My birthday was this week.
Normally, people are lifted up by well-wishers and friends. For me, It has become something to get through.
You see, when my daughters were small, we would celebrate for an entire weekend. Dinners out, concerts, family over….those were the things that mattered more than any gifts.
I was not prepared for having an empty nest nor having to face it alone.
Needless to say, all those things happened at once.
I have always wondered what it was like to be alone during these times in one’s life.
It is darn hard to and seems to constantly underline aloneness.
Let's face it, To be remembered is a special feeling.
Facebook has changed the way we celebrate with people.
I admire those friends I have, that still send cards or do not participate on social media. They refuse to get caught up in the day to day. They live happily without it. I still love them.
Sadly, I am not that person.
I am the one who reads all the well wishes and tries to respond.
I say sadly, because I have been caught up in the hype of the Facebook monster. No, I don’t announce on FB that I am going off to regroup (counterproductive right?) because I love seeing the progress and successes of people I am not that connected to anymore.
What has gotten to me this week, is not who gave birthday greetings….but those who didn’t.
Have I offended them? Do they not want my friendship? Are they okay? If they have posted something that day, it means they saw it was my birthday…and didn’t bother to say anything.
As I was going through this in my mind, another message came through:
LISA! SNAP OUT OF IT!
This insidious feeling of inadequacy, in the middle of plenty, is at the root of the psychological fallout of being hyper connected. It is what drives people to depression. It robs the confidence of our young people. It is like the Wizard manipulating behind the curtain. We don’t know when we will not be enough on this daily reminder of worth.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate all the well wishes. But if I had to make a conscious step out of the fray to look at it all from the outside, it makes me wonder how younger adults and kids look at themselves? It is a black hole in which self-assuredness and personal well-being may be sucked into a vacuum of nothingness.
I am not immune. But maturity, now with another year, tells me to quit putting so much stock into something that many people use as a guide to their happiness.
As we work with students, we must remember the value of not working with a cell phone. We must use technology as a successful delivery of pertinent knowledge in a digital world. Navigating past the posts, texts, and snaps to allow feelings to be discussed in a personal platform.
So much more can be learned from real face to face interaction. We cannot allow our young students to just rely on their phones.
Ok. It’s out there now. My heart sits on my sleeve.
Thanks for listening.