Wow. I posted that I need a break from Facebook, and I and Kveller and the entire Universe alike have been astounded by how upset and concerned people have been… There have been posts here by our very own Jordana Horn and really touching emails from friends and family I had not heard from personally in so long, since they were used to HEARING ABOUT MY LIFE FROM FACEBOOK AND NOW HAD TO ACTUALLY BE IN TOUCH TO DO SO!
Who knew me taking a break (not playing hard to get, I promise!) would elicit, “Come back I miss you I love you don’t go I need you”!? If only I had this power over the men I have wanted to love me. But that’s another story.
My Shavuot weekend was quiet. Well, except for my children constantly asking me toplay with them, feed them, entertain them, hug them, and nurse (one of) them, it was quiet. The repose from technology that I have discussed blesses me every Shabbat and is delivered threefold when a two-day holiday is smack up next to Shabbat as it was this year. So it was quiet.
I prayed. I tried to relax. And I thought about the past week. And I cried (I’m a crier, and Shavuot makes me very very emotional). And I felt alone, not because I have not been posting and “talking” virtually with the thousands of friends I have on my Facebook page, but I felt alone because it’s the human condition. We’re all alone. And we’re trying to connect. And the rabbi on Shavuot talked about wanting to connect, and the mis- and missed communication we are all part of in this technological age. And I thought to myself, “Does he follow me on Facebook!?”
I don’t think he does (for a variety of reasons). I think connecting and communicating is a problem that’s at least as old as the Jewish story. We stood at the base of a mountain trembling and we stood from afar, waiting. Waiting to hear something. And when It came, we heard It and we saw It and It knocked us over, this Divine communication. We wandered a long time to hear It. And we suffered greatly before we could connect that way.
And we’re still waiting, all of us. The internet is so fantastic, and it’s so miraculous, and I have made connections through the internet I never could have otherwise. I have found people so much like me that I can’t imagine why God would create a time in history where we couldn’t find each other thus; that’s how amazing technology is.
But I still feel stuck and confused. I still feel swept up and away in unhealthy ways, and I still feel vulnerable. Jordana implied that I’m “gone” but I’m not. I am still writing. I am still speaking and advocating and hosting and being a voice. But I am trying to manage my emotions around the complexity of communication and connection.
Regarding the issue at hand, though. I considered posting on Facebook but not reading any comments. That seemed odd and a weird temptation waiting to happen (God tests me plenty, never you mind; I don’t need another test). Then I considered having someone else manage the page. Also odd. Then I considered only posting links to my articles and not posting other articles so as to cut down on dissension. But that seemed not the “whole” Mayim.
I am told I can post to Facebook and make my page a non-commenting page and I think I like that. Not so “what I say goes” but moreso because if I post something and you feel passionate about it, it can go forth and be discussed among people you want to discuss it with, and not every single person who glances at the title (or picture–ahem) and thinks they can pass judgment on it.
That’s the plan for now.
What I think I have learned from this week, this month, and this Shavuot in particular, is that the only relationship I can count on 100% day or night, in joy and in sorrow, me at my worst and me at my best, is my relationship with God. It’s the blueprint for every other relationship I have on this earth, and all of the non-God relationships are really complicated.
I like the choices I am making in selecting how I communicate. It’s not only changed how I communicate with you all, but it’s changed how I view my role as a communicator. It’s made me realize how many relationships need me to get better at communicating. And it’s made me ever grateful that people generally like how I communicate as a public person, as an attachment parent, as a vegan, as the only actress I know who is not a size 0, and as a feminist liberal Torah-loving, Torah-living, God-fearing, Yiddish-spouting, Mishnah-quoting, boundary breaking member of the only Tribe I’ve ever known.
Our conversations may shift, but please know that I am sincerely trying my best to make my communications with everyone I touch as pure, loving, honest, and human as possible. It’s simply the way God made me.