This afternoon, as I was aimlessly scrolling through my instagram feed, I noticed that someone I had considered a friend posted something about the occurrences on the Berkeley campus the other night. She couldn’t understand why people were so upset about a “protest” and why the President was taking the molotov cocktails, pepper spraying, fireworks-aimed-at buildings, and people punched in the face so seriously. To me, by all accounts I watched and read, it looked like a full-on riot, but maybe that’s just me.
Anywhoo, I wanted to say something, but didn’t really want to spend the time typing something thoughtful into a little IG bubble, so I pulled up Facebook to see if she had posted the picture there as well. Come to find out, we were no longer friends. Ok, wow. I wasn’t really hurt by the gesture. Caught off guard, yes. I’ve come to appreciate in recent months that with all the political upheaval that’s gone on in the United States, tolerance of differing opinions is becoming more difficult to find. That being said, I knew this girl saw politics different than I, but certainly not something to cease cordial relations with me?
The only conclusion I could come to is that she had seen posts I’d liked on other people’s pages and not agreed with my decisions. There was no invocation of a thoughtful conversation, just a deletion. Is that a word? Well, unfriended I was…as well as confused. How should social media relationships be viewed?
A few years ago it was a huge deal to make it “Facebook official” if you were dating someone. Now, I’m not even visibly listed with my beau of many years. The awkward fallout of me getting mad one night during a fight and saying fuck it and just removing my relationship status. His still says he’s in one, just not with who…and I’m presuming it’s still me haha. Jokes aside, how much weight should be given to social media and the role it plays in our lives?
The realization I’ve stumbled upon is that it can play as much a role in our lives as we let it. The second we switch off our phones and stay focused in the present moment, the easier it is to unplug and realize if someone’s petty enough to ex-nay potential connections over a political like or comment, then they’re probably not a quality friend. That’s not to say they’re not a good person, just not someone I need in my life now, or ever.
Just today, a girl I knew from college, whose book is coming out in a few days (and oh my goodness am I excited to publish the review I wrote about)…she got her IG hacked and all 12k of her followers taken. I’m not sure how or why this happened, but one can only presume it was an unkind deed of someone who wanted what she had-carefully curated photos, dating back several years, of all of her adventures in and around New York City. Whomever the hacker was, he or she (or maybe a politically correct gender neutral pronoun) deleted every single picture of hers except for one.
I’ve come to appreciate that there are just some things in life we can’t explain. Try as we might, we’re left grasping at straws to make sense of the nonsensical…and that’s frustrating. I’ve spent years trying to figure out the reasons why I got so sick and bad things, that’ve changed my life, happened to me. At a certain point you just have to realize that these challenges are trying, but in the end, if we’re able to hold our breathes while the waves crash furiously above our heads, these challenges will make us unbreakable.
Being unbreakable doesn’t mean impermeable to pain, but it does mean capable of picking oneself up off the floor and starting over. Starting again and again and again, even when the last person in the room thinks you won’t get back up.
On that note, I should start to get ready for bed. Another day, another fight to make each breath worthwhile…and for that, sleep is needed.