In conversation with a dear friend who’s opinion I respect completely, she brought to my attention that she was shocked by the difference in my online persona compared to how she views me in person. In fact, she said Facebook Frank is kind of a Dickhead!
In a sense, she was describing my personality as being Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde.
The Dr. Jekyll is the everyday me — kind, thoughtful, polite to a fault. And, with risking unwarranted vanity, these things ARE true. I am a good person at my core. I want justice for all. I desire for love to conquer hate — always. I protect animals at all costs, even becoming somewhat of a vegetarian. And, I do my best to visit my 97 year-old mother at least once or twice a week.
Yes, this IS me.
But, I also have a part of me that’s all Mr. Hyde; ugly, aggressive, insensitive, judgmental, and intolerant. It’s GET OFF MY LAWN or else! Sad, but true.
Yes, this IS me, too.
It is both sides of the same coin.
I explained to my friend, again at the risk of sounding vainglorious, that I am ALL of those things! I am never falsely honest. I am very good at some things and downright shitty at others. And, I am almost always willing to share those emotions with just about anyone who will listen — particularly on Social Media.
However, ALL is motivated by one thing — Passion.
So, the question remains:
Why choose Social Media as the home for the expression of Mr. Hyde?
Some might say that the anonymity of Social Media emboldens us in a way that shields us from certain harm and, therefore, allows us to take on roles and positions that we might not assume in person.
Now, this may certainly be true for many, but not for me. What I say on Social Media I would be glad to say to anyone’s face. I am nothing if not honest — be that Dr. Jekyll OR Mr. Hyde! Besides, as I see them, Social Media, like Facebook, are designed to be forums, i.e. and exchange of ideas — ALL kinds of ideas — so much so, that it often becomes of smorgasbord of interpretations, meanings, feelings, perceptions, and intentions, from the ridiculous to the sublime.
With this in mind, many are content to share nothing but photos of their kitties. And, this is just fine. As I mentioned, I love animals. And, although I do use the medium to share ALL of my photos, including those of my cat, I also use it as an opportunity to confront the ignorance, intolerance, mendacity, bigotry and unfettered hate that we also so often encounter on Facebook and elsewhere. And, I pull no punches — that’s not my way.
If you post things that celebrate the baser instincts of human emotion than you are going to meet Mr. Hyde. I know it’s a paradox but in this case, it makes perfect sense: I have no tolerance for intolerance. If that’s your M.O., I will fight you on it today, tomorrow, and the day after that. I will never give up the fight for what’s right, as I have been given the vision and good sense to know it.
Now, sometimes, this can reflect poorly on me as some will see ME as the bully. And, unfortunately, it’s something that pains me — because I abhor bullies. So, I’m working on bringing in a little more of Dr. Jekyll into my Facebook posts. My intention is never to be cruel, but, rather, to be totally honest, without reservation. However, I also realize that being cruel to someone who knows only cruelty is like giving a match to an arsonist.
It’s also not fair or accurate, in my humble opinion, to list ALL of my posts as aggressive or insensitive. Because they are not. I often use self-deprecating humor and sarcasm to make a point. Unfortunately, this is sometimes misinterpreted as somehow offensive. Again, this comes with the territory.
You simply cannot please all of the people all of the time — but, you can please some of them some of the time.
Now, since this IS a social media post — GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN.
That is all . . .