Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Final Thoughts


When I said that I knew my words would be unpopular it was because I knew that the nature of man wouldn’t let someone express her feelings without wondering if she was making a personal attack or judgment. Why do we do this to each other? If one woman expresses her opinion that homemade cherry pie is the most loving gift she has offered her family today, someone, somewhere is going to look at the bag of Oreos on the table and think,” Well, she must think I am the worst wife/mother in the world.” (I just heard the Highlander in my head, “There can be only one!” which kind of creeps me out so I’ll move along.) And I also knew that we in the Catholic blogging community (as much as I love it) have the tendency to reduce things down to black and white. If X is good then Y must be bad! If A is right then B must be wrong!

When I wrote this post about feeling left behind, I wrote just that. My feelings. Not my opinions. In fact, if you go through that post bit by bit, you will find a significant lack of opinion but an awful lot of feelings. I feel left behind. I felt anxious. I felt like Professor X (which was as weird as Sean Connery in my head from before). I feel an affection for the blogging medium. I feel welcome here. I feel sad that some online friends have chosen to spend more of their time using social networking and have devoted less time to their blogs because I miss them. One of the first things I heard myself ask while looking at some Twitter pages was, “Why didn’t she blog that?” You hear yourself ask questions, too, right?

None of the words I used to describe social networking have any implied negative connotations. Any such connotations can only be assumed by the reader. Fast food is simply fast food, not good or bad. I have never written any sort of condemnation of fast food, in fact, I would gladly total up the number of times my kids have been fed from the drive-thru windows of Wendy’s, Sonic and the like in the past six months. I’ll need to borrow some fingers and toes. I also used the word chatter (which is simply defined as talking rapidly), conversation and virtual noise. And when I joked about the wall, I was only poking fun at the designers of Facebook, not the users. Seems a little silly to me to encourage people to visualize a wall on a network designed to bring people together. That was not intended as a personal attack or a judgment nor was anything else I wrote and it pains me to think that anyone chose to interpret it that way.

I also never said that I didn’t see the benefit of social networking in some capacity, just that when blogging friends start using social networking as the preferred means of communication it cuts off communication with those people who previously enjoyed their company or it pressures those readers into jumping on the bandwagon too. More than one person has commented to my privately that they felt they had to join to stay in the loop but that this communication overload was also creating serious computer burnout.

Anyway, I am not here to bang the gavel and declare what is right and what is wrong. I simply wanted to write how I felt in case there were other people feeling the same way. Apparently there were and I thank each and every one of those commenters who told me so!


  1. I feel the same way, and your SIL also made some great points. I enjoy the thoughts you and others blog, and if I was more of a writer I would consider starting my own!

    We are all unique and need to decide, each and every day, what it is that will help to transform us into the person God has in mind. That will look different for each and every one. Thank you for being true to yourself.

    God's blessings to you and your family!

  2. Again, well said!

    The assumption that if someone says that X is good for them does NOT mean they are saying Y is bad. Unfortunately, that black and white view of things is probably here to stay.

    I thank you again for all you've said on this. I am still with you on it!

  3. Charlotte, I read your post exactly as you intended it. It was well written and sensitive. Bless you!

  4. I think you expressed yourself quite well and quite clearly. It is all too easy to infer more than is intended when reading someone's thoughts, instead of actually talking to them. I think like all things out there, each individual will consider what good they get out of something and determine if it is for them. I use both applications you mention, but have noticed I use them a lot less now than I did when I first joined. And I'm taking a break from writing on my blog as I try to refocus at home. The good thing about these mediums is we can decide for ourselves how little or how much time we give to them.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they challenged me to think about my own feelings.

  5. I think it's partly the result of our own feelings of insufficiency. If I know I'm not being the best mother/wife/teacher/child of God I can be (and who is?) it is so easy to overreact anyone doing something different as a judgment on myself and my choices. That is why feelings get so high whenever we see anyone discuss their choices to work or stay at home, homeschool or institutional school, cloth or disposable diaper... and all the other myriad choices parents make.

    It can be hard to even address these issues, as you say because you know in advance that feelings run high and people will take it personally. That's why I really admire your courage in expressing your feelings and describing your experiences.

  6. i agree with nicole. i think when you hit a nerve, it might be because perhaps one is already feeling like X is better than Y or vice versa, but in order to "fit in" they go with the flow. i personally don't even "know" enough people to go on something like twitter and facebook feels too much like highschool for me-and computer overload can definitely be an issue. i sometimes even feel it in my tiny circle of blog friends. while blogging can be a great medium-one can only hope that we have the grace to turn it off when necessary! and as for inferring-very easily done when the conversation doesn't keep going back and forth as in real life-something is simply read and taken at "face value" but perhaps mistaken face value??
    i don't see anything wrong with expressing YOUR OWN opinions on YOUR OWN blog.
    God bless you for sharing your thoughts, sometimes it is good to make others think a bit......
    sorry for rambling!

  7. I just use Twitter to kind of publicize my blog - I do find that I get interesting pieces of news faster on twitter than anywhere else and I sort of like that.

  8. Charlotte...you have pricked the conscience of not a few people. That's okay! Charity always speaks from the fullness of the heart. There is no malice or judgment in your words, just the desire to impart your own experience, which many, many, many of us share. There's nothing wrong with "not getting it." I'm such a rebellious girl that I frequently refuse to do things just because everyone else is doing it! Kind of silly, perhaps even a bit immature, but I hate the whole "bandwagon" effect. If one decides to use Twitter or Facebook because it has value for them...more power to them! But...if someone says, "hey...it's just not for me, I don't get it" it's incredibly crass to castigate or deride them for their choice.

    Blog on bravely, my friend! You express yourself well...

  9. I just now went back and read the previous post, and I agree with you! I resisted FB for a long long time for these exact reasons, but then finally relented when my husband was the one informing me of MY friend's engagements or new babies on the way. I felt completely left out and frustrated that I HAD to join to keep in touch with long distance friends!

    I have to admit I have never heard of Twitter though!

    I love your blog and steal great idea from you all the time! I always link to your blog to give credit where credit is due!


  10. It is dismaying to find people get so upset about people's thoughts and feelings.

    I've found it interesting and enlightening to read your feelings about Facebook and Twitter and their ilk.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!