I was doing that thing that people do, like its a real thing in life, to read a FB thread that mildly piques your interest, but not enough to comment on it, but just enough to click, “read all comments” and see what everyone else has to say. Chicken-Shit Facebooking, frankly. I imagine what I WOULD write, were I…….were I what? Smart enough? Witty enough? Relevant enough? Knew any of the other people commenting? I have learned the hard way to err on the side of shutting the heck up and NOT participating in threads like this one–ones that hit me at my core, that matter. Why? Well, because invariably, my well thought out little comment that meant something to me gets lost, or no likes, or no reply, and because like Bridget Jones, my self-esteem for the day is determined by a number–for her it was weight, but nowadays it’s “likes”, replies, texts, blog hits, etc. (It’s so nice we can QUANTIFY our self-esteem throughout the day. Thanks, Internet! )
So rather than comment, I click on some of the commenters profiles. Names I’m vaguely familiar with from my town. One woman wrote a comment that made me cry. Like, instantly, tears came. 8 Mutual friends, WHUT??? I should know her. Why don’t I know her? Why don’t I know ANYONE? Oh, I remember, I would have to talk with people IRL(that’s internet speak for “in real life”) to have that happen. Ok, it’s official, my anti-in-real-life-social ways are going to be the death of me.
Clicking through her profile, her abominable privacy settings allow me access to intimate moments. Her children’s milestones, birthdays, reunions, career triumphs. Gorgeous filtered (“filters are her friend”) photos depict a creative family, more “mutual friends” show up in comments to posts that are four to five years old — the dots are being connected, slowly but surely, this is the mother of a boy my daughter rides the bus with. Has (had?) a crush on. I remember months earlier, scouring my daughters texts for clues as to whether this a boy who will be kind to my daughters (probably) unwelcome interest (he’s a full grade older, after all), I learn only now on FB that he is a sweet boy with parents I am not nearly cool enough to hang with.
So what was this thread about? Ironically, sharing secrets, vulnerability, and shame. My new FB crush is the Anti-Shame Hero for my other “I wanna be just like her when I grow up” friend who originated the post. I never did comment on the post. I’m enjoying others’ subsequent rallies of support for the post originator, “Agreed!” “You said it, Sister!” as I stand on the edge of the pool, one big toe gently grazing the water.