I joined Facebook during my fourth year of college. I was attended Western Kentucky University and a friend at Oregon State mentioned Facebook to me on, wait for it, AIM chat. At that point in time, Facebook wasn't really well known, you could only join if your college was listed and you could only join groups associated with your university, there were no status updates, homepage, walls, picture albums......it was pretty bare bones.
Over the years I've gotten to see Facebook change and grow and not once in the past seven years have I wanted to take a break from Facebook.
On Friday we saw evil. I'm not going to repeat what happened, we all know.
Since Friday, every time I have logged onto Facebook I've had the following reactions: anger, sadness, disgust or "Wow...that's stupid." I've seen rumors, I've seen fingers pointing (it was guns, it was mental illness, it was autism, it was because he was homeschooled, it was because he was circumcised, it was because his mom was a survivalist, etc, etc, etc). I watched as the media, so anxious to be the "first to report", gave the world false facts and updates that were never fact-checked.
I'm not going to lie, on Friday I was so distraught I blasted off my own opinion on "the fix" without giving a thought to the fact that people were mourning and crying, their hearts breaking, parents facing a nightmare that no parent should ever face...just days before Christmas.
I've tried to focus on my family. I have my personal FB page, as well as the blog Facebook page, and I try to share updates that make people smile. My kids do silly things so I share an "Andrew-ism" or a picture of JD smiling. I love to bake so I post recipes or snap a picture with Instagram. Not only do I like to share these things, I love, absolutely love, seeing this updates from others. I want to see my feed full of kid and food pictures. I want to see recipes, links to articles my friends find interesting, I want to hear what funny things have happened lately with other families.
But right now, I can't share these things and act happy. I really can't. I'm a very sensitive person. I do my best to hide it but it does not take much to reduce me to tears. I don't know anyone directly involved with the tragedy in CT. I know someone who knows someone....that's about it. But I can't shake this feeling of "Now is not the time to be overly happy and excited." I feel so much overwhelming grief for those involved.
I also feel a lot of anger. I am angry at the media for sensationalizing everything. I'm angry at those who want to make this about gun control (or lack thereof in their opinion), I'm angry at those who say this is "God's revenge" because we have turned from Him, I'm angry at those who want to blame autism or homeschooling or survivalists. In the midst of all of this, the victims and their families are being forgotten, they aren't being given privacy or time to mourn in their own way. It is so frustrating....and I keep getting sucked into it all.
However, it is Christmas. My son's eyes light up every time he sees the Christmas tree or hears the name Santa. He has asked me several times over the past few days why I am sad. It seems that anytime I am feeling better and enjoying things, I get on Facebook and my thoughts immediately go to CT. I am so overwhelmed with everything that it is distracting me from my family.
Today the NRA, after days of silence, released a statement with the following words:
"Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting."
Regardless of how you might feel about the NRA, I find a lot of wisdom in their words.
So I'm going to abide by them too for the next few days, maybe longer. I need to focus on my family, my children and my husband. I need to be baking and creating and visiting.
I'm not going to deactivate my account, I'm just going to take time to gather myself away from all this.
Much love to everyone and happy holidays!