"I think it's making you a better friend. You call on the phone. You send mail. It's the type of thing people used to do," he says.
"I can see that. It's forcing me out of my introverted bubble," I explain.
Two days later, when arriving home from giving flair, I notice an e-mail from someone who was hurt by careless words written on my blog. I immediately edit it, but it's out there in the global sphere, open to anyone interested in reading it. She recognizes that my words weren't malicious, but it doesn't take the pain away. I apologize. We reach a point of reconciliation. However, it has me second-guessing how personal I choose to be online. To what extent am I breaking another's privacy when I choose to be transparent?
It's easy to buy into the myth that Control, Alt and V will magically undo what is done. It's the digital dream of deleting the broken language of a broken man who gets careless and thoughtless. Social media is just that: social. Real people. Real conflict. Real relationships. Real hurt. Real reconciliation. It's beautiful and it's broken.
My friend Jabiz says that social media is simply a mirror of us. I'm thinking of myself in the mirror and the notion that what is backwards feels entirely normal to me. I'm wondering if maybe it's backwards to be more intimate online than I am with my acquaintances. I'm wondering if it's backwards to wish happy birthday to twenty people I've lost touch with and somehow miss a close friend's birthday. Then again, maybe it's not the medium that's backwards. Maybe it's my mentality.
I think again to the medium. If Facebook is a mirror, it's a carnival mirror, offering a distorted view of myself. Online I'm smarter, faster to speak, slower to listen. Online I don't stutter and sputter and laugh too loud. Or maybe it is an authentic mirror and maybe I'm seeing the distortion first-hand and coming to terms with what I see.
Or maybe social media isn't the mirror. Maybe social media is that place where people around you pull you away from the mirror, reminding you that you are not the illusion that you see before your eyes. Maybe social media is the chance to call me away from the backward lies that have defined my identity for too long.