Last night I temporarily suspended my Facebook account. I think I might do it permanently. And I’m on the fence about blogging. I understand from other bloggers that they get attacked, stalked, extorted and more if they get any kind of a following. So far, nothing like that has happened to me on WordPress. And I’ve had folks I follow be supportive and loving and the same with those who follow me.
I am a literary writer and I have published quite a bit. I wanted this and Facebook to be ways to reach out to people about my work and I’ve been lucky enough to find some folks I follow who are not only talented, but life affirming. I don’t do twitter or Instagram and don’t know anything about it. And Facebook was a place to see pictures of my friends and family.
However, Facebook is not a place anymore that’s affirming and uplifting. It’s a place people go to dump on people. I do not post political things of any kind on it. But that’s primarily what it’s for now–to dig at people. Even if they don’t send it personally through messenger, they know many (if not half) their friends and family disagree on either politics or religion and you wake up every day to see crap and/or notifications they wouldn’t say to your face. Sometimes they hide behind talking points that sound “lovely and wonderful” but are so clearly meant to imply if you don’t share them, you are evil. I’ve also been attacked by email for my positions — I’m a libertarian, pro capitalism. A social liberal mostly. I cannot be a socialist or for murdering full term babies. Big government terrifies me. But I’m pro-choice within 12 weeks and pro gay marriage and rights. I’m a conservationist, a steward of the land, live off the grid (back when I had a life). No party has ever met all the issues I care about. I’ve only recently even blogged about any of this and I never post on Facebook. I’ve replied occasionally humorously to some hinting this might not be a good idea, and I’ve replied by messenger personally and thoughtfully to other posts. But that has not been successful.
I’m tired of seeing people post things without a single thought for those that disagree with them–and on Facebook that is mostly close friends and family, not strangers as most are on WordPress. Again, this is not how we interacted in society when I was growing up and I detest it.
I don’t like to say my life is at a low point because things can always get worse and I know that. But I’ve got real challenges right now that so far have been the worst ones in my life, and my life has been no walk in the park — I had an abortion when I was young, a mistake that haunts me every day of my life. My oldest son was born with Down Syndrome, my daughter had challenges of repeated eye surgeries and mild club feet, my mother died of a massive aneurysm when I was 39, and my youngest son is so far over-coming testicular cancer. I take care of my dad full time who is 88, has Parkinson’s, COPD, full time oxygen, and heart disease. And of course, I’ve had other personal challenges that we all face. I was not one of those who lived a charmed life and why should I be. Why not me, after all. I wasn’t born in a third world country, my entire family didn’t die in a car accident or get killed and taken from me. I’m not in a concentration camp. The rest of my loved ones are alive and doing well.
We have unexpected financial challenges that came as a surprise and I have no idea how they will work out. I imagine they will, this too shall pass (if nothing else I’ll be dead soon enough.) I mean this as dark humor folks.
I haven’t been able to work on any of my writing projects for more than a year to any extent and I have absolutely no control over my life–no way I can see to adjust it that is palatable. I imagine soon enough my dad’s condition will change–that is not something you hope for. But soon enough, my son with Downs who is 36, will likely have Alzheimers (they claim 100% have it by age 40). So that is looming and the thought with his shorter life expectancy that I’ll outlive a child looms as well. But in reality, it’s been 36 years of care-giving for me between my lovely son Josh and now my dad and who knows what else is in my future.
And I’m tired.
I might be able to take all that, but I can’t take how inconsiderate my “friends” are on Facebook anymore. They seem to have no conception that they are upsetting half their friends by posting about politics or religion and they don’t care. And they are not careful thoughtful posts, they are mean. This is not how we used to interact as a society and it’s dangerously divisive. If it were really a conversation, something might be accomplished by it, but it’s mean one-liners purportedly aimed at the politicians but in reality is aimed at their “friends.” I’m sure they are gratified by those that agree with them, and don’t really care about those they hurt.
So I’m leaving at least Facebook, probably permanently (though I’ll truly miss seeing the pictures my daughter posts on there — she’ll need to send them to me privately) and those of a few of my other friends. But the rest is no longer worth it. Just thinking about not having to see notifications and full time bullshit feels better. And I’m worried about google and Facebook privacy issues anyway.
I’m not sure about this blog. I may continue it until I have horrible experiences here, which I understand can happen. But so far, that has not happened, and most people I read and follow have in contrast lifted up my days. there are no careless, barbed posts on here–not yet, anyway.
So we’ll see. I hope your Tuesday is lovely. We are off to Karmanos Hospital for my son’s ct scan. So far, so good on that. No chemo so far and that is truly something for which I am grateful.