I’m socially awkward. It’s part of the reason I spend my free time writing essays to myself instead of going out with real people and building friendships.
I see my social media friends’ posts from bars, sporting events, exotic locales, and think, “like.” Good for them, being alive, and all that jazz.
That’s my threshold: It’s your birthday? Great. Kid going to state in basketball? Nice. Sick pet? Sad face. (See? I can even mix it up.)
I also have some friends I suspect are even more socially awkward than I am. This is because, while I would like to like their posts, which may be 80% one emotion, they throw in an opposite emotion, which becomes an enormous psychic sticking point for me.
Take this totally fake example:
I want to thank all of my virtual friends who supported me through the publication of my first book. You are the greatest, and without your love and kinship, I would not have had the courage to approach the agent who got me a deal with Random House AND a motion picture option. I can finally realize my dream of opening a charitable foundation for animals disfigured by land mines.
Unfortunately, I celebrate alone, as my husband of twenty three years has just left me for a man who calls himself Sugar Weasel.
Tonight, I raise a glass to all of you as I shop for a private island where I will write the next six books in what Random House sees as a series. Blessings!
My initial idea is to “like” this post, but notice the moldy bit right in the middle. I don’t want to seem callous. So, I look through all of the new “reactions” available on Facebook. Since there’s no “fly in ointment” emoji, I consider the next logical possibility: the wide mouth and eyes “oh damn” face. But, before I can commit to it, I chicken out.
Ten minutes later, I check back to see what better-adjusted people had to say. Nothing. It seems like everyone has hit the same stumbling-block. Gee, I feel like we should be more supportive, but this is hurting my brain.
Maybe we can look forward to gifs in the future that allow us more than one facial expression. XD, :(, 🙂 and finally 😛 – “I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, and now I fell sick.”