The kids are asleep, the house is quiet, I have candles lit and soft music playing, and I am taking time to think. A rarity these days. And I have had a revelation. I realize that the main desire of life is to be known. Think about it. It all starts back in high school (at least for me, since I was home-schooled up until then). We want to be cool. To be in the "in crowd". To be seated at lunch next to the cool kid. For the teacher to call on us and give not only the right answer, but an awesome answer. To be on the "cool" bus when going on your senior class trip. To be asked to prom by the hottest guy, who is wanted by all the girls. The whole point of all that foolishness is to be known ... recognized ... acknowledged ... noticed.
Then in college. It has to the "cool" college in the "cool" dorm, with the "cool" roommates and the "cool" boyfriend. Only for onlookers. Self-esteem. We want OTHERS to think we have it all together and that we're awesome and worth being around.
Then in the workplace. You want to have the "cool" boss. The "cool" coworkers. The "cool" job. It's all for your reputation ... your resume ... your future.
And then in marriage. God forbid you marry a dork. Someone your parents hate. Someone without a job. Someone who can't wear matching socks. It's all stereotype ... generation ... popularity ... status.
And then social networking. Now THAT'S a sore subject. It's "cool" to have 5000 friends on Facebook, to be tweeting, posting, updating, capturing, plus 1-ing, following. To be followed on Facebook or Twitter is like the best thing ever. To get a Google+ invite, is a dream come true. To be "liked" gives us warm fuzzy feelings inside. REALLY people? Is it all that important that we bear our innermost thoughts (or do we?) on these public sites, just to be noticed ... recognized ... understood ... ??? To tell the world every minute of our day, where we're at, and what we ate, and if we liked it or not, and sharing what our kids said after they took a dump on the floor ... is it really that fulfilling? Does it really matter?
Granted, I do that. I post my life. I am an open book. I LIVE for comments from people about my statuses and my pictures and my quotes and my blog posts. It's fun. Entertaining. Time Consuming. Addicting. And I'm okay with that. I have family overseas, I want them to be involved, to know exactly what my kids are doing, so they don't feel left out. I don't have time to pick up the phone anymore or meet friends for coffee on a regular basis, so the social networks fill that void.
But tonight, in the silence of my home, it dawned on me. Why do I do it? Why do I update the world everyday about my life? Do they REALLY know me? Do they care? How could I be spending better use of my time? Is it worth it? Were journals every really meant to be online?
And I realize, just like everyone else, I want to be known. I want to be cool. I want it to seem like I have it all together. And the truth is, I'm not, I don't, and I never will. I'm not cool. I don't have it all together. And I never will be truly known if my life is merely a status update.
And that brings me to my conclusion. First off, fear not ... I am not going to quit Facebook. I am not going to become a hermit. I couldn't do that to my "followers", lol. I believe that within balance, these things are good. Out of balance, not so good. Anyhow ... I am going to share with you who the real me is. If I really want to be known, I need to stop pretending and get real.
And since this posting is long enough, I will end this "revelation" blog post with that teaser, and start a new one about ME. And I hope that through this I may shed some light on reality, and start a trend of being real ... open ... honest ... And to remind people that there is a life outside of all the social networks. It may be harder to maintain, but so worth the effort.
And on that note, I will leave you with this quote, "To be known, is to be loved". Think about it. Agree or disagree? And why?
Stay tuned ...