Good morning all! This week I’m posting a series on balancing the past, present, and future. Today’s post is about confronting personal history.
There are many reasons why I avoided joining Facebook for the last six years. Concerns about privacy, wasted time, and nostalgia for “genuine interactions” top the list. Recently, I realized another reason.
As I mentioned, I’ve moved several times. Moving is always stressful and I often feel homesick, but there are benefits. Sometimes, it’s easier to grow and evolve in a new environment with new people. I took this to the extreme, often detaching from most of my friends. When I moved I didn’t just leave a geographical place: I left my friends and the person I was with them.
Facebook is a trail that leads your present life back to the past. It’s a thread that sews through time. I wanted none of that connection. Why?
In some instances, I realized some friends were a negative influence and I was better off without them. To me, Facebook is an open door those frenemies can walk through anytime.
I let go of other friendships because of the version of me they knew. I, like many people, am not proud of all the decisions I’ve made. Rather than have people around reminding me of my mistakes, I let those friendships fizzle as I struggled to change and develop as a person.
So why join now? I’ve seen Erin reconnect with people through Facebook and this blog. When I went home with Mike and saw him with all of his friends, it made me nostalgic for a past I erased from my present life. In addition to wondering about my fragmented history and the people who mattered most throughout it, I want to stay connected to friends and family now.
The people I care about most are scattered across the country and the world. While I would love to see them in person, talk on the phone, or exchange letters–I often don’t. Facebook, for all of its faults makes maintaining long distance friendships easier.
Finally, I’m at a place in my life where I am comfortable with who I am and I value my friendships. I’ve learned not to befriend negative people. Thoughts of hitting the road and leaving it all behind haven’t entered my mind since I moved to NYC. I feel at home here and I’m building a life on rock, not on shifting sand. I’m learning to embrace the present and create a future (more on those later).
I’ve realized I can’t live a balanced life while I’m haunted by the past. To me, Facebook is a dark room potentially harboring the ghosts of my past. It’s time for me to walk in and turn the light on.
What are your likes and dislikes about Facebook? Do you have any ghosts from your past you try to avoid?