Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

a matter of trust

 I have found some changes have occurred in my social life since the election. I think that is probably true for a great number of us. What I'm thinking about, of course, is our online " social " lives. Not so much in the way we utilize that social media but in the circle of " friends " that were in it. As for me I don't feel as though I have lost any friends, just a few don't visit as often as they used to. I suppose it is to be expected. It works that way in real life as well. As we get to know each other better we sometimes find things that are disagreeable to us. It doesn't necessarily mean we condemn the other person, just that we disagree. There are times when you discover that person just wasn't what you thought them to be. The disappointment you experience is what causes the rift. That disappointment can be in them or you ! The later is the harder one to recognize.
 Religion and politics are the two most difficult areas to navigate. That is exactly why the old adage about them exists. But it is those two items that are the talk of the internet and social media. The reason for that is obvious, everyone is concerned. We are talking about our nation and the direction it is going. The religion part concerns the Muslims and their possible involvement in the terror attacks. Islam is a religion. What complicates that is that Islam is also an ideology. And so the two are intertwined and make it into the discussion. It is this discussion that has caused such a rift. Well that along with domestic policy.
 So just why do we venture into those areas of discussion ? I think it is just because of a basic need on our part. We all would like our relationships to be a bit closer. They start out as an acquaintance. Hello, good to meet you. Perhaps you have something in common. A mutual acquaintance or some other thing. From an acquaintance you progress to friendship. And friendship comes in varying degrees. What determine that degree ? I believe it is just a simple matter of acceptance. How willing are you to accept their ideas, beliefs and lifestyle ? I also believe it has little to do with how it affects you personally. That is the strangest part of the equation if you ask me. But that is related to the amount of value you place upon their opinion. The more you value their opinion, the more disappointing it becomes when you discover they don't agree with yours. Then it becomes a trust issue. Just how much of myself can I trust you with ? All relationships are based on trust. I trust you are being honest and forthright with me and you expect that in return.
 Now having been on this social media they call Facebook for a number of years I have observed this behavior. People saying hello and then becoming " friends. " For a while they share and interact with each regularly. Then for one reason or another they drift apart. I noticed the little subgroups being formed. I even joined in those little subgroups. Hey, I wound up creating one of my own ! Now that was unexpected but I felt it had become a necessity. The " house " became a bit too crowded and conflicts were popping up. Apparently I was causing the problem ! The reason was a simple one. My opinions were in direct conflict with some others in that group. I'll admit it was flattering that they should place so much value upon my opinion. That had to be it because they certainly weren't ignoring me. I can't speak for others but as a general rule those I don't value,I ignore. So in a strange way it was a validation for me. I created my own subgroup and invited everyone to join, no one is excluded. So far it has been working well.
 It is a brave new world this social media. The rules are the same but the conduct is different. That is why we have so many bullies, stalkers and what's the term, " trolls. " I was accused of being a troll on several occasions. That is another aspect of this social media, name calling. I'm not certain but I think a troll is someone that just likes to start fights on social media. At least that is the impression I received. If telling the truth and giving an honest opinion is being a troll, I'm guilty ! But then I have been told that a Troll just leaves a comment and then disappears. Well anyone that knows me knows that isn't the case. I will stick around and talk about whatever for hours at a time. My problem is letting it rest ! I'm aware of that imperfection and the frustration it can cause. I'm working on it.
 There are many I have met on Facebook that I have never met in person. There are many that I have never seen their faces. The interesting part of seeing their faces however is not for their appearance but for their emotions. It is the subtle looks and glances that we make when talking that help to relay our thoughts. A sly grin or a raising of the eyebrows. That is what I miss more than anything else. It's good to laugh, even if you have to laugh alone. Am I alone ? Or do you laugh at your own snide remarks, anecdotes and quips ? As I often quote Shakespeare saying all the worlds a stage and each of us merely players, it is also true of this social media. The only thing different now is that being on Facebook or other social media sites is more like being in the movies than on stage. You can be whatever you want on social media. Assign yourself a character, change your appearance if you like or remain anonymous the choice is yours. No one need meet you face to face and your secrets are safe. It is all a matter of trust.