Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cyber Hearts on Cyber Sleeves

July 4, 2017

The margin for missed understandings and disappointment in others in the land of phosphors is so wide.. and so deep...   and feelings can be devastated at the drop of a comma.  or a comment.  
All this stems from my error.. Facebook is the culprit for luring us into a false sense of 'friendship' with folks we don't know and exacerbates issues with folks whom we may know and is doubly problematic with people whom we may love and have known for a long time.  We offer condolences to people whose relatives or friends have died and somehow, to me, that's just hollow.  We congratulate others on birthdays and it's all sort of on autopilot. We 'go off' on others whom we have never met and ... thankfully... never will because they have posted some nasty remark about someone we like or may approve of.  Limbic reactions.. not all together insincere, but it's social media! And, I am not alone being sucked into the maw.

Was it Newton Minnow who coined the phrase, "Omniverous Maw".??  He called television a "vast wasteland" and in a way, the wonderfulness of the Internet fulfills both phrases.  Sitting here is more wasteful of time and energy than not. And, the WWW is happy to gobble us up with the illusion that we may be accomplishing something. 

 Business communication does happen, of course and I'm happy for that.  The good feeling of connecting with someone I care about ... when it is informative and positive.. or even sad news.

Having just lost what I thought was a true friendship of over thirty years because of the word 'stupid' being 'uttered' in relation to an idea that I have makes me sad.    My friend did NOT call me "stupid," she just thinks my idea of dismissing the man currently in the White House by only referring to him by his number (45) and to never utter his name is stupid and to me that feels like I am being called stupid.   After reflecting on this, I've decided that in some way, it is true.  Only a stupid person would make a stupid comment.  And, only a stupid person would not get it that a superficial 'friendship' is not a true friendship, but is probably more superficial than not. Of course, there are degrees of superficiality and every single one of our connections to folks we care about may be deep or shallow to some degree.  My stupidity was in thinking that this woman was a 'true friend' to be trusted and loved, when she was somewhere a little to the left of 'true blue.' The illusion was real to me. But, that illusion IS on me.

Ultimately, hard feelings may be reconciled.  Arguments may be solved. Apologies are really useless unless the person offering is truly sorry. Why should someone apologize for simply speaking their truth?  I just accused a guy I don't know on FB of being a member of the KKK because of a racist image he posted on the Greeley Tribune page.  He probably isn't, but the feeling I got was that given an opportunity to burn a cross, he might think that it was a good way to express his feelings.

With those who matter most to me, I want harmony and understanding (do I hear The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius in the background?).. I learned long ago that if we love one another, if there is a problem, then we 'get over it.'  That lesson is one I'll never forget, thanks to a true blue friend. 

Foolishly, I sent a hand written note to the woman who thinks my idea of calling the current POTUS "#45" is a stupid idea.  In my letter I wanted to declare my friendship to her.  However, the 'tone' of a recent email from her indicated that she really has little ... if any... respect for me and that hurts because I've considered her to be a 'close' friend for so many years.  That might be considered a little bit 'stupid,' too? Because I'm afraid that most 'apologies' are hollow, I'd never expect or ask for an apology. What I am truly sorry for is that I've not been awake to the true nature of our 'friendship.'  Have we been acquaintances.. mostly?

This whole rant is about trust and respect.  Friendship turns on respect, love and trust.  All others pay cash. 

Bottom line is that we all are being sucked into this 'omniverous maw'  of Facebook and the Internet and like a bad, bad habit, it's invading our psyches in ways that seem to me to be more harmful than not.  Even this brief diatribe may be misunderstood because of an interpretation that may be made that I have not intended. 

Michael Sheehan
Happy July Fourth! 2017 

1 comment: