Letters of Life

Ash Wednesday

Facebook: The eternal cocktail party.

Facebook: The eternal cocktail party.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the reflective season that precedes Easter. Ash Wednesday is the first of 40 days of prayer and fasting and for some of us, going without something we indulge in, by comparison a very small act of renunciation to remind ourselves of the great sacrifice Christ made for us.

There’s the usual interest in my previous posts about giving up Facebook for Lent. It’s a good execise in discipline, if you’re honest about the reasons why you spend too much time at this cocktail party of social platforms. That’s what the medium looks to me anyway, no matter how many hard news feeds you subscribe too (New York Times, Slate, The Atlantic, the BBC) the food, the funny, and the fashion of the times (not just clothes, darling) all get in the way.

Of what? Having a good time? I’ve been a party girl, I throw parties every so often, and the thing is, real parties are the real deal.

There’s an insane level of flattery that goes on in Facebook, it’s a 24-7 multi-chat line, and the flattery never goes to bed, it never stops as long as you keep posting. There’s a difference between compliments and flattery, and Facebook and flattery go together like jeans and a white tee shirt.

Stop posting and you get a silence in return, which for some, can be too much to bear. I’ve heard many reasons for posting, all valid, all better than my own. The only thing I know about me and the platform is this, that after I post, I have this inexplicable need to check for responses. It’s worse than eating chocolate. Or lately, pineapple tarts.

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