Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Worlds Collide

The Post Wherein I Blabber About My Facebookish Feelings

I wasn't going to do it. Ever. And then on Monday I received an e-mail from my old friend, Kathy, with a link to a photo on a former classmate's Facebook page. She and me and other pals, way back in eighth grade gathered in the lunch room. It made me laugh. And it made me consider changing my mind about Facebook.

Later that same afternoon, high off the fumes from another viewing of Twilight and not in my right mind, I signed up for Facebook with the assistance of my teenage daughter. She had no issue with me signing up, as long as I promised not to friend her. Fine. We're not friends. So, in a few keystrokes and the blink of an eye, there were all of these names and faces flashing before me that I hadn't seen for decades. Wow. Cool. And then, kaboom. All of my worlds collide.

Most people complain about Facebook in terms of its ability to voraciously consume massive quantities of free time. I can see how this can happen. Easily. When I signed up, I lost about six hours. No joke, pretty much six straight hours except for one fast bathroom break and a dinner that was literally inhaled. Creativity and family time be damned, because Facebook became my sole focus. I went to bed that night feeling like I had succumbed to an entire bag of Smarties in one sitting. The buzz of cheap, sweet over-indulgence.

But the bigger problem for me was the kaboom. I am in a precarious position, both literally and figuratively. I have what could be deemed a very normal full-time job. I like this job ... and, mostly, I like how it helps my family and me to stay financially afloat. I have a kid heading to college in a few short years and her father and I only have so much plasma to donate.

This aforementioned job bears absolutely no resemblance to anything related to my business. They are kept completely separate and as far apart as possible. You will never catch me doing Jakk’s Magic Beans Workshop business during normal working hours. That would be a big no-no. I get up well before the birds, so I have a few hours in the morning for Magic Beanishness and then there is usually some time in the evening, as well. I make it work because I love them both, but the juggling isn't always easy. Weekends help. A lot.

Anyway, I often feel like I am two separate selves living in two separate worlds. But who am I now that I am on Facebook? Which me do I want to put out there? Who do I want to present to those who haven’t had contact with me in years, if not decades? What about professional contacts? What about customers and friends I meet here on this blog? Do I present both worlds on the same page? Is that really a wise idea?

As it stands, only my professional experience is listed. You will find no mention of Jakk’s Magic Beans Workshop ... this blog, Jakk’s Magic Beans Life ... Magic Beans anything. For now. But it feels incomplete, if not completely inauthentic to keep that part of my life, a very important part of my life, a secret. Am I really afraid of risking reprimand or am I simply afraid of looking weird?

It's okay. I know. The Reiki. The I-AMulets. Some will think it's all weirdo, new agey, woo-woo stuff and therefore I am the same by association. I am pretty selective about who I share all this with in the real world, but if they find me virtually, I am completely okay with it. But to put it out there, everything, and to say this is me, who I am and what I love, BOTH of these worlds and the contrast between. Well, that takes some bravery ... and maybe some measure of fool-hardiness. I don't know if I can muster it.

But what is the alternative? To present the me that I believe people expect to see? Typical suburban working mom. Yeah, that part of me is in the mix. But I'm not sure if I can be okay with representing that alone. It's not all of me. And don't people deserve to know all of me instead of the most palatable portion I think that they will want to know?

That said, I wish my only concern about Facebook was the amount of free time it can suck from my life. But I certainly recognize that there needs to be some boundaries put around it. Definitely. But the bigger decision is how far I want to put myself out there. Maybe I’m not giving the people who think that they know me enough credit to accept that there is much more to me than what they think they know. Wouldn't it be nice to (finally!) live one great, big, abundant and diverse world rather than having to switch myself back and forth between two seemingly dichotomous lives?

Stay tuned and we'll find out.

Yes, I have also considered the possibility that no one really gives a hoot what I do, where I do it, when and why. I like this possibility very much.

Yes, I realize that I may have signed up for Facebook in order to avoid the Camp Magic Beans/Portfolio Project promise that I made to myself. No, creating a lot of unnecessary drama does not count.

1 comment:

Shalet said...

I know how you feel. Me, I'm on facebook but I don't like to my blog there. Somehow I don't want my co-workers reading my blog. Why? Not sure but it doesn't sit well. So I am two different people and that's ok. :o)