, , ,

I don’t know about you, but this past week has been tough. And as I write this post on a Sunday evening, I’m not quite sure how to anticipate the week to come. What to look forward to. What to hope for.
I’ve been quiet on the blog lately when it comes to the days for personal posts. I’m not really sure why, but mostly I guess it’s because I don’t have much to say.
I know, I know. I’m a writer. I always have something to say.
But do I have something to say that people want to listen to?
That’s the difference.

This struck home with me this past week, on Facebook of all places.

If you know me, you know chances are good that if you ever need to reach me, get on Facebook and leave me a message. Am I one of those Facebook addicts? Probably. But I enjoy it. I like feeling connected to friends halfway around the world. I like chatting with my kids and hearing what they’re up to. I like keeping up with my writing communities, my agent, all my writer buds that keep me afloat when my arms and legs get tired from treading water so long. For me, it’s a great way to share our lives. But it has its frustrations.

A few days ago I dropped my laptop. Really dropped it. Hard. And it died.
Of course if I were one of those incredibly smart people who back up everything the minute they finish writing, this wouldn’t be so bad. But, life being as it is the past few months, I’ve gotten a little lax in this department. Serves me right. Suffice to say that if the hard drive can’t be recovered, I’ve probably lost about a hundred pages of a new story I was working on. Sucks to be me, right?

I take things like this pretty hard. And I like having an outlet like Facebook where I can express my pain and find sympathy. And yes, being as how the vast majority of my Facebook friends are all writers, I got a LOT of sympathy. And then there was that one little comment, something about how people die of cancer and if this was the worst thing in my life then I was very fortunate, that just got under my skin, jabbed and twisted. And shredded what was left of my sanity.

I’m a kind person. I’m compassionate. I care about other people and I’m certainly not stupid enough to think my problems are so much worse than anyone else’s, but really? I just thought, huh. Okay. Maybe that person was having a bad day. But so was I and I didn’t need to feel belittled on my own freaking Facebook page for crying out loud!!
But then I thought, well, you get what you ask for. Every time I post a status update, send out a tweet, write a blog post or send an email, I put myself out there. I subject myself to the scrutiny of others. And if I can’t handle it then I should disconnect my internet connection. Right?

Is this what living in the world of social media has reduced us to? Do we have the right to jab and poke and leave snide comments on other peoples walls? Are we justified in our belittling, complaining and criticizing, simply because we can? Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

The funny thing is, as I write this, I very much feel like the pot calling the kettle black. I am guilty for using Facebook as a place to vent my frustrations. That’s what I’m doing right now on this blog. But I’m also interacting. I’m hoping perhaps to connect with somebody else out there who has felt the same way I did last week. I’m inviting discussion, in the hopes that together we can agree on how best to navigate these choppy waters that sometimes turn into stormy seas.

I want to be held accountable.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

So what do you think? Did I have a right to be upset over that comment or should I have just brushed it aside?
Have you been burned by social media? What’s too far for you?
What lessons have you learned from your experiences?

I can’t wait to talk about it.