Despite social media, some IRL things never change

@postaday 48; #postaday2011


Way back in the day, when I was a child, when I was a teenager, when I was in the military, when I was out there — my heart would pound when I would see a boy I like and wanted to say hi to. All of a sudden, the funny and friendly girl was shy and freaked out at the possibilities of what could go right and wrong.


Since Facebook, I’ve rekindled childhood friendships and have caught up with people who remember that girl I used to be. And I don’t know what it is, but, those relationships trigger some old insecurities and memories I thought were long gone. It’s OK. If I buried those flaws and disappointments, it’s high time they were dealt with, one embarrassing rush at a time.


I wonder if it’s easier to be my friend on FB or Twitter than it is IRL? I know it’s certainly easier to write than to stammer, easier to be composed while composing, easier than the rush of a half-assed conversation in an elevator. It’s easier to read my update while crossing the street with your nose in your iPhone than to look up and say hi. I know that. On the Facebook virtual wall, all is perfect, all is forgiven, I don’t have to see your flaws, I can keep mine under wraps, and we can be as tough or as vulnerable as we want.


What is the purpose of social media if it cannot improve our relationships? I could choose not to be someone’s friend if I wish. Most of the time I accept an offer of friendship and see where it goes. If I’ve been recruited to help someone farm or gain rank in the mob, we soon part ways. If you find our politics can’t even agree to disagree, I’m OK that you’ve unfriended me. I’m a Democrat. I love everyone.


I have made a lot of friends at work thanks to FB; and I’ve made friends on FB with people I work with. It has been to my benefit to get to know so many people busy in their cubes here, to find out the depth of their lives through their updates. In June, I’ll go back for my high school reunion and reconnect with people, many of whom I have reconnected with on FB in the past couple of years. I know I put a lot up on my wall, and I think many people have a good idea of what I am about now. But they will also cause the young and insecure me to surface, and I will have to do my best to eclipse her with who I am now.


There are things that I keep in the background, there are thoughts I’m wise enough to know have no place out here for all to read. Generally, I’m a very open person and eager to see how our connection could grow. And I always hope that connection is positive, mutually beneficial, and gives each of us a morsel of intrigue to enjoy bouncing around in our brains until the next time we meet IRL.


By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. no matter who we become, we are who we were. inside lurks the child, with all our childish fears. when the setting is right, those fears press against the adult facade. that’s why public speaking is the number one boogie man for rational competent adults. that’s why Jerry Lewis is so celebrated.

    my age peers, my high school contemporaries are not very well represented on FB and TwTr. the only ones that are were in tech fields during their working life. just the decade between my age and your age made a big difference, setting a demarcation line. i have only two friends from the ‘old’ civilization who use SM, but i know many more that i’ve met because of it, you included.

    high school reunions are the Dante’s Inferno of social gatherings. they’re not for everybody. i went to one: a slow tidal wave of quiet spread across the crowd. a lot of husbands looked down at the floor. a lot of wives looked down their noses. Lucy, the most promiscuous girl in the class of ’66 walked onto the gym floor. her high heels clicked like revolvers.

  2. by the way, where are they holding your reunion, and is there anywhere we can get frozen custard around there?

  3. Facebook has been a wonderful connection for me to stay in touch with my family and friends. I have at least 20 nieces and nephews who are logged on at any given time. High school friends and long lost friends are there too. I think using social media in this way is wonderful for those of us who are unable to be THERE where they are.

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