We knew each other for many years, connecting every now and then to catch-up on things; however, as so often is the case with relationships like these, our correspondence became more frequent last December. Indeed, we began interfacing on a daily basis – sometimes numerous times in the course of a day.
But about a week ago, things took a turn for the worse and I severed all ties last Saturday.
So who WAS my secret rendezvous?
I’ll give you a hint: When we met it was work-related and strictly professional.
I can hear you exclaim, “It’s a former co-worker!”
Well, Harrison Ford IS hunky, but the answer is “No.”
Hint #2: I never left the house.
“An online affair!” you utter triumphantly.
You’re getting warmer.
Last hint: More than two people were involved.
(No, we’re not talking PORN – although that would allow participants to remain sheltered-in-place.)
Give up? Read on…
Other than a very close-knit group of friends and various acquaintances I’ve met through the local music scene – and due to the tyrannical lockdowns being imposed upon us ostensibly due to THE JINN there is no “local music scene” in which to hobnob – I keep pretty much to myself puttering around the place and working on my website. Being a Blogger gives me the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Blogs (and similar personal websites) are considered social media but I’ve never viewed them as such – especially mine. It’s always been a “this is what’s on my mind right now” and never concerning myself with how many likes I accumulate or how many hits I receive. The control of content is very much one-sided – unlike social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) which I’ve never participated in, preferring to engage with others face-to-face or via email. (Hell, I don’t even own a smart phone!)
That’s right. I’ve never participated in a social networking site EXCEPT
My secret rendezvous was LinkedIn. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
When I first set-up my LinkedIn Profile many years ago I viewed it as an online repository for my resume and skills set, hoping to find a job. Except for connecting to people I already knew, I never paid much attention to it’s social networking side. (Note: I never landed one job via LinkedIn and the only bites I received were after I retired. Ironic, huh?) I logged in to my account a couple times a year just to keep it updated. Other than that I kinda forgot about it…
That is until late last year when I started thinking about my first boyfriend. I wondered if I might find him on LinkedIn. For those of you who aren’t part of the LinkedIn family, after you log-in you’re taken to the Home page where you see Posts from various companies, connections, and any person or organization/group that you follow or belong to. I was immediately drawn to the posts from Big Cat Rescue and soon found myself connecting to and following all kinds of organizations and people – most concerning animal welfare and rescue. That’s how I discovered Wild @ Life which I may never have heard of otherwise.
Because I checked in numerous times during the day I got to see many different posts in my Home “feed”. Some were uplifting and others tugged at my heart strings. There were knuckleheads, to be sure, but honestly these sorts were few and far between. I also began posting articles I ran across which I felt were important or interesting. I posted almost every day and got little to no feedback on any, which made me feel obligated to respond in some way to my connections’ posts/likes. I wanted them to see that someone was paying attention and gave a shit. They weren’t being ignored.
But here’s the rub. In spite of being connected to like-minded individuals I was becoming increasingly angry. Although I didn’t acknowledge it at the time, it was the constant posts on animal abuse that were doing me in. Last Saturday I finally snapped. I made an offhand comment about a well-known ass-wipe that recently died which pissed someone else off. I have never attacked any “poster”, but I understand that happens quite often on social networking sites and here it had happened to me. I was being attacked.
Please understand I didn’t really give a shit about this poster. My opinion about someone I viewed as having been a real asshole had deeply offended him. But in that instant I KNEW the comment I made which precipitated his reaction I had done with a purpose in mind. My subconscious was telling me to get out of there. My subconscious understood being a part of LinkedIn’s social networking was NOT IN MY BEST INTEREST – and I immediately deleted my account. While I understand the issues are still out there, I acknowledge being uncomfortable with having it shoved in my face constantly. It’s just too painful and I frequently turn pain into ANGER. (One of the many reasons I stopped watching the news decades ago.)
What happened next? The heavens parted. The angels wept. The birds sang.
Not really, but all my frustration and anger instantly dissolved and a great weight was lifted from my shoulders.
The good news? I am now supporting two new animal rescue/welfare organizations and am re-focusing my energy on caring for the people (and cat) I love, nurturing my plants, and using this site to share thoughts, feelings, and the world I live in.