by Lisa

“Hello, Lisa.”

Can I block myself from myself but still post links to this, please?

If I deactivate my account, to give myself a break from wanting to peep and the big wide world as interpreted by the two hundred and thirty-seven people I have decided that I like enough to read about every day, I come right back in three days.

If I don’t have internet access for a while, the next time I talk to my close family members, they assume that I know what’s going on in the family because of their own postings on Facebook.

When I lose cell access and can’t text my usual goodnightbeautifulboy, I send a private message on Facebook.

I want to look at your photos.  I really do.  Vacation pics, silly snapshots of the baby in a funny hat, even the plate of food you ordered that you thought was yummy enough to incite envy on Facebook.

Facebook reunited me with one of my best long-lost friends.  I had looked for him for years, pretty much since the day I told him that I would not be in the apartment when he came back for fall semester, and he found me fourteen years later, on Facebook.

My Facebook self makes people feel good.  Real-life encounters often include, “I love your posts. You are one of my favorite Facebook people.”  Maybe because I open my brain and let things fall out, and then sift through for the best parts to share?  I edit my passions to make myself digestible and accessible to a known audience.  This didn’t happen on purpose, but who wants to read about the pissy days when my food doesn’t taste like anything?  I delete grousing “friends” without remorse, the ones who have lovely lives but can’t stop bitching about their first-world problems.

I have a lovely life.

Have a bad day at your JOB with BENEFITS?  Did your NEW CAR come without a seat heater?  Is your TREE-LINED STREET a real hassle to rake in the fall because your neighbors blow their leaves onto the corner of your lawn sometimes?  Did your ex-husband get REMARRIED?  Unless she’s mean to your kids, be happy that he’s happy.  Give me your problems.  While you’re at it, please marry my soon-to-be ex-husband and treat my kids well when they visit.  Get out with you, Facebook complainer.  We all have opinions, but please, save the rants about ANYONE coming for your MONEY, your GUNS, your FREEDOM, your BIBLE, your FIRST-BORN CHILD or your GRANDMOTHER on life support.  They’ll listen to that all day at the VFW.

I enact my freedom to grant or deny your freedom of speech on my own little backlit screen.  I’m here for selfish reasons, just like you.

Because Facebook is what I make it, I also fully support rally calls for love, tolerance, kindness, and saving sweet dogs from dying in kill shelters, but I know that sometimes, death happens.  If you lose anyone you love, human or otherwise, please let your heart cry out for support.  No one can bring your sister back, but many, many people will type their sympathy.  It might help.  I hope it helps.  If you just got dumped by the love of your life and think it’s a good idea to drink an entire fifth of tequila in an hour, please share.  This virtual community might save your dumb ass from death by alcohol poisoning when the every-five-minute updates abruptly end with a nicely framed shot of an empty bottle.  You’ll have to pay to replace that window that the ambulance driver broke to get into your building, but you’ll live to post another day.

Because of Facebook, I am writing this…blog.  My Facebook short-short stories about whatever happens to be on my mind when I flip open this handy piece of machinery  (and compulsively read what you’ve all been doing in the last three hours since I last checked) made a professor–a woman who might be my friend in another place and time, and might be in the future–suggest that I blog if I could and would.  I respect her opinions, so I did, tentatively at first, but now, I do this in lieu of sitting at my desk with a pen and a journal most of the time.

The word “blog” makes my skin crawl.  Speaking it out loud embarrasses me.  I’ll get over it.

Because of Facebook, I lose hours of my life when my Thunder is away. I forget to turn off the oven and the brownies I baked turn to bricks.  I stay up too late laughing alone at funny videos from pages I “liked”.  I fall into a hole of bright colors and moving pictures and information information information when really, I would rather be on a blanket in the back yard with my watercolors or just the stars, or on my bike, or anywhere but my couch with a fascinating little machine in my lap.  That admission embarrasses me, too.

A project: my Facebook status posts, handwritten in a journal, matched with real journal entries from that day in history.  Filtered social output versus unfiltered private reality.  Art versus artist, composition versus composer, technologically assisted hyper-reality in its gentlest (most subtly invasive) form versus unadulterated flesh-and-bone real life.  Once I see how honest or altered my social media persona really is, it might be the end of an era of feeling more connected to the big wide world through the internet.  I might feel like a fraud, but then again, I may decide that I want that contrast of compositions to point a finger at what isn’t comfortable to “share”.

My name is Lisa, and I am a Facebook addict.