With my track record over the past 12 months, you could justifiably argue that I’m the least qualified person on the planet to write about the above! However, as this is my blog, I think I can write about whatever I like! And in fairness, my experiences over the past 12 months could place me in a more educated position than most here! So I’m allowing myself a little slack, and tonight I’m writing about something which, up until now, I’ve kept well and truly offline.
Why do you use social media?
To begin with, I refused outright to join Facebook. I saw it as the online equivalent of putting yourself in a shop window on Warmoesstraat – ‘this is me, here are a few pictures, feel free to view, comment and, generally, copy what you like’. However, after a year or so of seeing people I knew sign-up and use it to good effect (ie reconnecting with friends they’d lost touch with, keeping track of what their family were up to beyond an annual Christmas letter etc) I gave in and signed up. But since then I’ve seen Facebook evolve into Faceache – whilst many people still use it to good effect, I see an increasing number of people using it to vent spleen, lash out and at worst, for the equivalent of playground bullying. Each to their own, and all that, but personally, my view is that if you’ve something to say to someone, you should have the courtesy and guts to have a conversation with that person, not hide behind social media to have a pop. In most cases, I’ve no idea what the issues are, or why people are having an online argument, but it’s changing my perception and inclination to use Faceache. What was intended as a two-way platform for communication, is now being used (by me at least) as a one way channel – to share information and have limited conversation with those who are polite / sociable / sensible / adult enough to use it for what it was intended – a social communication platform.
So, I now find myself drawn more towards Twitter. I guess this was the opposite of Faceache, and intended as a one-way push of information. People tweet about whatever they like and others chosing to follow them; jumping on their tweets, retweeting, quoting, favouriting… but so far, rarely using it to hurl abuse. Ok, so Piers Morgan and Lord Sugar are perhaps the exception to the rule, but even then, in banter and abuse toward each other and from, generally, American anti-followers (who claim to hate Morgan, yet still chose to follow him and comment on his every word) it’s managed well my Piers who uses it for extra publicity and popularity! So I’m finding Twitter to be the ‘Private Eye’ or ‘Have I got news for you’ of social media – and I like that.
Anyway. Having explained my current take on social media, why is this post entitled “Value what you have, hold onto what you love and fight for what you fear to lose”? Well. For me, the hiatus of the Faceache to Twitter switch came after I experienced the negativity of the former personally. I shan’t go into the detail (see, even now, I can’t bring myself to publicise the detail! It’s airing dirty laundry in public and I hate that!) But I have this belief that, whatever happens, if you care about something or someone, voluntarily letting it/them go is something of a last resort.
Staying in touch – regardless
Now whether this comes as a result of involuntarily losing someone close to me, I don’t know. But even if things go sour, I tend to keep bad experiences in the back of my mind (so as not to repeat them) and stay in touch with people (as good friends are hard to find). Quelle surprise, therefore, I am still in touch with a chap I lived with, who told me (as we were going out for a New Year’s Ball), that he ‘didn’t love me anymore, but could we just pretend for that evening please, so as not to attract a fuss?’… I’m closer now than I ever was, to the guy who did the dirty on me not once, but twice (who I’d been told was a rat but I trusted him – doh!). And I’m still in touch with my husband, even though we’re no longer together, and still consider him my next of kin. But tonight, I did something which, whilst a small thing, felt significant to me as I finally accepted that involuntary loss of someone once close.
In my bedroom, I have two photo walls – one is a series of frames with pictures of those closest to me. Each is a head/shoulder shot of us; most are in bars, one is at Wimbledon and all include alcohol! The other wall is my family wall, with framed pictures of my parents (when they were younger and more recent ones), my brother and his godson and one picture from my wedding day. This evening, I added four more frames to the family wall (of mum and dad as happy as I’ve ever seen them) but I changed one on the other wall. A small thing, and I still have two great photos of this peron in the living room, so it’s not complete removal! But it felt significant. Having been friends for over 20 years, we haven’t spoken in over 9 months now. People change. People move on. Sometimes is voluntary, others it’s involuntary. But whilst I wish we were still friends, I’ve finally accepted that we’re not. Maybe one day we’ll talk again. Who knows. But sometimes you just realise what and who is important and where you should be focusing your energy and attention.
So. Value what you have – maybe if I’d have done this, we’d still be friends? Who knows, but after quite an eventful past 12 months, I now value those close to me more than ever.
Hold onto what you love – you never know what will happen round the corner, so whilst it may seem an effort at times, if they’re worth the effort, hang onto them.
And fight for what you fear to lose – at the time, I thought I did this, but on reflection I could probably have done more. It’s hard (and sometimes impossible) to get them back once they’re gone, so if they’re important to you, fight til the death to hang onto them.
Enough – shut up Rebecca!
Right, that’s enough philosophical b******s – and the closest I’ll ever get to airing dirty laundry in public! From here on in it’s good stuff, I promise!
I started packing tonight, what a laugh that was! But that’s another story…
ttfn /Boxy xx