Let’s start with the fact that I am more or less addicted to checking my Facebook notifications and scrolling down once in a while to see updates from my friends. I do that when I am home of course, not when I am gone for vacations where I should be enjoying my vacation with my loved ones and not checking in to Facebook every detail of what I am doing. Yeah, I am coming to the point slowly.
From the huge lot of status updates I see on a daily basis, I have come to the understanding that we live in an age where we constantly seek some sort of validation for our feelings from the world. Not really the ideal way to live, I know – but there it is. Only that can explain the huge number of updates we all put up in social networking sites like Facebook. I hate to admit it; I do it too in the form of status updates once in a while telling the world how I feel about something and photos from every trip or event in my life. I have been guilty of putting up a status update/blog at a time when I was really mad at my mother. That one instance taught me never to take to social networking sites when you are really angry or sad. It made me so ashamed of myself that even though the damage was done, I decided to take it out and even talk to her about what was done. Anyway, apart from that, I guess most of my updates go into the category of “okay to be shared with the world”.
It is that “okay to be shared with the world” category which is the point of this blog. How many of us really take a moment before posting something – “is it okay if I post this publicly?” Every one of us might have had at least one or two instances of indiscretion which we regretted later, like I did. For some, it might have been in the form of lashing out about the organization they work for or their bosses, which came back and bit them in the butt. For a huge number of people, it must have been in the form of an overdose of PDA in a desperate attempt to show off their undying love to the world. What else could account for a status update like this? – “making love to <spouse’s name>”. I am trying to make myself believe that this guy has no clue of what the phrase “making love” means and actually meant “in love with”. While most of these senseless updates including a minute-by-minute update of what they are doing or which all railway stations they have passed during a 12 hour rail journey, just make us think “Is this guy crazy?” or give us a few laughs, there is another kind of update that I find the most irritating and awkward.
I am talking about the updates in which a person shares his/her grief. No, I am not talking about one status update about feeling sad about something, important or unimportant. I am talking about the never-ending series of updates overdoing the grief in such a manner, that it undermines the importance and seriousness of the matter in hand. Some grieve about break-ups, while some others grieve about the death of loved ones. Break-up updates are mostly laughed at or scorned at, as far as I know. But what about the ones regarding grief over someone’s death?
I know at least some of you might be thinking of me as a heartless, insensitive person for saying this. But think about it for a moment. Is your genuine grief supposed to be a subject of interest for the world, or even for all the people on your Facebook friends list? How many of these people do you even know in depth for them to care that much about your sorrow? Sure, anyone would feel bad for you when you share the sad news with them. We are all sensitive to some extent after all. And their kind words will no doubt, bring some comfort to you. But will they keep feeling the same way if you overwhelm them with an outpour of updates every other day about every single thing that reminds you of the one who passed away? I can understand one update intimating people of someone’s death – just so that people know. But sentimental and highly emotional messages on a regular basis are not the way about it. People can express their condolences the first time; can they do it every time though? You might say – “let them just ignore my posts”. That brings us to the real question – “If it can be ignored, why put it up in the first place?”
I am sure that the people who keep posting such updates might just be trying to give vent to their emotions and move on. It might not even cross their minds that seeing such posts from them every other day is making it awkward and, forgive me for saying this, even irritating for other people. And the saddest part is, while they think they are paying a tribute to the one who has passed by reminding everyone of them every single day, they are only cutting down on the love they ought to get. It might be hard for them to digest this. But if I feel that way, I believe there would be a number of other people who feel the same way too. And while we would love to see your normal updates, we are forced to un-follow your posts because we are so tired of the emotions. It might sound rude, I know; but I am just being honest – brutally honest maybe.
The whole point is, grieving for someone who has left you forever is one of the most painful things that anyone will go through in life. Let’s give that process and consequently, the person who has passed as well, the respect that they deserve by not overdoing it. Share your feelings in person, with the few who are really close to you, the ones who really know you, and the ones who really care. That is the only way the pain can be eased. You don’t need the entire world to hold your hand in this sad time, you need the ones who you can be completely yourself with, an emotional wreck if you want to be. And trust me, living the happy memories with the ones who really care will help you understand that your loved ones are not completely gone – a part of them is still with you, and will always be.