Was scrolling through FB recently and realized 2 things:
1. I was completely sucked into the moment while I was in FB, and then when I left the computer I realized that I felt icky. There was nothing specifically icky that happened, or that I saw, but I felt icky. Like a smaller, less complete version of myself.
2. I have a smattering of FB friends that I knew years ago, decades ago even. While I am generally pleased to know that they are alive and (generally) well in life, it feels...private, personal...to be looking at photos of them with their children on the beach, on a vacation. Living their lives. These are things that we formerly only saw in scrapbooks of people that we knew well. The photos feel personal. I don't even know their kids names, and I'm looking at photos of them. That feels weird. And it occurs to me that we are not current in each others lives, so to look at photos of them feels like I have been relegated to be their audience.
Interesting. And...then the thoughts continue to unspool. I realize that there are other relationships in my life for which I am more audience than peer. Relationships in which I feel talked at, instead of talked with. I feel like an audience.
I'm sick of it.
And, I have no one to blame but myself.
I, and I alone, control access to me; to my time, my attention, my engagement.
And so, my power is in paying attention to the dynamics of my engagements, of how things feel with the various people and groups in my life. If it feels icky to look at facebook, I can stop doing so. I can stop engaging with people which whom I do not feel a reciprocity of peer-ness, I feel talked at. I can control how much I engage with passersby on the street. You are not entitled to my attention, interaction, engagement, time. And I can become aware of people I talk at also.
Because yes, I do it too. I can think of at least 1 person in my life for whom I talk at them, too much. I wonder why I do so? I think it's usually 2 reasons:
1. I like them, and I want a closer connection with them.
2. I feel entitled to them in some way. I have blown past relationship gates, permissions, dignities.
Norma Van Horn