I deleted my Facebook account.
Why, you ask?
Well, I could blame my decision on all the recent news about how Facebook manipulates our thinking. It wasn’t a total shock to me to read that Facebook’s algorithm’s favored angry toxic posts. I was less and less enjoying my time there.
Also, I was starting to hate all those advertisements. And the eavesdropping. And the ads that showed up because of the eavesdropping. That probably played a role.
But I’m going to go with the interacting-with-flesh-and-blood-people theory, especially as it relates to my new job.
Honestly, I didn’t know that I liked people so much. When I first started at the front desk, I had someone say, “I don’t understand how that job works for you. You’re a self-proclaimed introvert.”
And I am. I consistently score super high on the introvert scale whenever I take one of those personality tests.
But being an introvert doesn’t mean I hate people. It just means that they wear me out. Alone-time recharges me.
Recently I came home from work exhausted and complained about “too much peopling.” We had had a Member Appreciation event. I do appreciate our members — but I’m not a throw-the-confetti spin-the-wheel win-a-prize kind of person. (For the record, we didn’t throw real confetti, just verbal fluff.)
My member appreciation involves the day to day hearing their stories.
Over the summer a woman visited from Michigan for weeks at a time while helping to care for her dying mother. I loved talking to her.
I met a man who started swimming laps to prepare for a trip to the Galapagos. He wanted to get in shape before he went. He was also a geologist and had offered to talk with the other travellers about plate tectonics in the region of the Galapagos. He practiced his talk on me several times. “You don’t mind, do you?” he asked. Of course I didn’t.
There was the Irish woman who came to spend a month with her elderly aunt. And, then, there was another Irish woman who was caring for a woman with dementia; she would walk two miles to get to the gym because she didn’t have a car.
When I’m holding my phone and randomly scrolling through my Facebook feed, I’m much less likely to see — really see — these people. Yesterday, a man stopped to show me photographs of where he had grown up. He has told me stories before about his mother. She had filled his boyhood with Old World adages. I could write a book based on what he has already told me.
Actually, he should write a book. I told him that yesterday.
A hard-copy turn-the-paper-pages kind of book.
Not a scroll-scroll-scroll through Facebook, kind of book.
I realize the irony of sharing this on the internet. You, dear reader, are sitting there scrolling through my nonsense.
But if I could say one thing that you’ll remember today, let it be this. Put your phone in your purse or your pocket for a while and look around at the people in your life.
Talk to them.
They have amazing stories.