It might be dark or it might be light outside, can’t really tell because the shades are drawn and I have been sitting at the computer on working on really serious stuff since I don’t know when.
Been pushing myself as hard as I can to reach for that proverbial next level because everyone knows if you can reach that far your life will become amazing.
Got The Eagles streaming through my headphones, the words taking me back to places I have been and pointing me towards those I have yet to come.
Somewhere along the road in my head I make a point to pull over, time to get up, get out and stretch my legs.
Fragments of a conversation I overheard at a coffee shop somewhere between here and Dallas float through my head.
“You know I’ll always love you, but Facebook…it made me hate you. I couldn’t stand what you posted and what you said.”
It is almost two years later and I can’t tell you why that particular fragment decided it was time to reach out and touch someone.
Best guess is that the political rancor the president referred to in his last State of The Union is played out on social media throughout the day and I noticed it.
I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable at being a participant in a conversation that certainly wasn’t meant for other ears, but I was a thousand miles into a road trip and the greasy eggs and hot coffee in front of me kept my butt in the booth.
Part of me wanted to turn around to ask them to fill me in on the back story that had led to this moment in time.
But I am not a therapist, no one pays me to listen to their problems and to offer solutions and I was anxious to reach my next stop.
This Is Not My/Your Life
Can’t say that moment was what led to the ideas that I wrote about in the prior post and I can’t say it wasn’t.
All that came before this moment played a role in that one and all that will come after will impact the posts and stories that follow.
But I do wonder about the impact of our Facebook updates on those we are connected to
That rancor I mentioned before comes out thick and syrupy on the screen and I wonder if people recognize how some of it sounds.
Do they know how harsh and unforgiving they sound?
Do they think about whether people understand what they are saying or wonder if they are being misinterpreted?
Do they bother to do any fact checking or just throw mud at the screen to see what sticks?
Before you ask if I do any of these things the answer is more or less.
Mostly Unfiltered With A Dose Of Should I Care
I am mostly unfiltered on Facebook, mostly.
I post all sorts of serious and all sorts of goofy stuff with the understanding that those who are friends with me know me well enough to recognize which is which and what is what.
But I tell my children to remember that once you post something you lose control of it and privacy settings aren’t enough to keep your content from being used/seen by others.
You might post a sarcastic remark about how you would love to see a Trump/Palin or a Sanders/Clinton presidency but there is no guarantee that it will be understood as you meant it to be by your friends.
And there is no guarantee someone who isn’t one of your friends won’t see those remarks either and walk away with their own understanding of what you meant by your words.
Is that a good or bad thing?
I don’t know.
There are too many variables, too many unknowns to say one way or another.
Most days I would go back to that Eagles song and say to Take it Easy and then add the part about not letting the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.
I remember walking to my car hoping that those greasy eggs and day old coffee wouldn’t wreak havoc on my system because I had no idea when I’d come upon another rest stop or restroom.
Had a ton of highway to cover and figured sometimes it was more important to get some food in your belly and caffeine in your system than to go hungry just because there might be some digestive distress.
I suppose if you know me well that is pretty telling but we’ll leave that alone for a moment.
Pulled out on to the highway thinking that sometimes the smartest thing you can do is stay in your own lane and run your race.
Some might call it a cliche but there is generally some truth in most of those.
Still I sit here, eight bazillion hours into this particular project wondering if it is ok and or fair to hate someone because of what they post on Facebook.
Got too much to do and too little time to pick apart what might be acceptable and what might not be so we’ll just leave it at the more superficial level.
Can’t tell what happened with that particular couple because they were still there when I left. Never heard them raise their voices or use any sort of angry tone with each other.
Last I saw was him take her hand in his and then I left a ten on the table, turned around and left.
Maybe she left it there for the rest of the conversation or maybe she snatched it back, can’t say because I was too focused on staying in my own lane.