At first I was reluctant to join; a tennis pal kept nudging me to sign up. “I see you three times a week,” I replied. “Why do I need social media to communicate with you?’ But once on, I became a big fan of Facebook.
With my second cup of coffee in hand, I log on each morning, and get the news of family and friends, both distant and nearby. Along with Safety Harbor Connect, Facebook gives me a heads up on what’s going on in my little town on any given day.
I can keep up with friends from childhood and college; the distances are erased by the screen that sits on my lap. And what a joy it is to follow the life of my South African “little sister,” as she moves from adolescence into young adulthood and marriage.
When I was undergoing chemo two years ago, I could post pictures of myself enjoying an evening with friends at Nolan’s or 8th Avenue Pub. My kids in the Northeast could see that cancer hadn’t stopped Mommy from having a good time.
For me, Facebook reflects love, enjoyment, news, connectedness with family and true friends. On my timeline, this is easy to control, because I initiate, or at least approve all the entries. But what about the news feed?
My new feed contains posts made by other people. I have no control over what appears on a given day. Most of what is reflected back is positive and uplifting. But how about the rest?
I am dismayed by the messages of cynicism, snarkiness, and even hatred. Although they are not posted by me, I have a choice as to how I respond. First, I withhold the like, refusing to perpetuate the negativity. Next, I select hide post and remove it completely. If ugliness is continually reflected by a particular individual, I have the courage to click unfriend.
My news feed is as much a reflection of who I am as is my timeline. When I look at my Facebook page, I see the real me reflected back. Think about it, dear reader. How are you reflected in you Facebook mirror?