I was going through my typical morning routine last Sunday which involves reading Postsecret, a blog operated by Frank Warren. People send in their secrets on a postcard and he posts them.
It is not uncommon for me to read secrets that are familiar or touching, but this past week was the first time I came across one that I might have written and not realized I’d sent it in. Although they are supposed to be secrets, I am prepared to share it here:
I think in Facebook statuses.
I had this realization a year or two ago. It came to me and then I immediately planned out how I would post about it on Facebook. I might have even posted about it. I’m not sure.
Every moment of my day is evaluated for its Facebook worthiness. I think of documenting experiences in order to share them on Facebook through pictures. When we found out we were pregnant with Braxton, even though it was months away, I planned out how I would write it when I finally could post it. I think of joyous moments with my son in terms of whether it would invite likes or comments or a few awwws. When I have realizations about how lucky I am or feel extremely frustrated by a situation or get deeply affected by a book, I immediately start phrasing it in my head to fit into that tiny little box.
I’m not sure what this means. I understand, obviously, the ways in which Facebook has taken over our lives and how it can be all-consuming. I know how awful it looks to see people in restaurants mindlessly scrolling through the screen every 5 minutes. I usually judge people doing it and then find myself doing the same a few minutes later.
What I mainly struggle with is this: What am I modeling for Braxton?
Anthony and I are both guilty of sneaking moments to stare blankly at our iPhones and iPods. But every time one of us is doing it at the dinner table or while playing on the floor with Braxton, I keep flashing forward to what it will feel like when Braxton is doing the same thing to us. When his phone and his music and his electronic devices will be a replacement for communication with us. When he will pay more attention to what he puts in that tiny little box than to us.
It also makes me realize how much I compartmentalize my life. I have these moments for laundry, these moments for playing cars with Braxton, this hour for grading or a nice meal and while I am in the moment of the activity I am simultaneously planning the next chunk of time while also thinking about how I could mold it to fit in that tiny little box.
Everything has become smaller, like sound bites and it feels troublesome to always be framing my day to day experiences, from the most mundane to the most life changing all into that tiny little box.
Jenny Razor, a high school English teacher at Omaha Public Schools, blogs every other Saturday on momaha.com
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