Friday, November 11, 2016

Self-preservation, Part 2: The Echo Chamber

I'm trying a different approach with the Facebook thing. I didn't delete my old account, I just deactivated it. It took a day for me to realize that I'm the administrator for three work-related pages, so deactivating my account meant I wouldn't be able to admin my work pages.

I also realized that there were other people I still wanted to have conversations with, but without the ridicule and demeaning comments I had been getting, mostly via private messages. After I thought about it, I realized I wanted a way to process all of my thoughts and feelings about the election outcome (and a few other things) without being smacked down for it. I wanted social media, but I wanted some privacy while I worked through a few things. How to do that?

I reactivated my Facebook account, and then I opened a new Facebook account under a different name. Friend requests, along with an explanation, went out to the people I felt safe talking to, people who I knew would respect my privacy and not share anything I posted...people who I knew would not bark, snap, or snark at me...people who wouldn't tell me to lighten up or tell me I was overly sensitive. People who would not post things so awful, so mean, as to make my heart physically hurt. Sometimes, you just need space to process without feedback.

That being said, I'm not posting anything particularly personal on the new page. No pictures. There's no profile information, no lists of things I like. Just a fake name and some posts and shares about my fears for the future. And no blistering comments coming back at me, demeaning me for what I feel and believe. That's a relief.Sometimes, an opposing point of view, especially when it comes in the form of insults, is just not what's going to help.

So, yes, I set up an account and asked a few people to follow it with the explicit instruction that they could not jab at me, debate me, or express their disagreement. It's sort of a therapy thing. And it's working. When I'm finished with it, when I get out of it what I need to, I'll shut it down and go back to my regular Facebook account. Or not. I may check out of that piece of social media completely. It's not like people will change, it's not like Facebook won't keep showing everyone on my friends list every goddam thing I liked or commented on, thereby sharing my interactions with people I don't know, have no interest in hearing from, and who I never intended to be privy to my posts.

Once I feel better, I'll close the echo chamber, but for the moment, I simply don't have the energy to be judged and jabbed at for my beliefs and the work I do.

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