It’s been coming on for almost a year; starting right about the time I announced that I was going to write a book (for the eleventy millionth time, but seriously guys, this time I mean it, I’m going to write a book.) I knew it was coming. Every time I flipped my laptop open and clicked on that friendly blue icon, I knew it.
Facebook. Oh, Facebook. Facebook, you are 90 percent of the internet to me. Without you, I am a quick look at e-mail, glance at the headlines, and done for the day kind of internet user. I see reports that the average woman spends 27 minutes a day on social media. Such restraint. I will never tell you how much time I spend on Facebook, but only that I am exceedingly above average.
While the kernel of thought about the cons of Facebook simmered in the back of my mind, someone took the snow globe that is America, gave it a good shake, and set it back upright. There is not a corner of this country untouched by some sort of divisive chaos. For many months Facebook looked to me like a crowded city street with people standing motionless on the sidewalks, each shouting their thoughts to no one and everyone.
And, while the sharing of ideas and opinions should always be encouraged, it seems to be more like it is now used to establish battle lines than it is to come to agreements or understanding. “I’m not being divisive, you are!!”
When Planned Parenthood was exposed for selling baby body parts I was thrilled. The undercover videos were a thousand times more damning than Blackfish (the documentary that is slowly taking down SeaWorld.) Now that the truth was out, it would just be a matter of time before lights came on and everyone agreed that slaughtering infants was a code red kind of situation. But, no. When I posted the videos I found that I was one voice shouting amongst all the others, none listening, unless they agreed. Minds are already made up. Because of Facebook, I know that I can show a video of a PP admin discussing the method for extracting an infant heart intact to a church leader and get the unblinking response that PP is good for some things. I’m shouting, he’s shouting, nobody is moving.
And then, the horrors of Orlando happened. Dear God. What horrors. My sole thought was about the earth shattering senselessness of it, but the shouting demanded I say something. I wrote and deleted several updates. I knew that I could write something poetically touching, carefully worded, and packaged for consumption, but to what end?
I am sad about the massive loss of God-breathed life, knowing that each one shattered a thousand timelines. In the hours after the deaths, we were allowed this ears ringing, shell shocked sadness. I should have posted in that sweet spot. But in the days after, the shouting began.
“The problem is guns, and if you disagree with me, I don’t have time for that.”
“The problem is not enough guns. You are moron pansy.”
“Won’t somebody think about the good Muslims who out number the radicals?”
“All Muslims are radical. Your opinion is garbage.”
“Christians also hate Gays. Let’s not forget how awful that is that Christians hate just like radical Muslims hate.”
People I love demanded I say something, while other people I love demanded I take a side. Thinking back to the Planned Parenthood exposure, I remembered how much I wanted the people I love to take a side, and I remember my disappointment in the silence or, worse, the defense of the practice. When I applied those feelings of hopeless advocacy to voicing my thoughts on yet another national tragedy, I stepped back.
I am supposed to write. I know this, and as my fingers hastily backspaced over the last post I attempted on Facebook I knew that it was time I quit writing there for a good long while and write my stinkin’ book already.
I love you all. Totally mean it.