I’m conflicted today. As my sister Rosie would say, “that’s every day.” But today I’m conflicted because the essays I post on Facebook without a picture get a certain amount of “likes,” and the two so far I’ve posted with pictures have gotten ten times as many likes. I’m not in this for the “likes.” I like likes, don’t get me wrong, please like me, please share me, please subscribe to me, please tell your friends about me, and all of that. But the reason I write this stuff is mainly for my own survival/thrival, with an inkling, a hope, that perhaps some folks might benefit from my own Live Human Walking stories, or maybe be entertained by them.
I’m not sure what it means when people click that thumbs up icon – I see you’ve posted something, I like that picture, I’m glad you’re writing, if you were single I’d marry you, hello there, or simply a finger twitch going through the newsfeed, like, like, like, like. If more people are thumbs upping me when there are pictures, does that mean the pictures are helping to attract people to the writing, or people just like pictures of my cute kid, or that some Facebook algorithm actually allows more people to see my post when there are pictures?
Maybe I should post a picture of my screen and see what happens. That’s what’s most important in this realm for me. The screen. The words, the thoughts, the feelings, the attempted authenticity. That’s my playground. I get out there, or in here, and do this thing, and it’s scary and vulnerable, and I’m tired, and I’m letting it all hang out for strangers, like really this is me, today, how I am, unvarnished. Privileged, not curing cancer, living like this, thinking these thoughts, trying to have a nice time and perhaps be of some service being as me as I can be, because that’s what I hear is the point and so I’ll give it a go. Please don’t hate me, don’t burn me at the stake, don’t run screaming with revulsion. See me, be with me, let me see you, if you want.
So I really really really want to keep it real and Facebook is a medium, a milieu, that seems to push for caricature-ization of everything and everyone. I’m not going trolling for likes. On the OTHER HAND, I do love pictures of cute kids and cute animals and very old people dancing. And I do like spreading joy.
I appreciate my constantly up-in-arms friends too, who keep it a certain kind of real and I’ll admit I give them thumbs up’s on Facebook even though I’m not going to read that stuff because it’ll depress me for days. So anyway, I just want to keep it Plan A, which for me right now is writing, not posting cute pictures of my kid or flowers, or whatever. There are plenty of people doing that kind of thing and I’m grateful for them. I’m doing this thing. It’s a little bit different. I hope you love me anyway, but it’s really okay if you don’t. I love you anyway. Thumbs up!