Social Media: Doggonit, People like you!
My sister would never have a facebook page or tweet or God forbid, blog. I understand her reticence. We all feel judged on Facebook. I understand these things can be used against you in a court of law and/or become part of your permanent record or hurt people’s feelings or alienate people who love Applebee’s. Some friends have commented that it’s cool that I’m writing about such intimate details of my life. It wouldn’t be interesting if I didn’t talk about real $hit. If what I say doesn’t occasionally have the ability to offend, then it’s likely not worth posting.
To Live in Society is to be Judged
I was talking with a friend who also has a special needs child and the fact that she and I both secretly want to have a locked bunker where no one can enter where we can display all our freaky little personality quirks and guilty pleasures without judgment. With children in general, but especially special needs kids, there are dozens of extra people in your life, and consequently in your house. I welcome them with open arms. I also can’t post Stuart Smalley mantras (“You’re good enough. You’re smart enough. And doggonit, people like you!”) around the house without wondering what the extra dozen folks in my house are thinking. I have a magazine cut-out of some ridiculously skinny girls’ buttocks taped to the butter tray in my refrigerator. Her faceless buns have guarded my butter tray for years. I obviously look past the perfect buttocks and forget her butt cheeks are going to greet unaware newcomers seeking a cold soda in my house. Sometimes the newcomer asks me, but mostly they just assume I’m eccentric or off-balance. Occasionally I frighten them. At a minimum, they are mildly confused. One dieting method I employed for a while was to make homemade signs that I taped to potato chip bags, wine bottles, bags of pasta in my pantry and strategic places near tempting food. The signs forebode: “Jesus hates it when you snack”. Intended to shake fear into my jiggly thighs and increasingly mushy middle-aged midsection. (Sorry-was it more fun when we were talking about my boobs? Those were actually okay…). And I did wince a little at the thought of others reading them (the signs, not my boobs) no doubt wondering if there was something wrong with me or if I was trying to communicate with Jesus through dieting, but I’m weary of not just being who I am. If you don’t like it, you can trade me in for a younger or more intriguing model who doesn’t have cancer and baggage and an acerbic wit.
You can’t avoid being Judged on Facebook or real life
The thing is, we are all already out there for people to judge, whether that’s in person, on facebook, through tweets, in literature, in the newspaper, on television, reading their blogs or on the playground. I think it all boils down to fear of judgment. It’s not that I don’t worry about that or that I’m unmindful of looking for a bona fide corporate legal job in the coming months and whether my sometimes left of center or less than proper comments might be used against me in a job interview, but I’m tired of hiding. This is who I am. We each have the ability to turn off the television if we don’t like a certain show or quit reading a book if we deem the prose to suck. I’m okay if you don’t like me. Of course I hope you do…