The sky is frosted with color. It’s a beautiful sunset and all of us on Facebook have noticed it. There’s a rainbow in the cosmos, hidden behind the clouds, peeking through in bursts. Someone painted the sky, someone or something bigger than us. Bigger, or infinitesimally smaller.
Let’s paint the town red.
The town is blue right now, I’d have called it “Mariner Blue” back when I designed my first website in 1998. Now it’s called “Facebook blue”, ask anyone.
The sky is blue sometimes, but today it’s a creamy orange sorbet. Everyone liked it. I watched the sunset for hours, as pictures came through from the whole world, one at a time. I’m at the end of the world, so my reality came last.
It was worth the wait.
So many things are worth waiting for, and everything else should be done right away while you can capture the moment. The trick is knowing the difference, knowing when to paint the town red, when you should share what you capture, and when to just stay in and like things that you follow. Sometimes, like the sky, it’s okay to just be blue.
Facebook has been a weird place for me lately. Dave and I opened the account jointly, several years ago. We put in my name, his birthday, our details. When I went away, he kept posting there.
Some of the posts that come up as “Facebook Memories” are Dave’s moments. Many are people wishing him a happy day. One wish came from a WordPress blogger who passed away while I was away, a death I mourned, but didn’t feel entitled to write on. I guess that I’ve mentioned it now, it’s okay to say it– Bill, you were a good man, a kind man, and your gift of readership and kindness brightened many of my hardest days. Thank you.
While I’m at it, thank you, Colleen— for letting me know of his passing. For introducing us. For being there for us both. For creating connections, ripples… reactions.
Facebook has added reactions, something above and beyond a simple like. A like means many things to many people.
I was here,
I heard you,
I am watching you,
I am paying attention,
I read this.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for being you.
You got this.
You are hilarious.
Or even, perhaps most rarely,
I am on your team.
We now share this memory.
Reactions in this town are so often a solitary act, which is my only problem with a place built on a ripple. Built on the idea that capturing is more important than experiencing, judging is more important than joining, contesting is more important than connecting, reporting is more important than rippling.
I like ripples. I like communities. I like people.
I didn’t take a picture of my sunset because that one was for sharing with a friend. A singular experience with a singular friend.
The choice of singularity in that instance has nothing to do with the next, and the color of our experiences matters even less than the number that captions them– but I am grateful that there was a little blue town, and a tiny bird, and an interactive photo album for me to come home to. I live here, I always say– on the internet– but when you’ve been away for a very long time, it’s comforting to have the structure of a town center to observe, the pathways of well-walked roads to traverse.
But I think I’m ready for an adventure now. A gentle one of my own choosing. I think I need the road not taken, and a bucket of red paint.
I am freeing the bird, closing the album, and walking away from the blue town for the month of March. In that time, I hope to be here more often.
Plant something in this garden I created.
Write something in this diary I made.
Live in the places of the internet not fit for tourists.
until I find what I wasn’t looking for.
I’m ready to lead myself down spiraling paths again, and even if it doesn’t work out and I get horribly lost along the way, I like that I’ve been rekindled enough to see a spark to follow.
I like that very much.
I’m taking a break from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram through the month of March. You’ll find me here, a lot more often, and available through every other method still.
If you want to reach out– reach! I will be here. Right now, I’m slow and random, at best– but text, email, or mail. I will respond. You could call, too, but there’s a 9 in 10 chance I won’t answer. It’s not personal. I just don’t like phones.
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What’s the longest break you’ve taken from a social media platform?