In one M*A*S*H episode, B.J. bets Hawkeye that Hawkeye can’t go an entire day without cracking a joke. Hawkeye nearly falters numerous times throughout the day, especially with the comedy of errors going on between Winchester, Margaret, and Winchester’s old commanding officer, but he makes it. And at exactly midnight, he picks up the PA mike and lets loose on all the jokes he’d held inside during the day.
I’m picking up the PA mike and letting loose.
Beginning with Ash Wednesday, I abandoned my blog, as well as
When I told my mom I was giving up social networking for Lent, her first response was laughter. "That’s not much of a sacrifice!" she said. Of course, offended and defensive of my cyber peeps, I asked what she meant. "You rarely go out as it is," she said.
Turns out, she thought I meant all social interaction. She has these crazy fears that I’ll end up some writing hermit on some deserted beach. (There are worse things I could do.)
The first week, I’d awaken with something I just had to blog about. Then I’d remember. I can’t blog. I should blog about not blogging, I’d think (true story).
After that first week, I found joy in personal journaling (something I hadn’t done since blogging) and the extra time I had to read. Confession: this tempted me to give up social media for good. Perhaps my mom was right. I could be a hermit.
Now comes the unexpected part. About two weeks ago, I began to unravel. Emotionally speaking. Things had gotten a little stressful at the Goodman house, and I wasn’t handling the stress as well as I normally do. What was wrong with me?
Then it occurred to me: I’d lost part of my support system. Social networking isn’t about being a celebrity. It isn’t splatting my opinions for all the world to see. And it isn’t, as Coupland claims in Generation A, about finding a way to make my otherwise boring life into a story. At least it isn’t for me.
It truly is about community. You guys know me, and I know you. I pray for you and count on you. I’m the last person to argue that social networking replaces human touch and face-to-face community (rather than
As someone who works from home, you guys ground me, keep me in touch with some semblance of reality (remember this post from four years ago [four years ago? Have I been online that long?] about my penchant for other realities?). I discovered that without the interaction I have on
So I’m back with a new appreciation for the role of social media in my life, with a new appreciation for all of you and your roles in my life. I thought I’d be raring to talk about the books I’ve read, the music I’ve discovered, the stories I’ve lived, and to some extent, I am. But I’m more anxious to hear your voices, to read your blogs, to see you in our shared studios.