Facebook's brutal reality

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, July 14, 2009, 1:31 AM | comments: 3

It's a strange era in history. If we choose to engage in the online world, we're exposed to a fairly high level of connectivity with people we would have never, ever heard from beyond what I often call the four year cycle, where much of your life, and the people in it, change.

I recently heard from a high school friend who had a great deal of career chaos, divorce and a great deal of damage (gosh, that sounds familiar). Then a few days ago, I heard from a college friend who is getting divorced after two kids because her husband puts weed and alcohol above being a father and husband. At least one of them grew out of that phase.

Couple these "lost" connections with current friends and acquaintances losing relatives, seeing their children go to the hospital for serious illness, and other sad and miserable events, I mean, fuck... is this just life or the apocolypse? This isn't seeing a natural disaster or war on TV, this is a batch of nasty happening to people I know.

We've certainly had our, uh, "issues of misfortune" lately too, which doesn't help. And the next person who tells me that everything happens for a reason, I swear I'm going to punch them in the nuts. Why do people say that? How is that supposed to make anyone feel better? I'm not interested in some dissertation on faith or thick bullshit about fate and crap like that, I just want things to change. Mostly things I can't control.

One of the really difficult things about being a human being is that we can't simply blow off things that adversely affect us, even though the adversity is often caused by things outside of our control. It's hard to blow off when it involves people we love and care about too. It's even hard to blow off when it involves people at the edge of our social sphere.

I have only limited use for luck as a concept, as I generally believe that you make your own future, but I very much wish for more of something like it to come our way, to me and the people I know. Reality need not be brutal all of the time.


Linda Mc, July 14, 2009, 9:27 AM #

Social Networking puts us into a place where we are more connected to more people, and, I think, means we see much more personal adversity than we otherwise would...especially from acquaintances.

On the other hand, social networking also allows for more connection to people when they really need the support, even of those who are on the periphery of our closer friendships.

, July 14, 2009, 10:54 AM #

In life, good things and bad things happen to us for no reason at all. I believe that hard work, not luck, wishing or external hope, is a good way to get out of a hole. It's not a sure bet; there's no such thing. I've found that genuine hard work, often what seems the more "difficult path," has brought me better rewards in life than dumb luck or good breaks. I feel strongly today that I deserve the (minor) success I have earned.

You are correct that we are subject to things we can't control, but we can control how we react to them.

Carrie, July 14, 2009, 2:46 PM #

Sometimes hearing people talk about their fixes or coping mechanisms can drive me crazy. I'm sure they work for them for whatever they have faced. But they may not work for others and not for every situation.

Sometimes a crappy situation is just a crappy situation. And you have to move on, because the alternative is more destruction.

I believe that when you are really facing grief, the kind that makes it hard to do anything, the only thing you can do is make choices to live. Get up, eat, sleep, whatever. I call it flying on auto-pilot and sometimes you just have to while your psyche works on taking back the controls.

But yeah, the internet social networks can be a double-edged sword of access to the good and bad.

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