Deactivate

I love blogging for the thrill of instant gratification. The publish option I choose is always, for better or for worse, “publish immediately.” Oftentimes, I know I should edit and make it better but I am like a little kid in a very grown body and I can’t wait to share my thoughts.

I realized that however drained I am after taking care of my toddler and infant all day, I am able to sneak in some Facebook and sometimes blogging too. What made me feel wistful/”jjing” is that Facebooking and blogging had replaced journaling, something that has been a part of my life since my dad bought me my first diary in the third grade. For me (and for others, too, I would imagine), blogging should never replace journaling because while I try to stay true to myself when writing for an audience, it is still writing with a knowing that others will read it.

What I blog about is only a sliver of who I am. There is always the fear of sharing something too personal and regretting it. The fear of how permanent it is once it’s out there. The fear of being misunderstood. Of being labeled. Categorized. Dissected. Judged. And of course, not every story is wholly my story to tell.

Everything is for public consumption these days. A while back, when I was trying to resist the Facebook craze, I watched some teenagers on the subway. They were taking so many pictures of themselves during the entire ride. They weren’t satisfied with each photo so they kept posing and reaching their arms out to take more selfies (self-pics) instead of carrying a conversation and being present with each other. Not just on that subway ride but everywhere. Restaurants, theaters, malls, parties, playgrounds, churches, living rooms, hospitals, cubicles, you name it.

While I was trying to relax for my first Mother’s Day at Spa Castle a couple years ago, I noticed a gaggle of teenage girls taking so many selfies in the dry sauna. AT THE SPA! “No, I don’t look cute here. Take it again.” I knew it was because they were dying to share on Facebook/Twitter in that very moment.

IT’S EVERYWHERE! I saw a first-time mama excitedly walking into her sonogram appointment, but only after she paused and checked in on Facebook. I can hear people thumbtyping away on the toilet in public restrooms. It’s become second nature, like flushing those very toilets people are Facebooking from.

As soon as our plane touched down on the runway on a recent flight, people turned on their gadgets and checked their Facebook even before their voicemails or emails. Props to Zuckerberg for world domination.

So many of us live like this now, including myself. I do this with pictures of my boys. I was always camera-happy even before I joined social media but now that I can share instantaneously especially with my friends and family back home, I am itching to share. My Newsfeed is full of check-ins, selfies, look what I’m reading, thinking about, watching…RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT!

Something that happened yesterday is old news.

How connected we are in 2013 never ceases to amaze me, but it does make some moments just a bit faker than back in the day. Living each moment while trying to record and share it right away lends itself to being less organic, more staged. I sometimes get grossed out when I think, “Oooh, I wanna blog about this.”

While I was trying to work some things out in my head and heart after leaving sunny LA and returning to grey NYC, I realized that my inner voice and God’s voice were too hard to hear with the noise of Facebook traffic constantly inundating me with tidbits from acquaintances’ lives. I deactivated for about a week just to clear my head. Deactivating the account proved to be too extreme because practically speaking, most acquaintances communicate via Facebook message instead of email, and with my not having text message there really would be no way to communicate.

I’m back on Facebook for now but I’ll always remind myself of those simpler times when people could just be happy or excited or _______ without taking a picture of being happy or excited or _______ and sharing that moment with 423 “friends.”

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2 thoughts on “Deactivate

  1. Catching up on my ajummama today. 🙂 You are insightful and articulate, as always. Thanks for sharing yourself with us! The problem in this post is especially poignant for me, as a source of regular, low-level marital conflict, when I want to eat my dinner already, but hubby needs to check in and post a pic first. 😛

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