The loudest screaming factor is evidently an “aging” marriage, and no signs of any kids around. So yes, we’re out of the closet, one way or another. I write openly on my blog, I talk openly to my friends about everything. Our families know everything. Hey, even some colleagues were aware.
Then along came social networking. There are a bunch of sites out there, and everyone in the world is on them. It’s great to be able to connect back with people that you’ve lost touch with. You know the type – old high school class mates, ex colleagues, college batch mates, people from the town you grew up in etc etc etc. You keep getting sucked into it.
I started out with my connections being limited to people that I’m in touch with otherwise in real life. My extended family and real life friends. But these sites spiral you into more and more – “You may know these people”, or “Friends of friends”. Slowly I realized I now am connected to people from so far way back in life that I look at their pictures and go “Huh!! – I don’t remember him/her looking like this” or “Wow – I would not have recognized this person if I ran into him somewhere.”
All this networking brings its own set of issues along with it. Now suddenly people who are crawling out of the woodwork are curious about you. That’s where my dilemma sets in. I’m open about my issues with my friends who see me now, or who have known me in the last few years and have been with me through my struggles. I’m not sure I’m willing to be open with just about everyone that I’ve EVER known in my life.
I’m torn. On the one hand I love being connected back with familiar faces. On the other, I don’t want anyone to ask me anything. I have a few pictures with nieces and nephews or with my friend’s children that are up on these sites, and the moment someone comments on them, I feel compelled to “clarify” saying “Oh this is my niece” or something like that. Or when an old friend / class mate connects up with me and sends me a message saying “I’m married, 2 kids, work in so and so place, live in so and so place, what about you?”, I feel compelled to answer “Married, one dog, we’re working on building a startup”. My answers are technically correct, yet somehow, they seem to rattle me.
Yesterday DH changed his face.book status to “Requesting everyone to light a candle at 7 PM. Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day”. I saw that and it struck me that I didn’t have the guts to say something like that to all my connections. I say I’m open, but am I? A lot of my connections possibly think I don’t have or mention kids because I’m heavily into our start up company. A part of me wants them to continue to think that way.
So am I really out of the closet as far as IF is concerned?
How do you guys deal with your social networking site connections? How do you deal with questions from people you haven’t seen in years, and probably won’t for years to come? I agree they aren’t an important enough part of my life, but questions do rattle me – wherever they come from.
I suppose you could say one should limit their connections on these sites, why get yourself more exposure than you can handle? But you see, I enjoy being connected to people. I enjoy interaction.
What would you do?