To be completely transparent, my television was turned to Downton Abby for the latter part of the big game so i can not really comment much on that. The game that i was mostly tracking was the back and forth banter on Facebook. I’m calling it a game on purpose. Status updates are fairly strategic. i know that i use them. Sometimes, i am hoping for a team of yes-ers, other times i want to share a moment that i am proud of or i think will elicit a collective laugh from the Facebook audience. There are the days that i post to connect out of a desperate need to know that i am not alone in a feeling or an experience. Each post has a purpose, a strategy, and plays into the role that hope to flesh out on others’ news feeds.
Most of us are probably doing pretty much the same thing. Is this bad? i don’t know. i hope not. i hear about the levels of depression that are raised by our Facebook-infused culture. That makes me sad. i don’t want to be a part of making anyone feel lesser because of the very-filtered items of my day to day that i choose to share. i can vividly remember the loneliness that i felt when i was home with three kids under the age of 5 and i think that something like Facebook would have been a Godsend. it is so important to know that other people are out there going through some of the same trials that you are…or at least that is important to me. The side-splitting posts that parents put up about junior refusing to wear pants or painting the bathroom floor with lotion feel like gifts.
Sunday night, there were a lot of posts about folks watching the game. Some of them had pictures of the food that they served. Others rated commercials and the Katie-perry-dancing-with-sharks-and-beach-balls number. There were even a few football comments in my female-dominated feed. Mostly, it felt like we were having a collective moment. It felt good to me. i may be naive, but it was nice to know that so many of the people that i have crossed paths with throughout the years were so easily reachable in that moment…like we were all hanging out together.
Today, Monday, there will be lots of back and forth about the ins and outs of the game and the motives of the advertisers and who was alienated by the experience and who resonated with it and who has heartburn from eating too many wings and who did or did not make the right calls on the play and, and, and…. it will be Monday quarterbacking at it’s finest. i won’t enjoy that as much. i prefer the live moment when we are all together (so to speak) in time and are sharing an experience. That, i think, is when Facebook is at it’s best.
It can happen during an event or as a reminder of a stage of life with equal impact. Suzie Q talking about the first time her little one smiles brings me right back to that moment in my life with my own babies…as if we were going through it together. Johnny sharing that his mom’s just been diagnosed with a disease does the same thing…he is not alone….i am with him. Maybe it feels false or contrived as a source for community for some people…but for me, it is real.
i do hope i am not causing anyone harm when i am posting (except for the occasional discomfort that my kids feel when i put up photos of them..i’m ok with that so-called pain). i hope that folks are enjoying feeling connected to me as much as i enjoy feeling connected to them.