On Facebook You Can Only Like Things

I’m liking these Facebook movies that are showing up on people’s feeds right now.  If you haven’t seen one, I guess you haven’t been on Facebook in the last few days. They’re pretty neat. Facebook makes it up automatically – from a person’s earliest posts, most liked status updates, and random posted photos. You can look at your own and decide whether or not to post it – and it can be surprising to see what photos show up.

I like looking at my friends’ Facebook movies. I’m seeing some things I hadn’t seen before (maybe they were from before I joined Facebook), or being reminded of posts and photos I had liked before – or sometimes even being reminded of myself as I’ve seen myself in some of the photos.

But here’s the thing about Facebook. Facebook only lets you like things. I mean, you can just not comment on something. If you’re offended or bothered by something, you can remove it from your feed. But there’s currently no sympathy button on Facebook.  People don’t normally *like* status updates about illness, death, accidents, tragedies, and general misfortune.  I mean, “The furnace just went out and it’s below zero outside – waiting for the repairman in my coat by the fireplace” is likely to get a lot of comments, but not a lot of likes. And likes only tell part of the story.

Now, if we view our lives only through the lens of what’s good in it, that’s not a bad exercise sometimes. Especially if you’re having a bad time and you think nothing is going your way, you might want to have Facebook make your movie and see what your most liked status updates have been. You might be pleasantly surprised. It’s good to remind ourselves occasionally about the things we’ve been thankful for. Even in the midst of terrible things, it can be a good exercise to pause and consider what we are thankful for.

But here’s why I’m not posting my Facebook movie. I did look at it. Most of it made me smile. But then there were my most-liked status updates. They were about Don. Specifically, they were from this past May, when Don began his downward-spiral. Hopeful posts in the midst of Don’s decline. Posts about Don returning home from the hospital, and about his white count. Maybe next year I could post this movie, but I just can’t do that now.

I do remain grateful for so much. I’m even grateful for the chance to review how I’ve chosen to portray my life on social media, and how my life on social media has been received by my friends. I also understand that it’s only a piece of the story. But then, a movie generally is, isn’t it?

That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.


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