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Social Media Distancing

Several times yesterday my fingers hovered over the familiar if not worn keys on my laptop, ready to type F-A-C-E-B-O-O-K. I resisted. I felt a sense of dread anticipating the thought of seeing the blue and white we’ve grown to love and hate each time we engage. I didn't want to give in to anymore threads of conversations, be they angry or sad or happy or bored. For half the day, I staved off the need to see who was saying what about whom. By lunchtime, I settled in, felt comfortable not knowing every little thing.

That’s hard for a person like me. I'm the baby of the family. I'm also a child who lost her father before she was born. I have a deep-seated need to be at the epicenter of everything.

My Facebook experience, since we've all been socially isolated, reached a frenzied pitch a few days ago when I arbitrarily posted an article that blamed the president for where we are today.

There is a lot of blame to throw around and it could be directed in many, many corners of our world. What I realized yesterday when I took my Molly dog for a walk along the Ohio River is that we are all part of the current of this new world we find ourselves in. Blaming anyone just seems counterproductive.

Today I'll hop back on Facebook. Friends who read my post about social media distancing yesterday encouraged me with loving support to stay engaged. Don't blame yourself, they said. Everyone has an opinion, they said. I think they were saying that my voice is important to them, that I matter.

When my ex-husband was near death twelve years ago, I initiated a call to him with every intention of just forgiving him for what I perceived that he had done to me. As I listened to him struggle to breathe, I realized that my true purpose was to ask for forgiveness from him. The power of our conversation stays with me even today.

In my post yesterday, I spoke about feeling bad for how I had offended people. I spoke about forgetting that there were people out there in the world who didn't believe in quite the same way as me, but who I still considered friends. It doesn't really matter whether they forgive me or not. What matters is that I took responsibility for my part. There is little else that gives me such freedom.

Today I'm grateful for Facebook and other forms of social media. I’m grateful for the awareness of my body's reaction to it. Grateful for my cell phone that makes it easy to share things through various platforms. And I'm grateful for the ability to dial a number and call someone. I'm grateful that when I pass people on the streets they look me in the eyes and say hello, maybe even "How are you?" We need to form the human connection. If I have your telephone number don't be surprised if I call you just to hear your voice. To hear the inflections. To know that we are all in this together.

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