I get it, I mean I really do. I know I’m at “that age” when some of us are able to adapt and embrace newer technologies, and some of us don’t. More and more will fall by the wayside as I get older, and eventually I will also be unable to comprehend the “newest thing.” But right now, I’m alright.
I love it, in many ways. I’ve been able to keep up-to-date with friends from the neighborhood I grew up in, people I’ve known from grade school, middle school, high school and college, as well as former coworkers and customers from the store who have become good friends. I look at my friend list and I smile; its full of fond memories.
I can’t say I had a wonderful High School experience. Well, most of my school years more-or-less sucked, but high school was worse than most. Partly because I spent all four years trying to be things I am not, and never could be. Partly because I spent too much time on relationships that were not good for me, friends that I should maybe not have spent so much time and energy on. I didn’t nurture and grow relationships that were available, and I do regret that. There’s many a wonderful person that I miss from those days that I know I didn’t know as well as I should have.
I suppose everyone gets thoughts like that eventually.
In high school, there were people I was tight with (very few), people I was friends with (a few more), people I liked but barely saw or talked to (more still) and people who were nice to me although they obviously didn’t “get” me (most of whom spoke to me as though I was their “special” younger sister), people who didn’t know I even existed and could care less, and those who just plain couldn’t stand me…bordering on pure hatred. In hindsight, it seems like there were an awful lot of those, but that may be a twist of memory.
Needless to say, I was never “popular,” in any way, shape, or form.
I don’t think I wanted to be popular, but I did want people not to hate me. I was a little sensitive, and I guess I still am.
So we flash forward to now, and here I am with a Facebook page. And I’m a writer. And I know, that this modern world is all about networking. As in the case of the 26-year-old writer who’s written 17 novels and sold over 100,000 of h
er own self-published e-books, all through social media. This is the way to do things, the key to success.
I’m good with that, seriously. I’m becoming a little less paranoid about who knows what about me. As long as I keep the important details…like home address, social security number and that sort of thing…well away from the internet, I know I’ll be fine.
And I know people change, and grow. I know that people who hurt me, intentionally or not, in grade school, middle school and high school, may regret doing it…or may not even be aware the did. I know I would be the bigger person to accept each and every one of them and embrace them. I know it would be better for my sales once the book gets published. After all, everyone loves to be able to say they know “so-and-so,” right?
Even though I know all that, I find it difficult to embrace this Pokemon theory of Facebook; that somehow it’s important to befriend every single person who graduated from the same class as you did. Just because our parents found jobs in the same area, and chose the same suburb to raise us in, does not mandate that we will have anything in common now, regardless of whether or not we hurt each other in the long, long ago.
So even letting go of my past, I don’t understand why certain people what to befriend me. I only approach people I really do miss. The ones I have fond memories of, the ones I wish I’d spent more time with, the ones who seem like the years have molded them in similar directions to me. I’ve even found that I have more in common with many of these people than I did as a child. It happens.
But then, I realize that this socially elitist theory could hurt me in the long run. Aren’t more better, especially when it comes to potential marketing? Shouldn’t I also befriend every possible person on Facebook, padding out my friend list to its maximum, thereby ensuring myself the maximum exposure for my book when it is finished?
Many would say “yes.” Sometimes, I’m inclined to agree with them.
Then I stop and think about it. The book I’m writing…won’t appeal to everyone. In fact, it’s probably got a pretty niche market. Which means that it will probably sell best with people who are like me, who can understand me, or at the very least like me. It’s not likely to be even vaguely interesting among those who don’t “get” me. Even though High School is years and years behind me, it seems there are still an awful lot of those out there…from my graduating class and not. It’s just the way I am.
So I discuss myself into a standstill, eventually making an uneasy peace. I will still seek out only those that I truly miss, and those I find interesting, that I might have things in common with…but I will accept anyone who seeks me out regardless of my memories. If we interact, then wonderful. Maybe, just maybe I can make new friends out of old enemies and/or old strangers.
After all, what is life without risk?