Every once in a while, I get this urge to do a deep clean. To sort through the threads of my life online and mull over them. It happens at random times. When am in the dark rocking baby to sleep or when am at the doctor’s office waiting to be seen. These pockets of time are uniquely mine with nothing to intrude on them. I pause, linger and hesitate as I move over each name on my list. The number says 400 plus. I can count with my fingers the number of people clued into my life and I in theirs. Discounting likes and retweets any meaningful interaction is minimal.
I revisit our relationship, check to see if I have other means to contact and hit unfriend. The word rolls around in my mouth, unwelcome. Can I really ‘unfriend’ someone? Most are passing acquaintances. Some have been in my life during a phase. Some others are bound by a common interest. I pare the list giving thought and moving on. The numbers drop and I feel unease. Did I reach out or did they? Will I miss being a silent bystander in their lives? As I grapple with the questions, clarity comes from asking myself if I have reached out in the past year or not. The process proceeds faster now.
My feed looks static. My fingers hit refresh from muscle memory. I send out emails instead of messages. There is no instant gratification. I post something and nothing happens. Realization hits. Online interaction is no patch on real life reach.
I have a chasm to bridge.