A Confession, An Overreaction, and Some Lemonade

I’m taking a moment to confess to you something – something I’m rightly a bit embarrassed about…

Facebook

You all know the relationship we (FB & I) share is quite complicated. It’s about as unhealthy a co-dependent relationship as they come. In fact, Netflix has a whole documentary about us – The Social Dilemma. Sure, you think it’s about you or your friends and family, but it’s actually my autobiography. All of it.

Y’see, I’ve been living and dying (mostly dying) by reactions (or lack thereof) to my posts.

Normally, that’s ok. I’m not a regular poster. In fact, I’m 100% certain the FB algorithm unceremoniously dumps me at the bottom of everyone’s feed troughs because of that lack of participation,. But that said, I get enough attention to keep me happy and to keep me coming back.

Then I started posting for the annual fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and if you discount the link from the AFSP fundraiser page (which got a ton of attention – thank you, donors!!), I got no response. No really, none. I posted a link to my latest Big Blue Mess post about the cause and nothing. Over a three day period, only one reader came from FB when normally it’s the bulk of my readers. Weird, but ok. I marched on.

I thought, “maybe no one is responding because they’re completely over your sadness – over Jay – over talking about this subject year after year.” I was grasping at straws, trying in vain to fix something I couldn’t understand why it was broken. I decided to push the ridiculous incentives I picked to encourage people to donate hoping that might pick up some attention. Hey, they’re goofy! Who doesn’t like goofiness? “For $10 incentive you can receive a horrible watercolor portrait made by yours truly! A “disaster piece”!” I included samples of my dreadful paintings thinking I’d at least get a pity laugh or two. Nothing.

What the actual…?

My friend Anna stepped in after listening to several whine/rants (whants?) and reacted to those posts as did my friend Julie. Yay, two little reactions to each post. What the…?

I was taking it on the chin. Beyond wanting a reaction and wanting to raise funds for this cause, we’re talking still talking about a life-altering, devastating event, and we’re talking about Jay. My person. My FAVORITE person. The person I still like more than pretty much everyone else. The person for whom I would give up every thing I’ve gained these past 5 years – every friendship I’ve made – every adventure I’ve had – every opportunity I’ve been afforded to just have him walk through my door.

The lack of responses stung.

No one? Seriously??

The indignance of that question resonated through my core, and I chewed on it – really working up a solid mad.

…and that’s when I got a message from Anna this afternoon that basically went something like this. “Hey, I noticed when you’ve been posting that the notifications I receive say that you sent a message to me. I don’t know if this is it, but you might want to check to see who your audience is. I went back and looked – all of them were to Anna – not to “Public” or “Friends” or even “Friends; Except: (not that I would ever prevent someone on my feed from reading something, but y’know… ) I was embarrassed – so much energy spent on being upset over nothing. I thought about Occam’s Razor: Was it more likely that the usual FB suspects unexpectedly abandoned you because they suddenly didn’t want to hear about Jay OR that something went pear-shaped with your posts?

Ugh.

So, my feelings that live on my sleeve are now ironed back down – at least until my next irrational fit where I waste a lot of energy.

But hey, now that I’m sane again, have I mentioned that for $10 you can get an original disaster piece (or original haiku)?? All you have to do is donate that $10 to AFSP. Help make a difference!

Lemonade

Original Disaster-piece of My Sister-in-law – She’s a Florist! Get it?? There’s a flower!

7 thoughts on “A Confession, An Overreaction, and Some Lemonade

  1. azzageddi says:

    Oh boy, and I haven’t been keeping up too well since the semester is about to start!

    • Beth says:

      David, no worries at all. You honestly have. I haven’t posted that much, and you’re doing me a favor by proofing them. Honestly, the only one you missed was the one I posted directly to Anna’s feed thinking I’d posted it to everyone. When I didn’t see “Japan” in people who’d visited, I should have known something was off. I actually thought, “ahhh David is busy with the semester”.

  2. Amber says:

    Girl!! More people need to watch the social dilemma!!!
    Hugs to you! And you’re over a month away from the event, and you will kill it again this year! Some people might just need to wait for their next payday or so. Don’t give up yet. And your picture is awesome, and incentives are a great idea. You never know who it will motivate.

    • Beth says:

      The Social Dilemma is truly a fantastic documentary, and even knowing everything they brought to light, I still get pulled in.. I know better. I understand the tricks, and there I was freaking out. And I totally get that people may not be able to give; it was more that no one was noticing the posts. Not posts with horrible paintings. Not posts about Jay, but I updated my cover photo and suddenly everyone saw that. Normally, if I post to Big Blue Mess, I have a number of people who get referred to the site from FB, and in a three-day period, there was one. It felt like I’d fallen into the cracks of the internet. So, I imagined it was probably because I was being shunned en masse versus something simple like, “oh, Beth is kind of a special idiot” – turns out, Beth is kind of a special idiot. It just stung a bit more because it involved Jay. Thus, I’m seriously embarrassed that I wasted so much energy on being upset about something that was not happening, and it does turn out my original portraits are pretty amazing. What you’re really learning here is you’ve befriended Chicken Little. 🙂 I need to re-do my own portrait with a normal sky and a freaked-out chicken. Bless my heart.

  3. lasurvivor says:

    I can’t wait to put my painting in the new house. Woohoo!! Also, Facebook is a nightmare. I deleted it and feel a million times better. It was hard though. 😢

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