
I have always found it weird how some folks have hundreds, if not thousands, of “friends.” I am a quasi-ambivert who is leaning more and more toward being an introvert, or at least more personally discerning and increasingly private…and maybe I’m not leaning that way, I’m being driven. I am also a bit of a minimalist, living a less-is-more life in a “more-is-better” world.
After reading “Why I want to Delete Half of my Facebook Friends during a National Crisis,” I realised I am not alone.
I read the article, then had one of those “I totally relate” laughs—a release of almost epic proportion; I’ve been in exactly the same place, and this is where c) comes into play: Why am I putting myself through this? What/who does it serve?
Due to health glitches, we’ve been in home-stay since the beginning of March—both my husband and I are South African born expats and living in London with our two cats in a small, suburban home. I am used to separation due to distance, and I want to stay connected…or do I? The news is complicated enough with so much bias, we actually got rid of our television years ago. So, I semi-rely on what I see in the virtual-world I have created through choice.
At times, I cannot believe what I’m reading, though, and these are my “friends?” I think my tribe may be broken.
It comes in waves. First there’s the “Seriously?! I had no idea they thought xyz,” then there’s the hiding of the posts and taking loooooong breaks from social media. Then, I flip out and rant back—if not, why not? And then I do the 30-day snooze thing, with the occasional check-in (ever the optimist: “they must have changed their opinion by now”).
It was only when I meditated on it that I came to the conclusion: I really don’t need these vibrations in my life—and I have lovingly let them go. I had a chat with a like-minded friend, and he’s of the opinion to keep them, as they need that balance from us. So yes, I have done so with some, and that’s where maybe choosing other ways to communicate come into play. Whatever happened to smoke signals, or that tribe who whistle across valleys to each other?
It is one thing to have our thoughts challenged. I think that’s good, it keeps us rooted in our core beliefs and allows for questioning, learning, and growth (or that’s my way of looking at it); however, when it starts having an adverse effect, I let it go. I think of Rumi and his words “wherever you stand, be the soul of that place”—at what cost though? We declutter everything else in our lives, why not that “friends” list? Quality over quantity—it is how I live the rest of my life.
I am still connected in other ways with some of them; yet others, well, we change/evolve/move apart—who knows? We may reconnect at some point…and then there are those few whom I’ve totally released—I needed to for my sanity, and before I started being unkind, to them and to myself. Anger has its place, however, it is not a good place to permanently live.
I guess it is how we come to understand “purpose.” I realised that maitri had to come into play—that unconditional friendliness toward oneself.
I love words, and “self” is such an amazing word—by definition, it is a person’s essential being that distinguishes us from others. I have chosen to become one with my self. I lose nothing by doing so, yet I gain so much.
With each click-and-release, I started one of the healthiest elimination diets I have ever followed. Editing out the negative, relieving the anger, elevating my life-vibration—allowing my “self” the calm and focus I so badly need, reclaiming both my core tribe and my soul, and mayhap, some much-needed sanity in these strangest of times?
I bless the fact they were in my life, and I’m grateful for the times we shared. For now, though, I have stepped away and added them to my prayer/focus list—because some folks really need more love and light in their lives. On some level, I’m hoping they feel the same about me.
I know people come into our lives to teach us things about ourselves, as much as we are gifted into theirs. Sometimes, part of us only comes alive due to the very fact that we touched souls with these other beings, and this is an amazing and somewhat humbling thing to acknowledge.
And, there comes a point when we need to decide the lessons are over, and that this is neither positive nor negative. It is a realisation that the purpose of the connection has been fulfilled. All good things must come to an end.
I am still figuring out the family thing with regard to social media. I believe I chose to be born into the family I’m in, although I have to say that sometimes it really has me questioning my sanity, wisdom, values, and choices, and I now know why I have the sense of humour I have. That is another life lesson I am figuring out though…until then, I accept that love will always win, and as with everything, I begin with “self.”